By Gail Craig - June 8, 2006

I'm late getting my column written this week, writing on Monday morning instead of my usual Sunday night. Having worked all weekend, I'm feeling a bit tired and decidedly uninspired, even though the sun is finally shining. The great irony of life on the Vineyard is that we year-round residents tend to work more in the summer and have time off in the winter, which if you ask me, is completely backwards. I need to find a job that has me working my butt off in January and sitting at the beach every day in the summer. Where did I go wrong?

Jack Burton called the other day to share that the Rev. Bob Edmonds, Rector of St. Andrew's Church, is prominently featured in the current edition of Episcopal Life magazine, as are a number of other Island residents such as Cindy Flanders, Nis Kildegaard, and the Rev. Robert E. Hensley, new rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven. The article focuses on affordable housing and the "Island two-step," the dance many residents do moving from rental to rental several times a year. Though I'm not sure how you can obtain a hard copy of the magazine without a subscription, you can access it via the Internet at www.episcopal-life.org. It is an excellent article and well worth a look.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Donald O'Shaughnessy Jr., son of Janna and Donald O'Shaughnessy, who celebrates on June 8. It's a big month for Donald Jr. as he was also the grand leader in Coop's Freshwater Fishing Tournament and finished second in the Pink Squid Fishing Derby over the weekend.

I received an e-mail last week that New Hampshire girl, Becky Bonds, who now works at the Harbor View Hotel and lives in Edgartown, thinks she is the first woman to jump off the Big Bridge this year. She says that cold as the water is, it's warmer than it is back home. Becky invites everyone to join the fun now, rather than wait for summer.

The annual June Jamboree was Friday night at the Old Whaling Church. As always, it was a wonderful extravaganza, showcasing the talents of The Rainbow Place students singing and dancing. I was once again completely blown away by the magnetic performance, as well as the Initiative taken by Cindy, Becky, Heidi S., Kalle, Heidi C, and Jen, corralling 40 kids on a stage for an hour. This talented, child-loving staff goes above and beyond for the families lucky enough to be part of the Rainbow Place community. It was very easy to get Lost in the excitement and fun of the evening.

Ozzie, the dog recently hit by a car and left on the roadside, is still recovering at Tufts Animal Hospital, following a second emergency surgery on his spine. After his first surgery, there was some movement on one side of his body but not the other. As a result, they did an MRI on him and found some more fragments on his spine, which they removed in the second surgery. They are still hopeful of a full recovery. Ozzie's medical costs have soared as a result of the second surgery, so I made my contribution to the Ozzie Recovery Fund at Dukes County Savings Bank last week. The fund was set up by a number of Annie's friends to help with the medical expenses, which is just such a cool Island thing to do. I love the fact that we all join together in times like this to help each other out. Ozzie means so much to Annie. Having survived her own illness with Ozzie at her side completely devoted to her, she has a bond of companionship and friendship goes far beyond our earthly limits. There is a spiritual bond between these two survivors, and any animal owner knows that the love and friendship found in a pet often exceeds similar relationships with other humans.

In other Ozzie-related news, I found out last night the Debbie Brewer was the Good Samaritan who found Ozzie on the road after he had been hit. She was out getting her daily walk in when she found him. She raced home and called Animal Control, then she and her son, Luke, raced back out to see if they could help. On behalf of the dog lovers of the world, thank you, Debbie and Luke, for your efforts and compassion. I know Annie is grateful.

And finally, I'd like to send out kudos to Brad Hill, for his enormous heart and sense of humor. He's one of the good ones!

Have a great week and be sure to get me your news.