The winds have swept through Aquinnah over the past week, shaking most of the remaining leaves from the trees. We have had sunny days with temperatures in the 30s and 40s. Winter is upon us! We know it is cold when the water at the spring pipe near the herring creek freezes in upright ice structures.

Thank you once again to Lang, Irina, and Sasha Gerhard for the large peace sign along the shoreline of their East Pasture home, and thank you to Spa Tharpe for placing the lights each year. Definitely a welcoming sign as you drive into Aquinnah in the evening, especially in these troubled times. There needs to be one on Pennsylvania avenue in D.C.!

At the Aquinnah Public Library tomorrow there will be a special story time at 10:30 a.m. when Namaste will be read by local author Eileen Sullivan. At 11:00, the adults will craft lotion bars while the children make Rudolph ornaments.

Reminder: the Chilmark Holiday Flea Market is tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chilmark Community Center.

Join in artistic delight on Tuesday afternoons with Steve Engley and his drawing class at the Howes House. Please reserve a space by calling the Up-Island Council on Aging at 508-693-2896. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and learn to draw. Classes are eight dollars and are from 2to 3:30 p.m.

The Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal elders enjoyed the annual holiday gathering this year at the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth. Eighty elders and their family and friends enjoyed a delectable luncheon, an exchange of gifts and laughter. It was nice to see a few of the cousins we had not seen in a while and the many siblings from off-Island meeting up with their Vineyard siblings. We even had a little time to shop in Falmouth. Thank you to human services administrative assistant Ambika Datta who was very attentive to her group of elders, assisting them throughout the day and on the return in the evening. She went above and beyond throughout the day.

Kevin Devine and his friend Eric returned to Vermont on Monday morning after spending the weekend deer hunting with family and friends. Kevin and Eric are both in the U.S. Army and military instructors at Norwich University. Kevin has served six tours in the middle east in his 26-year Army career. He is the son of Herbert Devine Jr. and Wendy King Oliver.

My sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Gail Randel Eliot who passed away on Dec. 1. I had the distinct honor of working with Dr. Eliot in the radiology department at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in the 1970s and early 1980s, having actually started our work together in 1974 in the old hospital. With Dr. Eliot being chief of staff, it was certainly a little more interesting most days. She was a great mentor, an educator and a very spirited woman. She will be greatly missed by many in the medical world. Just the other day I came across one of her first published papers regarding tularemia, co-written by the late Dr. Russell S. Hoxsie and others. I am deeply enriched by our 45-year friendship. May she rest in peace.

Happy birthday wishes this week to Mataquhas Vanderhoop who celebrated his third birthday on Dec. 8. Tamara Buchwald celebrated on Dec.10 and shared the day with Dr. Karen Casper. John Thurber celebrated on Dec. 12.

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