Well, Mother Nature sure showed us last week that the best-laid vacation plans are really at her mercy, didn’t she? We had some seriously crazy weather last week, particularly Friday. Hurricane Gert brought some magnificent surf to the south shore, closing parts of South Beach for a bit and forcing the guard stands back off the beaches, lest they be swept out to sea. And then the rain on Friday wreaked havoc with the annual Oak Bluffs fireworks display, moving it all the way to Sunday night. I’m told by many who worked or attended the Fair, however, that the rain did not dampen the spirits of fairgoers that day and night. The rides briefly shut down due to the storm, but the crowds still appeared, donning raincoats, umbrellas, and boots as needed in order to enjoy the annual tradition of eating junk food, playing expensive games, and speeding through the air on crazy wild rides!
True to form, I abstained from Illumination Night and the fireworks again this year. However, I very much enjoyed my afternoon at the Fair today. It was the first year that no kids went to the Fair with us. None. They all went on their own. It was sort of a surreal experience. It was slower and a little cheaper, but we found ourselves looking at the younger kids with their parents a lot, pining for the days that are slipping away so quickly. Ferris Bueller was right. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it.
Happy birthday wishes this week go out to Chris Mara, who celebrated on August 21, Jonathan Searle on August 22, and Kate Lingren on August 23.
Extra special birthday wishes go out to Aidan Varkonda, who turns 20 on August 24. Aidan has been following in his dad, John Varkonda’s, footsteps this summer by working at the State Forest, which I know makes mom, Jane Varkonda, quietly proud. Happy birthday, Aidan. Keep up the good work.
On August 27, the missions committee of the Federated Church will sponsor its 12th annual Blueberry Pancake Breakfast to benefit the Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group. The breakfast runs from 8:30 to 10:30 am in the parish house. The breakfast includes blueberry pancakes, bacon or sausage, syrup, and a beverage and costs $10 for adults, $5 for children, and $25 for families with children. For more information call 508-627-4421, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out their website at federatedchurchmv.org.
One of the cool things I encountered at the Fair this weekend was at the Peacequilts/World Market Mondays booth. I’ve certainly known about Peacequilts and the organization’s efforts to help the women of Haiti support their families by making quilts. But this summer, Peacequilts and other women’s empowerment groups partnered in their efforts to support women around the world. They had a fundraiser in the spring, which paid for the booth and rental at the Grange Hall, and then every Monday through the summer, sold jewelry, kitchenwares, baskets, carvings, and such, with all the money going back to the women in the various countries represented. And they also had a booth at the Fair this weekend, which is where I spent my money. I’m trying to be more aware of my impact on the world, through recycling, using reusable products, and generally just being more aware of what I do each day to make the world better, and it was a treat to purchase a few items at this booth, knowing I was getting some goodies for myself while also helping others. World Market Mondays have ended for the summer, but you can still purchase items online at worldmarketmondays.org.
As a tech teacher, I’m always interested in how technology is changing lives. The thing I realized this week is that it has left a generation of kids uninformed about the dangers of an eclipse. It has been so many years since the last real eclipse that many kids today haven’t learned the ever-so-important lesson that one should not look directly at the sun during an eclipse. Now that there are glasses designed for watching the eclipse and protecting one’s eyes, not looking at the sun directly has sort of dropped out of the discussion. So while the advancements of technology has lead to widespread use of glasses for this event, I have found myself worried for days, wondering how many people were going to hurt their vision this time around. I’m a worrier. It’s what I do.
I’ve been watching a lot of my friends adjusting to the idea of taking their kids to college this year. I know it’s only a year away for me, so I think I’m more aware of it this time around. For some of them, it’s the first time they are sending a child away, while for others it may be the last. Regardless, it is a challenging experience to let go of the kids they love, to watch them grow and fly away. Congratulations and best wishes to all the kids heading out over the next couple of weeks, and to their parents who have to let them go.
I wish you all a great week. Enjoy it, embrace it. Capture the fleeting moments of summer as we will soon drift into September. Eke out every moment you can of sun, fun, and relaxation with friends and family.