Cranberry Isles: Close-knit community sparks gratitude 

Thanksgiving week in the Cranberry Isles started with a gale warning and rain is forecast for Thanksgiving Day. Nevertheless, Marsh Head, Preble Cove and all the island beaches beckon with their trails and stunning views. Lighted windows and the smell of wood smoke provide cheer in the long nights of the season. While islanders may not be able to express their gratitude in gatherings this year, the townspeople, including those who can’t be on the islands at the moment, stay in touch. Social media, phones and community bulletin boards buzz with shared worries, recipes, ideas, triumphs, hopes and encouragement. Being a part of such a closeknit community on the beautiful Cranberry Islands certainly sparks gratitude.  

Still working on your holiday shopping list? Great newsIslesford Boatworks is hosting its first annual holiday market where shoppers can purchase exclusive merchandise while supporting this very important organization. This shop is Boatworks’ only dedicated fundraiser. Boatworks provides yearround programming, including boatbuilding shop class as part of the Cranberry Isles schools, and offers activities seeking to utilize the Blue Duck as a shared space. Check out their new, branded merchandise, including totes, hoodies, wood items and more. Visit their Facebook page or call (347) 236-9092 for more information.  

Another great shopping opportunity will soon be available in the isles. Mark your calendars for the Ladies Aid’s Great Cranberry Island Christmas Fair Dec1213, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and open until Christmas. The fair will feature crafts, holiday treats, clothing with their logo, antique gifts and festive decorations.  

The Cranberry Isles Schools, currently holding classes on both the Ashley Bryan campus and the Longfellow campus, have had a great season so far. Gail Grandgent reported the students earned themselves and their families a drive-in movie in the schoolyard on the Tuesday nearest Halloween. She said, “They watched Hocus Pocus, eating popcorn, snuggled in blankets in their individual cars, trucks and golf carts.” 

The children have been studying the connections between all life in our ecosystems, how the producers produce their own energy (from plants to micro-organisms in the sea), the consumers consume them for energy and the composters complete the cycle.  

“We have a red wiggler worm farm we’re tending,” Gail added. “We used yarn to show ‘food webs,’ drew our own imagined creatures’ systems and watched videos about keystone animals in ecosystems. Students have been building a weather station display board that will be set up beside the road for islanders to check for information. In art, the children will begin making a visual memories journal to present to their families for the holiday season. Mary Lyman prepared repurposed books for students to fill with their own work. Thanks to all our teachers and staff, and especially to Gail for sharing news about our wonderful schools.  

Happy anniversary to John and Kathy Zuck on Nov26. On Dec. 22, a very happy birthday to Beverly Sanborn and to Christy Benson. Happy birthday to Janice Murch on Nov. 28. Happy birthday to Mark Alley and Noel Guadeloupe Hazel Cabrera on Nov30. On Dec. 1, happy birthday to Rebecca Sanborn. And a safe and very happy Thanksgiving to residents, families and friends of the Cranberry Isles! 

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie 

We look forward to reporting all the news. Send items by 5 p.m. on Sunday. Email Barbara Caldwell-Pease at [email protected]. 

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