I find myself looking at the calendar this week, reflecting on the anniversary of my mother's passing three years ago. This Sunday will officially mark the day and I can't believe that it has really been three years already. I never thought I'd survive one day without her. I still think of her every day, wishing she was here, but also realize that I have become all the stronger because of that loss. Still, I'd rather be weak and have my mom with us, mostly for my children. She'd thrill at watching them do all the things they do and they would love having her here. But, alas, things aren't always the way we wish them to be. As Buzzy often said "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."
It was nice to see Donna Blackburn back at her post at the library last week, following her painting trip to the Provence region of France. Donna left the Island on June 13, flying from Boston to Marseille, where she joined up with the 15 other watercolor workshop members and headed north to St. Remy, where Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted. From there, the group went on to the northern Vaucluse area of Provence where they checked into the lovely 14th-century mansion, now a hotel, in the old city of Vaison La Romaine.
The artists' workshop featured instruction, critiques, area art history discussions, and painting on site in the small Provencal towns of Mollans, Gigondas (a wine region), Buis-de-Barronies, and the small mountain town of Brantes, as well as around Vaison La Romaine.
Donna shared that in their "off time" they sampled plenty of wines, enjoyed regional food, went to a typical market day, celebrated at the "start of summer" festival in downtown Vaison, and experienced the age-old St. John's Eve "bonfire jumping" in which the eligible bachelors in town jump over the bonfire. Those who make it will be wed in the coming year...only two middle-aged "hopefuls" tried it!
Donna said that the time went all too quickly but that painting in Provence was a great experience, and she looks forward to doing so again in the not-too-far-off future!
Happy birthday to Parker Ben David who celebrated his fourth birthday last Saturday, June 7.
Just a reminder that the Federated Church on South Summer Street is holding their Chowder Suppers to benefit the Island Food Pantry. Suppers start at 6:30 and end at 7:30 pm just shortly before the fabulous Vineyard Sound performs in the church. The cost for the supper is $8 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and all profits go to the Island Food Pantry. The Vineyard Sound suggested donation is $7 for adults, $5 for children.
The Edgartown School will host their 19th annual Garden Walking Tour and Tea on Wednesday, July 18, from 1 to 4 pm. There will be six gardens on the self-guided tour, including Emily Post's garden. For tea and treats, go to the Harbor View Hotel for your final stop on the tour. Proceeds benefit the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C., next spring. Tickets are $10 and available at the school, at Edgartown Books, or by calling 508-627-6040.
Happy birthday to Vicky Roberts of New York City, who is here to celebrate her birthday on July 16. She'll be celebrating with dear friends and her sisters' Mercier and Counsell Island families, and her brother's family from New York. She'll also get to meet the newest Mercier member, Kaden! Sam Mercier will be at the party as well, getting a head start on his July 17 birthday! Birthday wishes to both of them!
Congratulations to Peter Shemeth, who won the beautiful gas grill that was raffled off by the Edgartown Library. I'm jealous.
I've received several calls from people asking me to ask drivers to slow down and drive more carefully. Kids and animals are everywhere this time of year and you never know what they are going to do. Particular areas mentioned were Beach Road and Clevelandtown Road through to Morning Glory Farm. Since so many pathways are blocked off now, Beach Road always has kids walking around the cars trying to get to the limited open paths and I personally have witnessed several near misses along the road. And Clevelandtown Road has only limited sidewalks, no bike paths, and several blind curves where you can't see what is ahead. So let's all try to slow down and enjoy some of the scenery along the way and hopefully avoid any mishaps.
In that same tone, my neighbor Patti also called to ask people to relax a little, show each other some courtesies, let others out in traffic, and basically treat each other kindly. Everyone here is in the same boat - too much to do, too little time to do it, and way too much traffic to want to deal with. But deal with it we must, which would be more easily achieved with a little graciousness and generosity of spirit.