After so many years on the Vineyard, I’ve just come to expect and accept the craziness that is summer, and particularly August, on the Island. Until last week. Amelia and I took a mini vacation and went up to hike and camp in Acadia, Maine. We hiked mountains, swam in Echo Lake, relaxed and read, and did some roaming around in Bar Harbor and the surrounding areas. And we heard the same refrain wherever we went: “It’s so busy. There are so many people. It gets so wild in the summer.” And we’d look around, giggle to ourselves, shake our heads, and talk about how mellow it was up there. It may be busy but it sure isn’t M.V. busy. In fact, I just googled it and it said Bar Harbor goes from 5,000 people in the summer to 18,000 in the winter. And oh my, the silence was incredible. Up in those mountains, you really can get away from it all. It reminded me of this little Island many, many years ago. If I could just find that feeling but a warmer climate, I’d be in heaven. But I am definitely going back next summer.
Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Marna Waller on August 10, my childhood friend Lisa Vunk on August 11, Rick Mello on August 12, Kieley Rigali, Jennifer Rose, and my other childhood buddy, Katharine Poole, on August 14, and Amy Rezendes Del Torto on August 15.
Old Sculpin Gallery offers kids art classes weekday mornings from 9:30 until 11 am, with a cost of $25. The classes are best for kids between 7 and 12 and it has a maximum capacity of 12 kids. Find out more information or sign up for a class or two at oldsculpingallery.org/childrens-classes. They also offer teen classes in the afternoons for $50.
It’s that time of year again. The annual dance festival Built on Stilts is happening at Union Chapel August 11 through 13 and August 20 through 21. Doors open at 7:30 pm and the shows start at 8 pm. You can visit builtonstilts.org for the nightly schedules.
Of course, next week is THE week to be on M.V. I can’t believe we’re already heading into the third week of August. I still have so much to do. That said, next Wednesday, August 17, starting at 8 pm, enjoy a band concert, lots of happy people, and beautiful lanterns hung around the Campground cottages. I’ll be sitting on my cottage porch. Come by and say hi.
Of course, the Ag Fair is also next week. Cushing Amusements now uses Magic Money, a digital payment method using your phone or with a card purchased at the kiosks on the fairgrounds. The delights of modern technology. You can also purchase an “All You Can Ride” wristband for Friday night, 4:30 pm until 10 pm for $45 in advance or $50 on site.
And last but not least, the Oak Bluffs Fireworks are back with a bang Friday night. Sorry for the bad pun. Enjoy a band concert at the gazebo in Ocean Park and then enjoy the end of summer spectacle of the fireworks. I will likely be somewhere else entirely, as I am not a fan of fireworks, nor crowds of that size, but I wish you all an enjoyable evening.
My thoughts go out to the family of Lynn Searle-Strem, who passed away last week. I had both of her and husband Dan’s kids in school and know how much she loved them and how much they loved her. I know these will be difficult days ahead for all of them.
I just received my class schedule for the 2022-2023 school year so I guess I have to acknowledge that, ready or not, school will be starting soon. The good news is that I will actually have a computer lab again this year. I won’t be venturing from classroom to classroom with my psychedelic cart. That will make life better. And of course, I always love to see the kids. Teachers return for professional development and prep days on August 31 and kids return Sept. 6. Check out the school website at edgartownschool.org for opening details, shopping lists, and other useful information.
That’s it. That’s all I’ve got as I head out to do some more cleaning and landscaping work at Pop’s house. Going through 50-plus years of history is a slow, bittersweet process. Remember the days of actual photos and photo albums, before the days of scrolling through phones and computers? We sure have lots of them. The house was built in 1969. There are a lot of memories to sort through. I’m going through the easier stuff. Hopefully my siblings will come down in the fall to help. It’s not the physical work that is hard. It’s the decisions. Now that both our parents are gone, it seems like everything becomes more special, from a little handwritten note, to a photo, to a special trinket. Everything seems attached to a memory.
Have a great week. Stay patient and kind. It costs nothing and helps keep us sane. Stay safe out there.
If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, firstname.lastname@example.org.