Members of the Polar Bear Club jumped into the new year on Jan. 1 at the Inkwell beach in Oak Bluffs. The water was a brisk 43.9 degrees. Gotta love the Polar Bears. Better them than me.

Another favorite tradition is welcoming the first baby of the new year. Abe Harold Courtney arrived at Martha’s Vineyard hospital at 4:37 a.m. on Jan. 2. Welcome to the world, Abe!

In sports news advancement we congratulate Brianna Smith, first woman of color hired to coach a Red Sox minor league team. Ceilings are shattering all over.

Well, my Pats went out with a win. Not the kind of season we have come to expect. We shall regroup for next season.

Thank you to the many keeping track of my hip replacement surgery. I have now dropped walking like a Neanderthal and am definitely walking more like a Cro-Magnon. Physical therapy continues with my trainer Marcy, who is so good to me.

Mystery: Who furtively cuts down a tree in a public park? A long-standing catalpa tree was murdered at Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs last week. This desecration has angered and disappointed a lot of us. No one saw this?

The Jim and Carol Osborn family sent their usual informative and cheery Christmas letter. Sad to say, some of their family members had Covid on Island. The Midwest branch caught it, too. Their contingent in Norway has escaped the virus.

A delightful woman, great nurse, and friend to all, Gladys Welch, has passed. Our condolences to her family and friends. Sad news has reached me that my dear friend, Cathy Dille Burdick, has lost her brother Joe. My condolences to Cathy and to Joe’s wife, Patti, and all family and friends. May he rest in peace.

The birthday bandwagon pulled along Angela Murphy and OW W Weekes on Jan. 5. Many happy returns.