When great-grandma Bette Carroll died a number of years ago — although it seems like just yesterday — there was a gallon-sized Ziploc of assorted greeting cards that were bound for the trash. Since I’ve always been a lover of so-called snail mail, I rescued it and, from time to time, pull out a blank card and fill its emptiness with words for a friend.

I pulled a card out of the bag and jotted down a few thoughts for Katie Edison. She spent a lot of time on Menemsha Inn Road over the years when her father, Bill Edison, was alive. Bill would drop by the Texaco with notes about summer softball, handwritten on lined yellow legal paper. Occasionally, he would share a few other little tidbits.

The note for Katie prompted me to think up something interesting to share. I’d recently read an article about leaf litter and how it’s a unique mini ecosystem. The leaves are a natural habitat for butterflies, salamanders, chipmunks, box turtles, toads, shrews, earthworms and others. They lay eggs in the leaves and feed on and under the leaf layer. By raking or blowing leaves, you disrupt their life cycle and eliminate beneficial insects.

I love to rake since it’s a great excuse to be outside and enjoy a cool breeze or the warm sun on your face while feeling productive. But my new take on raking is less is more. I’ll rake the immediate yard area but will wait until spring to do the rest because, as I listen to day two of my neighbor’s yard being blown, I am reminded that every yard needs butterflies and worms.

Two milestone birthday celebrations took place in town this past week. Both Penny Athearn and Joaquin Montoya went from single digit celebrations to that first big double digits birthday. Yes folks, these two adorable, smart, strong and incredibly funny humans are 10.

Also celebrating this week are, among others, Joe Chapman, Travis Lenkner, Jim Policastro, Nancy Grundman, Matt Flanders, Steven White, Willy Mason, Mariah and Jessica Campbell and Judy Mayhew.

The Chilmark Church’s Tuesday pizza nights have concluded for the fall but Charlotte Wright shares that Tuesday Nov. 22, the much-looked forward to Italian-themed community meal facilitated by Tom Ruimerman will be at 6 p.m. and all are welcome. After a break though the holidays, community suppers will resume on Jan. 3.

Mike Broderick and Mary McConneloug have returned from the Pan American Continental Championships with Mary snagging first in her division and Mike finishing a very strong ninth after injuring his hand on the course. The two, who have jumped back into riding local roads and paths, are excited to be offering their first bike tour on Martha’s Vineyard, happening this Sunday, Nov. 20. You can get the scoop by messaging them at mv@rideheadquarters.com.

According to Phyllis Méras, “Warren was a whale with a very long tail/He wasn’t strong and he wasn’t frail…He lived in a house on the ocean’s floor/But he took his naps in the sun near shore.”

I snagged this wonderfully rhyming quote from the pages of Phyllis’s new book Warren the Whale, illustrated by dear friend Anne Ganz. This little gem is available on Amazon and I’ve just ordered a copy for my tiniest cousin, Kamden.

Santa is beginning to make preparations for his visit to see the youngest of Chilmark’s kids, facilitated by the fire department. He’s a man steeped in community tradition and eager to please all of our wee ones. If you know of any 2022 babies born in town that might not have made it onto his list or, perhaps, a child through the age of fifth grade that is a new resident, please let me know. Updating the list is an arduous task so I’m here to help.

I don’t know about you but I watched the season premiere of Yellowstone the other night. There were a number of quotes that could easily apply to us. Here is one with a parenthesized minor substitution: “We must hold steadfast to the progress we’ve made and yet never allow that progress to redefine what it means to be a (Chilmarker).”