By Gail Craig - August 3, 2006

I have received a lot of feedback this week, as a result of my confession last week about losing my patience at the grocery store. Apparently, I am not alone in my weariness of some of the negatives that we all must endure to live on our beautiful Island. Hopefully I've gotten my little hissy fit out of my system for the summer and I'll be able to keep my cool through August. Summer is short and we need to enjoy it as best we can, in spite of some of the drawbacks of the crowds and chaos.

The Edgartown Public Library has been given the green light by the ZBA and the planning board to proceed with the new plan for the expansion of the library. Both boards unanimously voted that the new plans reflected a significant change from the previous plans, thus paving the way to once again go before various town boards seeking approval of the new plan. If you haven't seen the new design, I encourage you to head down to the library to take a look at the drawings. The staff there would be more than happy to answer any of your questions as well.

In other town news, I'd like to congratulate Alan Gowell, who, with some help I'm sure, achieved something that I never would have thought possible. The special town meeting the other night had more attendees than I have ever seen at any town meeting, let alone a special meeting in July. But, the amazing news goes even further, however, when you know that the well over 300 voters in attendance voted unanimously to acquire the Willey property for the cemetery. I didn't think that many people, particularly feisty Edgartonians, could ever agree on anything. What fascinated me the most that night was the discussion that took place between individual voters. Rather than talking about whether or not to acquire the property, a large number of people were discussing their plans for their final resting place. It was an interesting dynamic in the school cafeteria that night, to say the least.

Joan and Bob Fresher of Edgartown announce the arrival of the latest addition to the family, Claire Kathleen Fresher, daughter of Nanette and Craig Fresher. Claire was born on April 19. She joined in the long family tradition of summer visitors this July when she arrived for her first vacation on the Island, where she was greeted at a family reunion by cousins, Margaret Leigh Samways; Molly, Sam, Tom, and Danny Fresher; and Eamonn and Abaigh Flaherty.

A very special gathering took place at the home of Rev. and Mrs. Robert Immelt on Third St., Sunday, July 16. Their grandson, Andy Wheeler, son of Geoff and Julie (Immelt) Wheeler, celebrated his graduation from Dixie Heights High School, Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, with 18 friends and family. Among the family enjoying the cookout with him were: Ruth and Carl Anderson, Carol and Mark Immelt and their family Alyssa Immelt Miller and daughters Abbie, Hannah and Emily, and Stephanie and Julie Immelt, as well as friends from home, Sherry Webb, and Dave Volpenhein, a classmate of Andy's visiting from Kentucky. Andy will be attending University of Kentucky in Lexington in the fall. The Immelt family also celebrated their 50th summer at the Vineyard. A good time was had by all.

The second issue of "Martha's Vineyard Writing," a journal of Island writing and poetry, is now in the bookstores. Edgartown writers Katrina Nevin, Carolyn O'Daly, and Melissa Pelletier are featured in this volume.

Judy Murray e-mailed me recently to share how much the Murray boys, Jack and James, enjoy taking part in the chores out at the Farm Institute. Every Saturday between 8 and 10 am the public is invited to do the farm chores, under the supervision of the highly skilled and very patient FARM staff members. The kids split into groups and complete chores that range from collecting eggs to moving chicken pens and milking goats. It is a very hands-on experience for the kids. One of the things Judy has found most interesting is how diverse the children are who are involved at this time of year. There are people here from all over the country, many of whom have little or no experience with animals. On one occasion, Judy overheard one child exclaim "wow, I thought you only got eggs at the Stop & Shop!" Another week the Murray clan met a family from Washington D.C. The girls had never seen real cows and were quite intimidated, but by the end of the chores, they were first in line to milk the goats.

The Craig household is a very happy place this week, as Uncle Bobby and cousins Abby and Gwen are on the Island for the week. Although they are staying with my dad in Katama, sleepovers between Gwen and Riley have been plentiful at both locations. The two are thick as thieves, for better or worse, and have a great time together, while Amelia has glommed on to Abby whenever possible. Thus far, they have not had any sleepovers but I'm sure Amelia will do her best to finagle one before the week is out.

That's it for now. Have a great week.