It’s not often I have the opportunity or need to set foot within the hallowed halls of the Chilmark School, but last week, my brother-in-law Chris’s mismanagement of time afforded me the chance. As I drove to the school my head was a flurry of questions. The first was a simple one and that was “Where should I park?” I opted to park at the post office since I needed to check the mail anyway. I pulled in, checked the mail and wandered over to the school.

The 30-second stroll gave me just enough time to flash back to the days when my children were students. Brooks’s group especially liked to linger on the playground, some days until after dark. I’d bring snacks, dress warmly and have some truly heartfelt conversations with fellow parents. In the mean time Brooks and his friends would be 10 feet up a tree, making a potion with autumn olive berries, playing football or soccer, or, quite possibly adventuring in the swamp.

Julie Flanders, Nancy Leport, Anja May, Amanda Fenner, Jessica Benjamin, Marc Favreau and many more, thank you for filling my mind with thought and my heart with joy. I realized, while standing in the ball field on a January 2021 day, just how much I miss those simpler days. I am guessing Brooks, Bella, Menasha, Fynn, Tegan, Silas, Owen and the rest of the gang miss it, too.

Speaking of school, hybrid learning has begun at both the high school and middle schools. Although the firsthand account from my senior reported a less than stellar reintroduction, he is hopeful improvements will continue to be made and the opportunity to engage in face to face learning will become wholeheartedly pleasing once again.

The Bernhard family is at their Carroll Lane home with the three teens, Lily, Charlotte add Katharine, virtual schooling with their London classmates. Rising at 3 a.m. has become the norm—that crazy time zone thing—but Chilmark sunrises are easy on the eyes, so there’s that.

Six is the magic number this week in the Thompson household, as Nell celebrates on Jan. 13. I’m a big fan of the birthday week, so I’m hopeful each day from the 11th to the 17th—and then some—were laughter-filled.

And just down the road it’s a double digit celebration for Genevieve Wise. According to her dad, Julian, she has fulfilled his dreams set on the day of her birth:She is not only a lover of books and animals, but has a kind heart to boot.

Matt Bradley has a new love in his life. He went through the long process of  pet adoption and has a four-legged shepherd, Skye, by his side. The happiness worn from ear to ear is hard to overlook in either of them.

Singing guitarist Elisha Wiesner and his fellow band members in The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries, Chris Brokaw and Bob Weston, have a new album coming out, Suns Out Guns Out. One track, Betty Ford James, is available now on Bandcamp and the rest of the album is due to hit the market in just over a month.

Periodically I have the pleasure of receiving an email from Captain Russell Cleary. As many of you know, he frequented Menemsha Harbor on his vessel Skipjack. His most recent communication included a photograph of an early 1960s visit to Menemsha on the 38’ f/v Jaguar out of Annisquam to offload swordfish. There is a young teenage boy standing on the dock he’s trying, out of simple curiosity, to identify. If you’d like to play super sleuth, give me a jingle.

Tracy Thorpe is always full of information coming out of the library. This week she shares that Spencer Thurlow will be hosting a series of classes, beginning Jan. 20, on what the sensible steps are to getting your poetry published. Email to sign up and, as with all the remarkable events the library hosts, this one is free.