The Craigs enjoyed a brief respite off the Island this weekend. Truth to tell, Jamie's respite, if you can call it that, continues until tomorrow, as he is off-Island for some job-related training. The rest of us, however, went along for one night so the kids could swim, sleep in a hotel, swim some more, play arcade games, swim some more, eat at Friendly's, and swim some more. Somewhere along the way, "fish" seems to have made it into my children's gene pool.
I just have to share two tidbits from this. The first is an "Amelia-ism." When we were driving to Hyannis, I had the radio playing as usual and Amelia asked if I was singing along with it. When I said yes she said, "Wow. You even know the songs in someone else's car." It totally cracked me up. I just love the way kids think.
On our return trip, the kids were, shall we say, a bit rambunctious, having been cooped up in a car, bus from the parking lot, and the Steamship building. They also had run into a friend, adding to the overall excitement. At any rate, after wandering around a bit on the boat, we returned to our seats, where Riley proceeded to climb around a bit. I asked him a couple of times to stop and he said he was being Indiana Jones and I said, "Riley please don't annoy people," at which point a woman sitting in front of me stood up, and with a dirty look said something to the effect of "that's not possible" or "it's too late for that" as she walked away. Riley is very sensitive so he felt badly immediately. But once the woman mouthed off, I told him not to worry about it, that he did annoy her but she was wrong also for being so rude. I mean, if you're being bothered, you can be direct and say something. But if you're moving anyway, why mumble something mean just to try to make someone feel bad? My first thought was that she couldn't possibly have kids or she would have been a little more understanding, but I saw a girl later that I assume was her daughter. I bit my tongue and didn't make any of the mean and sarcastic comments that I wanted to make, as I'm finally starting (at 42!) to have a greater understanding of needless escalation. Instead, I chalked it up to general intolerance and lack of empathy. So, this goes out to the woman in question in particular and the general population at large. The next time you find yourself wanting to say something snide or hurtful, bite your tongue and try to empathize instead. It is certainly not always easy. If it was, I probably wouldn't be including this bit in the column. But with practice I can only assume (hope) that it gets easier.
In a bit of belated news, Jo-Ann Resendes and Donna Blackburn, both members of the Fairhaven High Class of 1967, along with Donna's husband David, of the class of 1968, went back to Fairhaven recently for their 40th reunion. They had a great time seeing old friends and were amazed that no one looked any older than the day they graduated.
This week's Christmas in Edgartown update brings you the MSPCA "Paws to Adopt" program, where pets can be seen at By the Sea Store on Main Street throughout Christmas in Edgartown weekend. This was a very popular event last year, with people, old and young alike, clamoring to see the animals in the window. As a result, the MSPCA successfully adopted out a number of animals last year and hopefully will have similar luck this year.
From 11 am to 1:30 pm on Dec. 8, the United Methodist Church presents the annual Christmas Shoppers Luncheon in the Baylies room at the Old Whaling Church, offering up corn chowder, sandwiches, pies, and beverages for a nominal fee.
Other festivities for the holiday weekend include caroling for all on Saturday evening at 6 pm for the lighting of the Christmas tree in the Village Green and photos with Santa at Past and Presents, located at 37 Main Street from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday. Finally, many shops will be open until 7 pm on Saturday night for shopping, with luminarias decorating the streets for ambiance.
People have been asking me what kind of toys they can donate to the Red Stocking Fund. The only requirements for toys are that they are new and unwrapped. Other than that, all toys are welcome. If you are looking for specific ideas, the kids that sort of get "lost" are probably the 9- to 14-year-olds, so makeup, art supplies, skateboards, portable CD players, board games, and popular music or movies are always on the wish lists.
I've got an early deadline for next week's column, due to Thanksgiving, so if you want something included next week, please get it to me by tomorrow (Friday) morning, as my column is due before the weekend.
I think that about does it. Have a great week. Be sure to get me your news.