I took a brief winter vacation, as you probably noticed. Frankly, I was exhausted with all the holiday hoopla. Nonna, Teri and I went to a wonderful family dinner on Christmas day at my cousin’s, Ginny Jannace Malara, and we saw about 20 friends and relatives there. Two dogs. Great food. Nonna was able to see her 91-year-old brother, my Uncle Manlio, and that was an added treat. Ginny made the famous family cappelletti recipe and convinced her sister Linda to make a very complicated vegetable souffle which was amazing. It was a beautiful, dry and rather warm day which is important when you are moving a 98-year-old senior citizen. No ice, no falls.

The New Year’s tradition of watching the ball drop in Times Square worked out even worse than it usually does in this household. I swear, not one of us stayed awake past 10:30 p.m. Another year and even more tired.

Meanwhile our long, hot summer has ended. I hope the change in weather will be brief and over soon. Former Tisburian Chris Paffendorf wrote from her new digs in New Mexico that it was freezing there and they had snow. She said it made her feel like she was back in the Northeast. In that case, Chris, why not just move back here?

The Academy of American Poets, of which I am a proud member, has put out a list of poems in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day. Go to poets.org and read the choices. Two of my favorites were Still I Rise by Maya Angelou and Dream Variations by Langston Hughes. There is always something for everyone at their website.

Becca Dunham, she of grace and wit, has entered the graduate program at Simmons College for library science. This is a kid who grew up next to me in Tisbury, had a goal early on, and stuck with it. Remember her working so diligently at the Vineyard Haven library? Good luck to you in your studies, Becca. You are fulfilling your lifetime dream.

Steve Ewing reports the Scottish Society Robbie Burns Dinner will be held at the Harbor View Hotel on Saturday, Jan. 23. Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. The traditional Scottish dinner with haggis as the centerpiece begins at 6:30 p.m. There will be a raffle and silent auction to benefit our society’s scholarship fund. Phil Dietterich will be the music director with his internationally renowned Scottish singers. Steve Ewing can give you more information and provide you with tickets at aquamv@gmail.com, or just call Steve or Ed Pierce, the usual tartan members to secure your seat. Happy haggis.

There are not enough words to describe the massive artistic contributions of David Bowie. We all mark his passing with love, great respect and appreciation for all he gave the world.

I hope you all enjoy the long weekend and reflect on the peaceful messages of Martin Luther King.

The birthday bandwagon remembers Martin Luther King Jr. Friday and sends best wishes to Barbara McCahill. Jan. 16 is a party for Maribeth Roden, Thaw Malin, Myra Romain and Joaquin Balbino. Jan. 17 honors Rosemary Gambino. Jan. 18 is claimed by Anthony Cardoza. Jan. 19 shines on four fabulous ladies: Ciara Seccombe, Patti Linn, Mandy King Rice and Ruth Major. Jan. 20 is shared by Kim Montanile and Mary-Beth Priore. And on Jan. 21 Carol Whitmarsh, Noah Casner, Cameron Moore, Annie McEvoy, Derek and Travis Fennell, and Frederick Hehre 4th take the cake. Many happy returns.

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