Town Column


By Gail Craig
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Posted July 19, 2007

I am sitting here tonight somewhat amazed by the sunburn I acquired today. I've got a pretty good tan going these days, because I spend a good deal of time outside, including several hours at the beach yesterday, so I am completely stunned to have come home today with a fairly significant burn. It's quite unpleasant, actually.

Happy birthday to Mr. Jack Murray, who will be turning 7 tomorrow and to my Riley, who will finally arrive at 7 on Saturday. He has been counting the days since sometime in June.

Riley is a marketing department's dream come true. Well, actually, both my kids are. They would buy everything ever advertised if they could. Riley desperately wants a "Force Action Light Saber" for his big day and has been visiting the Hasbro web site as often as possible to watch the commercial for the toy. He was telling me all about it the other day and when I asked him what it was, he said it was a light saber like his other ones but that with this one, you push a button and it comes out "with a flurry of lights and sounds." It cracked me up.

Welcome home to Pia Gundersen, who recently returned from two weeks in Finland, vacationing with her father. Pia had last been there 21 years ago this Christmas and apparently much has changed since then. According to Pia, Finland looks a lot more like the united colors of Benetton now than it used to, and they now have McDonald's. She met new generations of cousins that have been born since the last time she was there, and surprisingly, retained her Finnish language skills, something she has barely used since her last visit to the country. Pia was quite proud to be able to resurrect those abilities, especially given that, like most moms, she thinks her memory is less than perfect.

Right now it is strawberry season and pea season in Finland. All of the open markets, which are similar to the West Tisbury farmers and crafts markets, have countless booths selling peas and strawberries that you buy by the liter, and usually eat on the spot. Pia recalled how, as a kid she and her sister would go with to the markets with their mom and buy peas and throw the shells over their shoulders, for better or worse. They now have little trash bins for that purpose. Pia also enjoyed the plentiful rosa rugosa that were in bloom while she was there as well as the lupines that grow along the side of the roads and highways like wildflowers - mostly blue, but some pinks as well. She kept thinking how she wanted to cut a vase full to put on the table.

On the home front, Kevin Gundersen held down the fort and managed the three kids while Pia was away. She gave him credit for doing such a great job with them and also wanted to thank Meaghan Morris for taking the kids at various times to help out.

It apparently took a few days for the jet lag to level out and for her to recover from a couple of days that they operated on 45 minutes of sleep over a 24-hour period, which must have been exhausting. Of course, she moved right into "mom/wife" mode as soon as she returned, cooking and cleaning and whatnot. No rest for the weary, I'm afraid. I'm sure the family is thrilled to have Mom home again.

At 5 pm on Sunday, July 22, the Burgess Memorial Evensong will be held at Trinity Church in Oak Bluffs with the combined church choirs from St. Andrew's, Grace, and Trinity Episcopal. The preacher will be the Rev. Ron Ramsey. There will be free shuttle bus service from the Oak Bluffs library starting at 4:30 pm.

Pat Tyra called to say that Jimmy Santos and his wife, Patricia, will be coming up from the Villages in Florida to vacation for three weeks at Pat's home in Edgartown. Jimmy lived on the corner of Mill Street and Planting Field Way and would love to hear from classmates, friends, and neighbors while he's here. Jimmy strategically planned the vacation to arrive on Island yesterday and be here during the annual Portuguese Feast.

As I said to Pat, with the last name Santos, I would expect nothing less.

That's about it. It's too hot to work too hard coming up with more news right now. Have a great week and stay cool!