Edgartown: What a week

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What a week. I’m exhausted. Last night I came home from Built on Stilts, did a little homework, and then “closed my eyes for a few minutes.” I woke up this morning still in my clothes and jewelry from last night. As someone who often suffers from insomnia, that’s a clear sign that I was wiped out. And that my homework readings are incredibly dry and boring. 

I fully enjoyed Illumination Night in our little Campground cottage. Amelia helped put up lights and lanterns, and it was fun to experience the event from the inside. No traffic. No fighting for parking. We made lots of food, had cold drinks on hand, and just enjoyed friends and family stopping by. It’s like a national holiday up here as everyone primps and readies for the night. Then, just as quickly, it’s over. Lights out and lanterns down by about 11 pm. I was amazed. 

As always, I avoided the fireworks on Friday. This year I worked. And I have to say I think that there were just so many people on this Island last week that there was no way to avoid them. The restaurant was crazy busy. Oak Bluffs was wild. And I heard that the fair was also crazy busy that night. It used to be that if there was “an event” in one town, you could do something in one of the other towns without much fuss. Guess that’s not so true anymore. I hope everyone had a great time with whatever fun things they took part in last week.

On Sunday, August 25, from 8:30 am until 11:00 am, the 14th Annual Blueberry Pancake Breakfast, an annual fundraiser for the Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group, will take place at the Federated Church Parish House. The breakfast consists of blueberry pancakes with syrup, bacon or sausage, and a beverage. Cost is $12 per adult, $6 per child, and $30 for families with children. This event is a Mission Project of the Federated Church. All are welcome. For information, call 508-627-4421 or email them at officefederatedchurchmv@gmail.com.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Robin Davies and hip-hop teacher extraordinaire Jessica Francis on August 20, Chris Mara, Kathleen Dougherty, and my cousin Emma Kelley on August 21, Jonathan Searle on August 22, and Kate Lingren on August 24.

I was so sad to read the news of the death of Maureen Anderson last week. She was mom to Bill Anderson, who many of you know from his days at Edgartown Hardware. She was one of my mom’s best friends growing up, and the Andersons were part of the “Oak Bluffs Wall,” the gang of families that traveled as a pack and were dear friends of ours over the years. I recently ran by Anderson’s Bikes in O.B. and saw Mr. Anderson out under his umbrella. I gave him a big hug and kiss and told him the least he could do was have a beer waiting for me on my run. He told me if I buy, he’d happily enjoy one with me! My heart goes out to the family. They’ve had a very difficult year, and they still keep smiling. 

So many families are sending their kids off to college this week, some for the first time, some for a repeat. It’s always difficult to let our kids go, whether it’s the first time or the 20th time, whether it’s for the weekend or a few months. My heart is with all you parents going through the tug on your heartstrings that is a mix of pride and sadness, watching them go be who they are destined to be and missing the wee ones they still are in our hearts. With Riley scheduled to ship out to boot camp in November, I know those feelings will soon (again) be mine. 

School starts for us teachers next week, on August 28, and the kids return on Sept. 3. I have to admit, much as I love summer, I’m ready to go back this year. I know. I know. Who ever would have thought I’d utter such words? But the truth is, I’m getting too old for the chaos of the lack of schedule summer brings. Or rather, the constantly changing schedule summer brings. Between dance, work at the restaurant, doctor appointments, Amelia’s babysitting gigs, other events, homework, and so forth, no two days were ever alike in my house, so I just never felt like I was balanced. I like balance. I like predictable. I like a plan. Come August 28, I know where I’ll be every Monday through Friday until at least 3 pm. But I’ll definitely miss the beach.

The 5K for Camp Jabberwocky had a pretty good turnout last week, taking off from the FARM Institute on Saturday morning. I signed on to run it begrudgingly, because I’m just not a fan of races. I’m too competitive, and not a very good runner. It’s a terrible combination. Anyway, I signed up, and I am so grateful that I did. That camp and their staff are amazing. The most touching moment for me was when I saw a woman running alongside a camper. It was early in the run, and the camper was working really hard. I don’t know if the woman was his mother or a staff member or a friend, but she just gently said to him, “You’ve got to slow down a little bit. I can’t keep up with you.” I was overwhelmed with the generosity and wisdom in her words. Can you imagine if we all showed such kindness and love in our words? With one carefully phrased sentence, she made that camper feel amazing, instead of making him feel limited. I was in absolute awe, and I floated through the rest of my day. Kindness is huge. Always.

That’s about all I’ve got. Have a great week.