The news from Vinalhaven
Though the green beans we planted late are now bountiful, and our second crop of peas is blossoming, there’s a threat of frost in the air. Soon I’ll have to allow our porch petunias and alyssum to fade into memory and bring in the geraniums until spring. We’re still collecting cherry tomatoes and will have carrots for a while thankfully. Around town the foliage is beautiful and the chestnut burrs are all over the roadsides.
Speaking of chestnuts, in leading an after school program recently I was amazed that some kids who live very close to chestnut trees hadn’t enjoyed before the fun of stepping on a burr to get the chestnut out. The afterschool program is called Perspectives as it seemed worthwhile to try to introduce new ideas and experiences to widen kids and family perspectives. Really, we can all benefit from new ideas and experiences.
After watching a Ted Talk by Chimamanda Adichie it occurred to me that folks could maybe gain something from this column being written by someone different for a change. Adichie spoke of the danger of what she calls a “single story,” a story written from just one vantage point. And yes, she’s talking about Nigeria and I’m talking about Vinalhaven, you don’t have to have traveled widely to see the connection. Any one person’s view of a situation or a community can be very different than that of another person in town. Birthplace, upbringing, family, lifestyle, jobs, and any number of other factors form a writer’s perceptions. Not only that but it determines what happenings in town they are aware of. Not everything worth reporting on is obvious on the surface of daily life. Sometimes you have to dig for a story, research a bit, interview people, arrange photos, or just know the right person. By handing over this column to someone else on Vinalhaven, readers will now experience a different voice, which will add further to their understanding of our island existence. Until that happens, it’s worth commenting on a few news items in town.
Teachers and students are preparing for the K-5 assembly to be held Friday, Oct. 25, at 8:45 a.m. in the auditorium. The public is welcome to attend and enjoy student presentations. In the middle grades, students are preparing for the Food Day Feast as it’s dubbed this year which will be Thursday, Oct. 24, at 5:15 p.m. with a movie to follow. This is an entirely free event held in the cafeteria.
The Island Community Medical Services offers its first flu vaccine clinic Thursday, Oct. 17, from 3-7 p.m. Dinah Moyer, executive director of ICMS, passed on the information that the State of Maine Immunization Program offers free vaccine to all children 18 and younger, people with NO insurance or folks whose insurance does not pay for vaccines. All others will need to pay $15 cash or check at the time of the clinic. You may call Sarah McDonald, RN, at 863-4341 (option 5) if you have any questions.
The wider view
This week I’ve enjoyed many things about life here worth sharing. One was a moment on the boat today as I looked down the aisle, and out of four benches in a row stuck crossed-legs and dirty work boots as folks slept their way to Rockland. Another was doing errands in town and having one conversation about boats going to Antarctica and another about African travels. On the mainland on the weekend I watched a glowing orange sunrise over Vinalhaven. As the dramatic clouds changed and the wind towers slowly turned, and boats of various types dotted the view only one word came to mind: Home.
It’s an interesting, wonderful and sometimes even odd place, and it’s been a pleasure writing about it weekly and sharing thoughts and news with readers. Surely the next writer of the news from Vinalhaven will enjoy the process too. And hopefully you’ll enjoy the experience with them.
If you have news to share that you’d like to see in this column, please stay tuned for the contact information of the next Vinalhaven Community Correspondent. Or if you’d like to comment or this or past columns of mine, drop me a line at email@example.com or leave a message at 863-4134.