Oak Bluffs: Lilacs for Memorial Day


For the first time in many years, the fragrance of lilacs blooming and Memorial Day weekend are occurring at the same time. Along with the many memories it brings to mind, let us not forget that it is a day to remember all those who served or are serving in the military to protect the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. How can we thank so many who sacrificed so much? Perhaps by remembering and appreciating those sacrifices. Please thank veterans you meet, and let them know you are remembering their services.

Once upon a time, a long time ago in a land far away, Martha’s Vineyard, the primary sound you heard during summer was the whirring of the hand-pushed gasless lawn mowers as they were slowly pushed over the grass. In my family it was usually done by my older sister and myself. We never questioned my parents’ request to do this chore, and when I look back now it actually wasn’t so difficult. Now the noise of gas, electric, or ride-on mowers and weed whackers assault the ears and even interfere with inside activities. Laborers rush back and forth on the grass as if they are in a race, without having the time to enjoy the moment. But I guess that is life today. Hurry up and do this and that so you will have more time to do more this and that, and it goes on and on.

On last Saturday evening when I was approaching the drawbridge on the Oak Bluffs side, I saw the two cars in front of me slow down, and then I could see an animal lying in the center of the lane I was in. It was so large that at first I thought it was a raccoon, then a dog, but as I got closer I could see it was a sea otter. I don’t know if it got hit by a car or if it just could not continue across the road to safety on the other side, but it was still moving and lifting its head. Just as I was about to pull over and call the Com Center, I saw the two cars that had been in front of me had pulled over on the shoulder of the road. Then walking toward me were Rich Huffam and another person I did not know, headed toward the otter, obviously to retrieve or rescue this beautiful creature. So I gladly give an Act of Random Kindness award to Rich for his rescue. It certainly lessened the sorrow I felt upon witnessing this event.

We send sincere condolences to Hilde and Bert Combra upon the death of Hilde’s sister Irmgard Grunewald in Germany last week. We are so very sorry, Hilde.

Have you heard of the Transportation Access Program, better known as TAP? This is one of the many programs of Martha’s Vineyard Community Service. TAP helps individuals and families with excessive costs of off‐Island travel due to long-term illness, health or mental health needs requiring services not available on the islands, chronic illness requiring regular off‐Island appointments, or acute health or mental health emergencies.

Two more programs sponsored by MVCS include Parenting on the Other Side, which is a support group for parents or caregivers who are struggling or have struggled with substance use. Childcare is available at meetings. If you have questions, contact Kim at the Family Center at 508-687-9182. This group will meet tonight, May 24, from 6 to 7 pm at the M.V. Family Center. Then tomorrow, May 25, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at Island Images Gallery, the SMART Recovery group meets. This is not a spinoff of AA. This program utilizes ideas and techniques to help individuals change their lives from one that is self-destructive and unhappy to one that is constructive and satisfying. SMART Recovery teaches common-sense self-help.

And a reminder that Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) Spring Electronics Disposal Day has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 2, from 9 am to 2 pm on the campus of MVCS. Hear is your opportunity to recycle your personal or business old and tired air conditioners, cell phones, computers, copiers, dehumidifiers, microwaves, monitors, refrigerators, scanners, stereo equipment, televisions, dryers, scrap metal, and more. Fees are between $5 and $40 per item. A 10 percent discount is given for full car loads. More information, including a price list, can be found at mvcommunityservices.com/edd.

The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society will present a concert with the awardwinning Verona Quartet with Delores Stevens, piano, on Memorial Day Weekend. The concert will take place on Sunday, May 27, at 7 pm, at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown.

Because there was no column on May 10, we send belated birthday smiles to Andrew Farrissey, Louise Dahil, and Heidi Jardin on May 18, Jaime and John Pachico on the 20th, Annette Moreis and Vivian Destefani on the 21st, Doreen Anderson on the 22nd, and Kay Manning on the 24th. Smiles to Jack Garrett on the 25th, James Trip and Connie DeFelice on the 26th, Cheryl King on the 28th, Genevieve Abbot on the 29th, and Charlene Barbosa and Vicki Simone on the 31st. Happy anniversary to my neighbors Susie and Mike Wallo on Saturday, May 26.

Enjoy your week. Peace.