Amelia and I had a new experience today when we watched the Rise Showcase dance performances rather than participating in them. After the last dance competition, Amelia found herself on the injured list, with an as-yet-undiagnosed knee problem. So she had to sit this one out, which is a pretty major disappointment for a kid who spends so much of her time dancing. I didn’t realize it would be so hard on me, though. As I watched the performances, I just kept seeing all the places where she would be, the “holes” on stage that were her just a few short weeks ago. And, sap that I am, I shed a few tears. Not because it was so hard for me, but because I knew it was so hard for her to not be up there with her dance family. I struggle so much with my kids’ disappointments and their “life lessons.” I’d rather suffer through them a million times myself than watch them suffer through them at all. I know that in terms of problems and disappointments, this is a minor one. But still, it was a tough afternoon.

The Federated Church Choir, comprised of members from all over the Island, will embark on its fourth European tour on Friday, April 15. Eight guest singers will join this choir, directed and led by Minister of Music Peter Boak, as they travel through the Republic of Ireland, Northern Island, and parts of Wales. The choir will present sacred music concerts, and also sing as part of worship services in churches and cathedrals. Previous tours led by Mr. Boak with the Federated choir include England, Scotland, and Wales, France and Switzerland, and Italy, singing in venues such as Salisbury Cathedral, being ambassadors, bringing the Christian message from the oldest continuing worshiping congregation on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Even with the recent chilly temperatures, the local Board of Health departments thought this was a good time to remind Islanders to make sure that their use of lawn fertilizers is in compliance with the regulations adopted by each town last year. It matters because lawn fertilizers are one of the contributors to our Island ponds’ bad report card. If you apply fertilizer yourself, you can find the regulations for each town by going to the Martha’s Vineyard Boards of Health website at mvboh.org. Once there, click on lawn fertilizer initiative and choose your town. If you use a landscaping service, they are required to have taken the fertilizer course and obtained a license to apply from the town they do business in. It is in your best interest as a homeowner to ask the person in charge questions like, “What are your plans for fertilizer use on my property? How much do you plan to apply, and how often?” If they don’t know the answer to those questions, they likely have not been trained, and shouldn’t be doing the work. For more information reach out to your board of health.

This spring seems to be a hard one for our Island community. My thoughts, as I’m sure the thoughts of many in town, are with the Wray family this week with the passing of Jeff Wray on Saturday. Jeffrey touched many lives, and will be remembered for his smile and good cheer.

Deanna Ahearn Laird, president of the Edgartown School PTA, sent the news that the Edgartown School PTA will be recognized at the Massachusetts PTA annual awards luncheon on April 9, at the Hotel 1620 (formerly the Radisson) in Plymouth, for having a membership increase for the current school year, 2015-16. The Edgartown PTA is the only PTA on the Island, and Mrs. Laird noted that they have struggled with membership, as the PTA has only been in place for 5 years. Over the past year, they have worked closely with the teachers and Principal John Stevens identifying the benefits of the PTA, spreading the word, and recruiting new members. Well done!

Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Veterans Outreach Program, in collaboration with the Theater Alliance of Washington, D.C., and in association with Kicking Pig Productions, will host the production of “Occupied Territories,” written and directed by Mollye Maxner, at the American Legion Hall in Edgartown, with six performances from August 2 to August 7. “Occupied Territories” is staged in the round, with just 25 seats arranged in a circle surrounding the performance. The first three performances, scheduled for August 2, 3, and 4, will be reserved for veterans and their families. Public performances will be scheduled for the evening of Friday, August 5, and matinee and evening performances on Saturday, August 6. A special dress rehearsal for sponsors will be held on Monday, August 1. Each performance will be followed by a “Talk Back” session with the cast.

The story is based on the experiences of Steven Maxner, who served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. Mr. Maxner moved to Martha’s Vineyard with his family in 1991, where he made lasting connections with fellow Island veterans through the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Veterans Support Group. Mr. Maxner is still closely connected with the care and treatment available through Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. MVCS is seeking partners to provide funding in support of the production of “Occupied Territories.” Those interested in helping fund this production are asked to contact Jan Hatchard at 508-693-7900, ext. 229.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, and develop from the negatives. And if things don’t work out, take another shot.