Finally. Winter arrived in New England and with it came a brilliant opportunity to pond skate. Although I wouldn’t trust Squibnocket myself, some folks took to the edges and said it was just fine. Parsonage Pond and that wonderful spot up by the Aquinnah Library caught the eyes of many with some never having pond skated. It’s definitely a far bigger thrill than rink skating.

After softly whispering “rabbit rabbit” in the wee hours of Feb. 1 — no, I’m not superstitious, but I might as well make the minimal effort to bring on a month of good luck — the flurries began to take over the grey skies and my phone chirped alerting me that the superintendent’s office had chosen to shift to fully remote learning for the day.

A short while later I headed to work, waving at the couple of plow drivers I passed along the way. Thank you to our highway guy, Keith Emin, for always making an effort to keep our roads clear. Although he wasn’t out there himself since he’s a tad under the weather, I did see Freddie Fisher, Ram Wingwood and Ken Cottrill. I hadn’t seen Ram in a number of years so consider this a shout out to an old friend who, back in the day, stacked a rustic stone wall in my yard. I still enjoy its simplicity today.

Then, in typical southern New England fashion, the snow turned to torrential rain and the wind picked up. Puddles, puddles everywhere.

Although 2020 was a bit of a blur, town departments are buttoning up their contributions to the annual town report. I’ve had the opportunity to help Fire Chief Bradshaw compose his and the Board of Health offers an interesting perspective on the effects of a pandemic in our community.

Summer friends Tory (Shanok) and Will Dolan ventured from their Hingham home to the Big Apple to celebrate Bill Shanok’s birthday this past weekend. Bill is a summertime regular spotted, among other places, strolling his pup Beau most evening along Basin Road. Celebrating on Feb. 1 was grandson Will Dolan, who crossed the finish line of his childhood years and achieved the so-called prize of 18.

Feb. 2 was not only Groundhog Day, but also the day Emmett Carroll celebrated another birthday. Since he’s been a tad under the weather lately, rather than a big frolicking party there were phone calls, text messages, emails and proclamations of love and well wishes.

Also sharing the day with Punxsutawney Phil was John Larsen. His bride, Sue, is a stellar cake maker — she made Marshall’s and my wedding cake way back in 1995 — so I’m hoping something deliciously sweet graced their table.

I’d like to shout out a big hello to my dear friend Jeff Bezanson. It’s been far too long since he’s had the opportunity to sit at our little green desk at the Texaco telling me stories. Each time he arrives, he responds to my, “It’s nice to see you” with “It’s good to be seen.” He makes me smile with this simplest interaction. It’s little moments like this that make a day a good day.

Folks over 75 and others who qualify have begun receiving vaccinations this week. If you’re a patient of MV Hospital you’ll be notified through your Patient Gateway account when a shot is available for you — no need to do anything more. Don’t have an account? It’s easy to set up if you have the most basic of computer skills. Pull up the hospital website and read up. If you don’t happen to have a computer or internet access, call the Chilmark Neighbors hotline at 508-545-3249 for some guidance.