I made a quick trip to the Old Country last week to do Iole’s taxes. Those who know of my math skills are laughing right now. “Do” means collect all the paperwork and take it to H& R Block. I also popped her in the truck and took her to Easter Vigil Mass at St. Bernard’s around the corner. The music was beautiful, some of our favorite priests said Mass, but I forgot how sick that incense makes me. It was a flashback to childhood, back in the day when if you fainted or threw up in church the nuns dragged you out, poured cold water on you, and escorted you back to your pew. No emergency medical technicians, emergency rooms or CAT scans. I do like incense, but whatever they burn in church is certainly not my favorite sandalwood or jasmine.

While in White Plains, I had the pleasure of catching up with Mary McPartlin and Marie Boas, the mother and sister of the other Nancy Gardella. They are up from Florida for the month. Nephew Jonathan Gardella was entertaining, as always, and this delightful 10-year-old has added harp lessons to his repertoire, which includes piano and violin. I missed the big Jannace family Easter dinner at cousin Ginny’s because of a migraine, but Iole went along, said it was wonderful, and brought me back a delicious to-go plate.

As always, I stopped in and saw Sal Alfano, our neighborhood barber. I brought Haley in to visit Sal’s emporium; last time it was Silvio. All three dogs were with me but I can only handle one at a time. Sal sends regards to his Island clientele, and yes, he has many that live here and there. Sal looks great and never ages.

Meanwhile, from the moment I drove off the boat onto the mainland I noticed a most annoying practice by many of our countrymen: bad driving. Should the turn signal be marked with a big red sticker so people know all cars are equipped with one? This is most irritating, especially on the major highways, and I couldn’t help remembering that most accidents are caused by lane change. My personal favorite is the turn signal as an afterthought: begin to make the turn and then put the signal on while you have started to do it. And as far as those signs go that say “No Passing on the Right,” the highway departments might as well save the time and money printing them up. Even English speakers don’t know what this means. I recommend refresher courses for everyone.

But I did have some good driving experiences. I stop at the McDonald’s at Clarks Falls, Conn., both going and returning. It is the perfect halfway mark in my trip to stretch, eat, and walk the dogs. I was sitting at a small table dining on the inevitable roadside fare when a lovely lady took the table next to me, waiting for her daughter to purchase their meals. We struck up a conversation and I asked her where she was going.

“I live in Massachusetts,” she said, and I told her I was returning to the same state. Of course, when I asked her where, she said: “Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve lived in Oak Bluffs since 1988. My daughter Nancy has come up from Texas to do my taxes and is driving me home.” As I live and breathe, the world gets smaller. Another mother, another Nancy, another tax trip, another resident of good old Martha’s Vineyard. So I have a new friend and I send a big hello to Lorraine Russell over in our sister town.

You can have a very romantic Saturday night, March 29, between 8 and 9 if you join us for Lights Out Martha’s Vineyard, a movement to raise awareness about energy conservation. If you want some exercise, bring your flashlights to Felix Neck Wildlife Center at 7:30 p.m. for a night walk.

Dr. Roni DeLuz of the holistic retreat center right here on Franklin street and the co-author, with James Hester, of 21 Pounds in 21 Days, has updated her Web site at Numerous health concern articles and recipes have been added. By June, Roni will be introducing a new private-label detox product line. Continued success to this Island dynamo.

Join me at the Tisbury School on Tuesday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. for town meeting. And don’t forget Vineyard Health Care Access, which has served so many of us so well, is on the warrant and needs your support.

Tartan Day is Sunday, April 6, but our intrepid Scots are celebrating it on Friday, April 4 with a potluck supper at the Old Whaling church in Edgartown at 6 p.m. Guess I’ll have to dig out my Catholic school uniform and bring a covered dish. I’ll see you there.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Mary Campos and Mike Hebert today. Tomorrow is shared by Sandra Apericida Gomes and Deb Stewart. March 30 is a party for Michael Diamond, Eric Clapton, Marco Daniels, Andrew Nelson and Abigail Chappell. March 31 belongs to Rachel Pires and Laura Alexander. April 1 is for Enoia Preia Dos Reis. April 2 honors Bob Kalayan, Bo Andrews, Kathy Daly and Kate Desrosiers. And on April 3 Chrissie and Charley McCarthy, Jim Reynolds and Denis Rogers take the cake. Many happy returns.