By Gail Craig - July 6, 2006

It's Sunday night before the 4th of July and I'm doing what any self-respecting Vineyarder should be doing - hiding in my home, away from the crowds, watching "Jaws." Actually, I've moved on to "Jaws, The Revenge" which is, simply put, a terrible movie, but it's mindless and I don't have to actually pay much attention to it so I can get some work done at the same time.

I don't know about the rest of you out there, but I'm exhausted. The frantic pace of summer is knocking me for a loop. There's always so much to do - both professionally and recreationally. It's just crazy! As soon as I cross one thing off my list, there are five more added to the bottom of the list. What's the old saying? One step forward, two steps back.

Welcome home to John and Julie Moffet, who returned home from China last Thursday with their long-awaited new daughter, Maggie. Julie's parents, Judy and Peter Williamson had been taking care of the Moffet's older daughter, Caroline, while John and Julie were away and the threesome picked the weary travelers up at the Logan Hilton on Thursday to finally bring them home. When they drove onto their road it was lined with red balloons, red being the color of celebration in China, and neighbors Jonathan, Denise, and Emma Searle had a big welcome home sign posted on their fence! Judy also had hung a huge welcome home banner on the Moffet house and there were more red balloons everywhere! Julie's brother, Timmy, his wife Liza, their children Emma and Maxx, and Liza's mother Nancy Polucci were all there to welcome Maggie home. It was a wonderful celebration! Julie says that Maggie has been through so much in the last couple of weeks and her adaptability and resilience are amazing. She added that Maggie took to her new big sister, Caroline, immediately and already loves her and that Caroline is a wonderful big sister. Caroline is such a bright, warm, beautiful girl, I wouldn't expect it any other way. Congratulations to the happy and tired family.

Happy birthday to Charlie Fenske, who celebrated Sunday, July 2. The celebration started with a scavenger hunt and proceeded on to water games, lunch, cake, and a piñata with what seemed like a million kids. I'm guessing that there weren't quite that many, but it was crazy. I rapidly came to the conclusion that there are a number of parents out there who are either a whole lot more relaxed than I am or a whole lot more insane. Bedlam, while fun, confuses me no end. I give the Fenske clan much credit for their ability to throw a wild party and stay sane at the same time.

Lori Stone wanted to share with everyone the news that St. Andrews Church will be celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Mission Shop next week. Started by Edie Radley 15 years ago, the Mission Shop is in a small building attached to St. Andrews and sells books, gifts, cards, music, and jewelry of a religious and spiritual nature. Edie continues to run the shop and all profits go to Island charities each year. This year, the charity will be the Vineyard Nursing Association. To celebrate this milestone, St. Andrews will be having a celebration after the church service on Sunday, July 9 at 11:30. The community is welcome. If you can't make it to the celebration, try to stop by some time and check out the shop. It sounds lovely. You never know what might catch your fancy.

I just received word that Ozzie, the dog hit by a car a couple of months ago, is doing well and even went for a swim this morning at State Beach, as part of his ongoing physical therapy. He still isn't up and about and walking on land, but he had a wonderful time swimming. It sounds like he is on his way to recovery!

You may have noticed that things have gotten kind of busy around here lately. Traffic is heavy. There are long lines pretty much everywhere. It's difficult to get around and do just about everything. But, it's summer and it's Martha's Vineyard, so try to relax. Remember to be kind and considerate to each other. Instead of beeping your horn and throwing your arms up at other drivers or yelling at them, relax. Slow down and let people out at intersections. At four-way stops, follow the laws and take your turn. Be patient. It is crazy out there. There are too many cars for too small a space and everyone wants to get where they are heading. But if we can all be a little nicer to each other, it might help make our ventures out in the world slightly less dreadful.

Stelle Burnham called to say that her companion dog, Braun, is doing very well now that he is taking two new medicines for his seizures. She wants to thank everyone who has contributed to the fund to help with the costs of his medicines, which was generously started through P.A.W.S. Stelle is grateful for all the support she and Braun have received from the community and she is delighted that Braun is doing so well. He does so much to help her in her day-to-day life and is a huge asset to her so his health is very important to her. For more information about the fund to help Braun, contact P.A.W.S at Box 1636 in Edgartown or call Shelly at 508-627-1114

That's about it for the week. I hope everyone had a great 4th. Feel free to share any tales of the holiday with me for next week's column! Have a great week.