The 4th of July has come and will be gone by the time you read this. All the parties, parades, and fireworks, visiting relatives and friends, crowds, sunshine, fresh peas, warm sand underfoot at the beach, roses blooming on fences.
We had a bumper crop of family here. The Slocum House was bursting, and Janice Hull's house was full. We all got together in varying configurations throughout the weekend for breakfasts, walks, lunches, and the big Saturday night dinner under tents on the Slocum House lawn. Chris and Cheryl Bump, their twin daughters Rachel and McKenna, and Chris's father, David, all came from Texas to spend the holiday with Chris's mother, Hannah Beecher. Hannah's brother and sister-in-law, John and Dolly Beecher, were here from Connecticut. Dan'l, Xiaoshi, and Sunday Hull came from Somerville, and Anne Osmundson (Jim's mom) walked over from next door. Then there were the rest of us: Bobby Hull, Cecily Bryant and Joe Robichau, Jared Hull and Sue Hruby, Mike and me. Hope I didn't forget anyone. Chris and Cheryl talked about returning for Christmas this year. I hope they will.
Sadly, one person who wasn't in town for the 4th was Jeanne Woods, who died in California on June 19. When I saw Ted Meinelt a couple of weeks ago, he told me that Mrs. Woods and her daughter, Fran, would be beginning their cross-country drive as they always did, to spend the summer at their "Retreat" off North Road. I can't believe she is gone, and so soon after Mr. Woods died. My heart goes out to Fran, Prudy, Robin, and their families, and to all the friends left behind.
This made me all the more mindful of the phrase "carpe diem," seize the day. Last Thursday morning I agreed to open the gallery late to join my friend Linda Hearn on The Garden Conservancy's Martha's Vineyard Open Day garden tour. We had a great time (all too rare these busy days) finding and admiring the gardens, analyzing designs and plant combinations. Isabel Shattuck's was my favorite, a mostly shade garden like my own. Neater, of course. Much neater. And I discovered a cement bulldog I had coveted at Eden several summers ago on the secret patio of a garden off Lambert's Cove Road. All the gardens were beautiful, all different. So much to learn.
As for gallery news, Ruth Kirchmeier and I have decided to postpone our reception scheduled for this Sunday, July 10. Instead, we will attend the memorial for Danny Bryant at the Ag Hall at 1 o'clock. It's a potluck, so bring your special dish to share, along with stories and remembrances of Danny's life. Cathy Mann is minding the gallery for me so I can go with Mike.
Joan Merry is hosting an opening at her Gossamer Gallery that afternoon. I know there will be lots of new Sandy Turner paintings among the offerings, as I have seen quite a bit of Sandy since her and Jim's arrival at their summer home on Woody Bottom Road.
Michael Stimola and Rob Franco are the featured artists at this Sunday's opening at the Field Gallery.
Come to the Howes House Sunday afternoon at 3 for a program of poems, songs, and music called Troubadours and Trobairitz II, a sequel to a popular program presented at the library last winter. Jessica Goodenough Heuser is the featured soprano. Other performers include Marisa Galvez, assistant professor in French and Italian at Stanford University, Deborah Forest Hart, Carol Loud, Andy Wiener, Susanna Sturgis, Colleen Morris, Jonathan Revere, Joe Eldridge, John Alley, and Paul Levine.
The Monday Night Movie for Kids is "The Lion King." It begins at 7 pm at the West Tisbury Library. Come and enjoy the movie and free popcorn.
The library is readying for its two biggest events of the summer. David McCullough will be speaking at the Ag Hall on July 20 at 8 pm, the Library Foundation's fundraiser for our capital campaign. The Friends of the Library will spend all of July sorting and pricing books, this year at the Regional High School, for their book sale at the end of the month.
Happy Birthday to Jean Flanders, who will be three years old on July 12. I wish you a year's worth of purple lollipops.
For those who missed the news last winter, Vineyard Knitworks has moved to Vineyard Haven. The year-round shop is at 10 State Road, next to Educomp, and features more of everything knitters could dream of than the little shop on Tiah's Cove Road had room for. Alix and Michaela still preside. Summer hours are 10 am to 5 pm every day.
I'm getting ready to make apple crisp for Ron Beitman's birthday today, July 4. Then it's off to Edgartown to Cathy and Brian Mann's to watch the parade pass by their porch on North Water Street and the fireworks from their dock later tonight. A long and happy day.