Nonna had one of the biggest surprises of her 97 years! Teri and I knew the plan, but on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. my son Chris Clark and my two grandsons, Corbyn, age 10, and Dominic, age 7, showed up at Nonna’s home in White Plains. They drove from Rockford, Ill., 16 hours. Chris proclaimed Pennsylvania the longest and most boring part of the trip. Nonna has not seen them in almost three years. I last saw them almost two years ago for Chris Clark’s college graduation. Unfortunately, wife and mother Lilly could not get the time off from work. She sent a lovely painting she made for Nonna for Christmas, a remembrance of our trip to Sicily 12 years ago. The two boys immediately fell into amusing us with their tales of the trip, tales of school, tales of their pets, and showing off amazing feats of strength and gymnastics. I am back where I want to be, helping with homework every night. Nothing will do but to take the boys to see live Irish music by the inimitable Brian Conway and friends at Dunne’s Pub tonight. I am trying to get the boys more interested in live music. I hear Dominic wants a drum set for Christmas.

Martha Dunham had the pleasure of her family gathering with her for Thanksgiving. She reports Becca Dunham, who came with her friend Leigh, is doing so much better since her accident with the truck in Boston. Her wrist will continue to need rehabilitation. Becca and her aunt, Mel West Dunham, both celebrated birthdays on Dec. 1. This extended Martha’s fun because Jeremy and Mel had a romantic dinner and night off at the fabulous Mansion House. Martha had full custody of their boys Connor and Zander. No doubt that Martha is tired but very, very happy.

But I am missing some of the great events on-Island. Seniel Hannagan wrote to invite me to the traditional holiday community chorus concert. It will be performed Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Whaling Church. The same program at the same place will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday. I hope someone records it for me.

Meanwhile, the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library are presenting a wonderful author’s talk tomorrow at 2 p.m. Alan R. Burt, a social worker who has been working hard on Cape Cod since 1993 helping the homeless, will present his new book, Blessings of the Burden: Reflections and Lessons in Helping the Homeless. Copies of his book are available for sale and signing.

Our prayers and hopes for a great recovery go out to Neil Welch who was seriously injured in an auto accident. Please, Diane Welch and family, let us know what we can do.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Paresa Paiva and Mark Zajackowski today. Tomorrow is shared by Emily Diamond, Elise Thomas, Kevin Sullivan and Robert Mackay Sr. December 7 shines on Larry Bird, Knara Mahtumova and Rose Cogliani. December 8 is for Janey Sobel, Pat Codding and Bill Schwabe. December 9 belongs to Rachael York, Christine Honig, Joe Hegarty and Joanne Gardella. December 10 honors Issabel Walker and Eric Claussen. And on Dec. 11, Jackie and Carol Tileston and Crystal Sylvia take the cake. Many happy returns.

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