We learned a whole new vocabulary this year: Zoom meetings, virtual family time, herd immunity, social distancing, hybrid education, Maskachusetts, PPE, coronavirus-induced anxiety, self quarantine, social isolation, family pods, ad infinitum. We have learned to live with less and understand what is really of importance, enjoyed spending quality time with family members, learned how to prepare for social isolation and self-quarantining. 

The new year-round residents are really making a difference in our Vineyard community. They are volunteering in every corner of the island, and making their presence known while stepping up to the plate in a very quiet manner. Thank you one and all — you make a difference.

Al Alley Jr. is visiting with his father Forrest Alley for the Christmas holiday while spending time with his mother Emily Frank at her Tisbury home as well. It was nice to see Al and Forrest for a brief moment on Christmas Eve.  

Get well wishes to Judith Milavsky as she recuperates from recent orthopedic surgery.  

Jannette Vanderhoop will be teaching virtual yoga through the Aquinnah Public Library on Jan. 9, Jan. 16 and Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Please sign up by emailing jmatejcek@clamsnet.org. While Jannette is teaching yoga, her brother Michael F. Sellitti is in the process of building his photography business with beautiful portraits and landscapes and so much more. To schedule a session, please email michael.sellitti@yahoo.com.   

Across the channel, the Christmas crew on duty at USCG Station Menemsha benefitted from gift baskets filled by members of the Chilmark community. Thank you to Marshall and Katie Carroll and USCG Veteran Carl Crocker for organizing the gift baskets that were filled at Menemsha Texaco for the crew members who would be on duty over Christmas and unable to travel to their home and their families. Thank you to all of the Chilmark and Menemsha friends of Station Menemsha who graciously and generously donated to fill these baskets. CG Spouses’ Association of Menemsha is one of my most favorite non-profit organizations that is supported year-round on the Vineyard. 

Due to the Covid pandemic, the crew and their families were not able to celebrate together with the community this year, so the Spouses’ Association had to be very creative in their efforts to keep the morale, well-being and sense of community intact this holiday season. In lieu of the annual Christmas party with the entire crew and their families, as well as auxiliarists and community members, they each received a card on Monday morning from the Spouses’ Association. Thank you to all of the community members who have dropped off baked goods and other amazing treats for the crew to share.

Some of the delicacies offered were lobsters from a former BM1 at USCG Station Gay Head and presently a member of the USCG Auxiliary and homemade peach pie from Judy Worthington, a roasted turkey and sides for Christmas Eve from a generous community member and filet mignon for lunch on Christmas Day. Chief Steven White arrived at the Station very early on Dec. 24 to roast prime rib for the crew’s lunch. We will all be back together again once this pandemic is over. You are all awesome!

Thank you to Lang, Irina and Sasha Gerhard for displaying the large Peace sign along the western shores of Menemsha Pond. Always a very welcome sign placed along the shore by Craig “Spa” Tharpe. Let’s look forward to peace, the best in health, harmony, prosperity and renewed faith in 2021.  Let’s all look for positivity in each day. Happy New Year one and all!

Happy Birthday wishes this week to Lang Gerhard and Sundy Smith on Dec. 28. Charlotte Bologna celebrated being 9 years old on Dec. 29.  Olive and Violet MacPhail turned 15 years old on Dec. 30. Linda Maida Coutinho will party on Jan. 1.

My most favorite cardiologist in the world, Dr. Timothy E. Guiney, will observe his special day on Jan. 2. Donald Widddiss will also celebrate on the 2nd. Jan. 3 is a day of celebration for Christopher Fischer, Cody Coutinho and Evelyn Vanderhoop.  Stephen Silvia and David Duarte will party on Jan. 4.  Alexander Milavsky parties on the 5th, sharing the day with Dr. Michael Goldfein and Dr. Michael Jacobs. Nancy Cotton will observe her special day on Jan. 6, sharing the day with Kaitlyn Vanderhoop. Jan. 8 is a day of celebration for Blanche Jackson (our eldest resident of Aquinnah), Sonya Mayrand and Ava Dubno, who will be 7 years old.