The competition is on. I officially counted five blooming crocuses in my garden. I have three purple, one white and one yellow. The daffodils are showing their green heads.

Happy birthday to all who celebrated their day these past two weeks. Big balloons go out to Jackson Pachico who celebrated on Feb. 16, Caroline Moffet on Feb. 17, Sophie Ulyatt on Feb. 18, Ennis Foster on Feb. 19, Michael Ducatt-Lewis on Feb. 22, Dorian Johnson on Feb. 24, Kenneth Hammond and Katharine Wallace on Feb. 25, and Dylan Burke and John Henry O’Shaughnessy who both celebrated their day February 28.

Last week proved to be a time of patience for my husband Ralph and myself. On Monday night, we got the call that Ralph’s cousin Cheryl had died. She was 37 but she was a spinal bifida baby born in the 1970s and not given the chance to live more than a week. After many surgeries, therapies, and lot of love and a very dedicated mother, she lived all these years. No, she could not walk or go to school, but she learned and was a true inspiration to the family.

Making plans to attend the funeral and dropping my car off for a check, we had the whole thing organized. However, things do not always turn out the way you want. Making a long story short, due to a lot of conflicts we did not make the funeral but we did make it up to see the family and spend some quality time with them. Our peace is that Cheryl is now reunited with her mother, Shirley, and they are both comforting each other.

With February vacation, half the town of Edgartown is either somewhere cold skiing or someplace warm swimming and ready to come home with some color other than pale.

Among those in the warm places are almost all the members of our whole Friday night gang. Mike and Janice Donaroma and Norman and Margaret Rankow own a home there, so this week was like a reunion for all. Donna and Coo Cavallo, Dick and Jane Barbini, Cheryl and Lee Welch, Gail and Bob Avakian, Pam Dolby and her husband all spent this week there. I hear the weather was great so was the company and a good time was had by all.

Andrew Walsh, son of Karen and Ron Walsh of Edgartown, has made the dean’s list for the fall semester. Andy attends the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Conn., and is majoring in art history. Congratulations, Andy.

The Island is pulling together once again. Heather Jardin, daughter of the late Lynn Jardin and granddaughter of Frank and Phyllis Jardin, was diagnosed with leukemia last month. Because of her treatments, traveling and not being able to work this summer at Morning Glory, people are making efforts on her behalf. There is a can and bottle drive going on. You can collect your cans and bottles and drop them off at the Girls’ and Boys’ Club in a marked bin. Also, there will be a benefit at the Portuguese-American Club on March 22 for her. I will post more information when I hear about it.

Our sympathies go out to the Charles Leighton family. Fondly known as Beaver to the family, he was a great father and uncle. He served on our police force many years ago and was a baseball coach along with the late Manny Nunes. In more recent days, you would see him walking with his dog. A memorial service will be held March 15 at the Federated Church. He will be missed by many.

I also heard through the grapevine that Stelle Burnham has been busy. Even though she is housebound most of the time, she is working with Jo Ann Murphy by collecting money or can goods or supplies for our local boys serving in the war.

Stelle receives all the goods and money. Check should be made out to her. Then she calls Jo Ann and she comes to get the money and supplies. Jo Ann then takes the money to Robert Pachico at the Reliable Market, who takes the money and purchases the other supplies with Jo Ann. Then Jo Ann takes the supplies and with her husband packages up the items and sends them to the Island boys in Iraq and Guam.

Stelle has the list of the Island service people serving and you can call her for your donations at 508-627-9521. What a great thing to do. Thank you, Stelle, for your time and effort to a great cause.

Have a great week and keep the home candles burning.