Hello August. I can’t believe you’re here already. To combat the urge I get every year to scream, “I hate everyone!” at the top of my lungs while in my car in ridiculous traffic with another car ahead of me doing something unwise or inconsiderate, I choose a mantra to repeat to myself until I calm down. It can take a while: sometimes I have to say it all day long. This year I have used one that I learned from the meditation teacher Eliott Dasher: “May all beings be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.” I admit it’s a little lengthy, but it has kept me from running down reckless moped drivers and people that pull out right in front of me without looking.

A friend of mine uses, “Live and let live.” Another good one I am also fond of is “This too shall pass.” It is a beautiful time of year here and I really don’t want my enjoyment of it to be destroyed by incidentals. If none of those work for you just try, “Five more weeks, five more weeks.”

Island Autism Group is hosting its 6th Annual Summer Fundraiser on Thursday, August 1, at The Daniel Fisher House in Edgartown from 3 to 5 pm.

This is a very bookish weekend. The Aquinnah Public Library Book Sale will be this Saturday from 12 noon to 4 pm. There are some wonderful books that needed to be culled from the library’s collection, so please be sure to stop by the library and get some great bargains. This is a family event, and in addition to all the great books available hot dogs and lemonade will be served.

This weekend will also see the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival which for the first time will be over two days and in two locations. On Saturday, August 3, from 11 am to 5 pm, the festival will be at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown. On Sunday, August 4, the festival moves up Island to the grounds of the Chilmark Community Center where the authors will speak in three different tents. The program on Sunday runs from 10:30 am to 5 pm. Authors present will include: Tony Horwitz, Rose Styron, Richard Russo, and Laura Wainwright. The event is free and you can get the whole schedule at

There will be no Cinema Circus or MV Film Festival Summer Film Series this Wednesday, August 7, due to the Backyard Bash which will be held at the Chilmark Community Center at 5 pm. The Backyard Bash is a good, old-fashioned community cookout thrown by the Chilmark Fire Department. There will be lots of food and music.

The Stone Soup Leadership Institute will hold the 4th Annual Walter Cronkite Awards on Thursday, August 8, 5–6 pm, at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown. Awards are presented to those using the power of the media to create positive social change in the world. This year, the theme is the environment. The 2013 Award Recipients are Bob Nixon and Aquinnah’s own Liz Witham. Congratulations Liz! Liz is being recognized for her work on bringing awareness to important environmental issues on the Island through the films “Island Grown Schools – Planting a Seed for the Next Generation” and the documentary that Liz and her husband, Ken Wentworth, are currently filming, “The Greening of Eden.” The Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony will be followed by a reception at The Harbor View Hotel. You can get all the information and reserve tickets at

Jim and Kathy Newman have been enjoying hosting their children and grandchildren this past week. Berta Welch and a host of sisters and friends celebrated her birthday last week at the Chilmark Tavern.