September. It may seem to many that July and August are the busy months. But, if you think about it, September really is jam-packed full of stuff. School begins. The Chilmark School’s fourth and fifth graders experience school at sea aboard Alabama. The Martha’s VIneyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby encompasses lives. The American Heroes Saltwater Challenge takes place. We say farewells to summer friends and greet those who prefer quick visits in the breezy autumn air September brings with it. We will eat cake and watch friends blow out candles as September is a big birthday month — including that of my dear, sweet daughter who happens to be 17 today.

The MacLeod family — Hope, Chris, Finnegan, and Linden — has returned from a couple of weeks in Canada visiting members of the MacLeod family tree. New Brunswick was the key destination. The kids had plenty of hugs, chats, and happy moments with Nana, Poppa, and Grampy D. They swam in the frigid waters of the Bay of Fundy and have managed to return home with all of their fingers and toes despite the many wild adventures they experienced.

Emma and Bob Shalhope are back in residence at their North Road home. Two weeks was spent touring Scotland with daughter Adelaide and her husband, Brian Winne. The Shalhopes adventure began in London. They then travelled to Glasgow where they celebrated Emma’s birthday. Apparently it was a “big one,” but I’m not supposed to mention the actual number. Trust me, it was hard for me to believe Emma is the age she is. I’m still actually doubting the accuracy of Bob’s information.

I digress. From Glasgow the foursome ventured to Gartness, then toured to the Isles of Mull and Iona — both of which belong to the group of islands off the west coast of Scotland known as the Inner Hebrides. A highlight was a visit to Iona Abbey, one of Scotland’s most historic sites, originally founded in 563 AD. Their trip wrapped up back in Glasgow where they met up with friends that were made ten years ago when Bob was teaching in town.

Please mark your calendars as all are welcome to visit with the Simonsen family as they remember and celebrate the life of Vibeke Andrea Simonsen, who died September 14, 2012. The family would like friends to join with thoughts and stories at the Simonsen family home on Flanders Lane in Chilmark on Saturday, September 21, from 4 to 6 pm.

Can you believe it’s been 10 years already? The new library opened in 2003 and the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library are celebrating this anniversary with an afternoon tea beginning at 4 pm on Wednesday, September 11. Everyone is welcome to stop by for refreshments.

Martha’s Vineyard SeaCoast Defense Chapter would like to shout out a little thank you to Matt Tobin and his team of landscapers at Tea Lane Nursery for their continued upkeep of Place on the Wayside where the Reverend John Mayhew bid farewell to his Native American friends before his ship was lost at sea in 1657.

The awards ceremony at the end of Chilmark Softball’s season were, according to Commish Bill Edison, were full of surprises. Max and William Lombardi were named the Rookies of the Year. Hans Solmssen and Mark Friedman were proudly cheering as Paul Iantosca was awarded the Howie Hustle Honors for quickly retrieving balls hit into right field’s Poison Ivy patch. Much to my amazement, the chuckleheads up there at Flanders Field chose me as their Most Valuable Person. I never hit a ball but always was there in spirit eagerly awaiting my weekly commentary from Bill and the occasional visit from Hans. I am truly honored to be the recipient of this year’s bright red banner. I am feeling speechless and very humble so I will wrap up with a simple thank you.