A month into winter and temperatures in the 40s, only a slight amount of snow thus far, the days are getting longer minute by minute, and spring is just around the corner. Many of our up-Island students have been home ill for the past week with cold and flu symptoms that seem to just linger.

Stop in to the Aquinnah Public Library, there is always free coffee and tea, provided by the Friends of APL. The staff would like to encourage everyone to come in and chat, browse, and read. They are the Library Café ! If you need help with your computer or smartphone, tech help is offered free of charge by calling (508) 645-2314 and scheduling a time.

All was quiet on the western front on Tuesday until the 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Air National Guard base in Westfield conducted their planned flyover drills that commenced at 2:09 p.m. for a short time. Next was the Coast Guard helicopter off of Devil’s Bridge circling around. Not sure if it pertained to the collision between the 70-foot fishing vessel Tiverton with the 605-foot cargo ship Iver Prosperity or not. Once all of that ceased, it was back to the sound of hammers in the air.

Martha’s Vineyard Neighborhood Convention will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury. Reverend Cathlin Baker will lead the worship. The speaker for the day will be Stoddard Lane Reticker discussing FOCUS on Youth and Faith. Please bring a bag lunch with you. Beverages and dessert are provided. All are welcome.

On Friday, Jan. 31 at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, join chef Zandro Souza and educator, journalist, and interpreter Juliana Germani for an evening exploring Brazilian food and traditions in the Linnemann Pavilion. Zandro will prepare a three-course customary Brazilian meal, which will be interspersed with a conversation Juliana will lead surrounding food traditions in the Brazilian culture. Zando Souza is currently a chef at the Art Cliff Diner working with Gina Stanley. Juliana Germani is a former Portuguese language teacher at MVRHS. She serves as a legal interpreter in the Massachusetts Trial Court and writes the Brazilian column for the MV Times. Members $65, non-members $75. Reservations required.

The Arctic Voyages of Captain Robert Bartlett will be presented at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. in the Morgan Learning Center. In conjunction with the ongoing exhibit Northern Connections: Martha’s Vineyard and the Arctic, join maritime historian and former Martha’s Vineyard Museum director Matthew Stackpole who will dive into the fascinating history of legendary Arctic explorer Captain Robert Bartlett. Matthew will share stories from Bartlett’s 16 voyages to the Arctic from 1926 - 1941 including those of the Vineyarders who accompanied him. Members $10, non-members $15.

Thank you to the Vineyard Gazette for our annual Not a Holiday Party for staff and freelance journalists, celebrated at the Ocean View on Friday evening. We had a grand time as always, catching up with those we usually only see once a year. Our beloved publisher Jane Seagrave made a special announcement with regard to our editor Julia Wells. We will learn more of her accolades over the ensuing week.

It was nice to catch up with Forrest Alley for a few minutes the other day. He has been enjoying the company of his son Al Alley over the past several months in preparation for Al’s move to Florida.

Sincerest condolences to family and friends, and especially to Leah Houghton on the passing of her husband Jim Novack. Jim always had interesting scientific tales to tell while dining at the Howes House on Thursdays where he has been greatly missed. Jim spent more than half a century on the Vineyard, having arrived here with his Ithaca College schoolmates Jeffrey Kramer, Marty Nadler, Duncan Ross and many others who were part of the Vineyard Players.

Happy Birthday wishes this week to Christine Murphy and Andrew Fischer who celebrate on Feb. 1. Feb. 2 is a day of celebration for Logan James Manning who will be eight years old, sharing the day with Emmett Carroll, Mark Shea, and Adam Gebb. Janet “Ro” Belain parties on the 3rd along with Colby Storm. Keith Emin will party on Feb. 4. John Born celebrates on the 5th. Hellie Neumann and Darrel Razdow share the day on the 6th.