It is the end of the year and the end of an era in many ways. I’m only shopping on-Island for gifts. This is a grand opportunity to see my friends and business owners that I am too involved to see in season. So off I drove to 
Aboveground Records, Michael Barnes’s shop in the Triangle that has served me so well all these years. Alas, the end of an era also! Michael will be closing in January after years of devoted service. I shall certainly miss seeing him, learning from his encyclopedic knowledge of all kinds of music, benefitting from his ability to order for me the most arcane and whimsical collection of CDs you can imagine, and enjoying the clientele that flocks to his shop. Michael does great work but you could tell by how he does it that it is a labor of love. I always like a good sale but this sale saddens me because the CDs and T-shirts are discounted because the store is closing, but do get there. Stock is 15 per cent off today but starting this weekend it is 20 per cent off. Thank you for years of service, Michael, and I hope you get some rest before your next venture.

Another era ends. The West Tisbury library story hour in the form of Mother Goose on the Loose held its last off-site event yesterday at our Vineyard Haven library. The staff thanks our library and the Oak Bluffs library for hosting their events twice a month while they were homeless. It certainly added to our programs! The new West Tisbury library is getting the finishing touches. You can expect to see them open and attend Mother Goose on the Loose there in late February or early March.

Speaking of books, confidential to Lyn K: Nonna and I just read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It is available at our library and has been a best seller for years. I don’t even know what category applies to recommending it — well-researched science book, mystery book, family saga, medical ethics. All true and amazing. Other than that, I am busy reading to Nonna and Teri every night just before dinner: letters my son and I wrote to Santa and received in return, The Poky Little Puppy’s First Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Of course, The Night Before Christmas is being saved for Dec. 24. I act that one out and serve refreshments.

A reminder to all columnists, this is where I messed up near Thanksgiving: our copy is due early — on the next two Mondays at noon. Yikes! More holiday pressure.

Many of our local shops are serving delicious refreshments to lift your spirits during last minute shopping. I highly recommend Peacecraft and the Vineyard Artists’ shop next to it, both on Spring street.

I do feel like I’m living at the hospital. After Nonna was sprung last Wednesday, five days after emergency room admission, it was a mere three days before I was back in the ER again. Oh, not for myself. Our housemate, friend and most excellent chef, Teri, broke her leg at my house Saturday night. That’s the bad news, that and one overnight in the hospital. The good news is it hasn’t interfered with her cooking skills.

Get well wishes go out to Amber Willoughby and Teri Praskach.

Anniversary bouquets are sent to Edson and Norma Rodgers for their 53rd wedding anniversary on Dec. 26. They once regaled me with the story of their wedding — get them to tell you all about it. It is delightful.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Susan Woods, Christian Ciancio and Carissa Noel Doup today. On Dec. 21 Cathy Weiss celebrates and Dec. 22 is a party for Sally Brown, John Giles, Stephen Dunham, Sr. and Monica Radoszeski. On Dec. 24 Stephen Perry, Emily Chappell and Leo Kelley will shine. Christmas Day is for Kelly dos Reis, and on Dec. 26 Haley Panek takes the cake. Many happy returns.

And on Wednesday morning — in your hearts, in your homes, and under your trees — may you all find peace.