Can you believe that the Fourth of July is next weekend and we have only seen about three days of sun? Everyone is hoping that things will clear and the festivities can go off without a care.

Happy birthday to all who celebrated their day this past week. Big balloons go out to Lauren Boyd, Jake Martin and Raven McCormack, who celebrated their day June 20; Alexis Condon and Mackenzie Condon and Theo Guerin who all celebrated June 22; Warren Gowell and Joseph Wannamaker, June 23; Augusto Bueno and Daniel Gaines June 23; and to Kevin Cleary, Rowan Gruffydd and Isabella Vasilladis, who all celebrate their day today June 26.

Special birthday wishes go out to Jan Norton who celebrated her day June 20; Sumner Grover who celebrated a milestone birthday on June 23; Margot Ortiz, June 25; and to Steve Handy who will celebrate a milestone birthday tomorrow, June 27.

Nicole Bourgault, a student at the Edgartown School, has been reporting on the progress of the school gardens. Each class has certain plants they care for, even with the rain, and they have been growing. The second grade’s sugar snap peas are up and flowering; the third grade’s cherry tomato plants are ll.5 inches high; the fifth graders have kale going; and the sixth graders say the potato plants are 16 inches out of the ground. Some gardens have themes like the Pizza garden with basil, tomato plants, purple beans, chives, leeks, parsley, colorful pansies and horseradish. The other is the Three Sisters Garden with corn, squash and beans.

In 2003 when a group of us went on a Hawaiian cruise, we were lucky enough to have Danny Kaeka meet four of us at the ship and give us the first-hand tour of their island. Danny, as many of you know, was the night security guard at the Steamship Authority for many years. He is married to Shirley Vincent Kaeka. We all piled into a truck and were taken to all the special places on the island and we had a great day. Since then we have received Christmas cards from Shirley. So when their son Danny called and said they were here for their grandson’s graduation and the next weekend they had a party in their honor, we were delighted to pay a visit. The whole family was there along with many friends.

It was a great night with lots of horse-shoe playing and a lot of catching up.

The Anchors was the setting of the celebration of the life of Sue Norton Parks. Sue passed away in Florida this past winter and there was a small service for her down there. However, many of Sue’s family members and friends wanted something here. So Sue’s niece Debbie Norton and her husband, Bill, organized the day and they gathered last Saturday and all shared their memories of her life. Sue is the sister of Bailey and Floyd Norton, and the Anchors was their family home, so there were many memories in that building for all of them. Many of Sue’s family and friends came from all over and enjoyed the day reminiscing amongst themselves.

Last Friday the eighth grade graduation was held at the Whaling Church. As we stood there and watched these young men and women walk in I couldn’t believe how grown-up they were; it seemed as if just yesterday they were in strollers and holding their parents’ hands. Some of them had parts of speeches to make and some played instruments as they sang the class song and some just sat with the hope and confidence of their next phase of school life. I have to say congratulations to all the teachers and parents who played a big part in preparing them for their future.

During his school year Zachary Waller applied for a fellowship which would take him to Germany on a one-week trip. Only 16 students in the U.S. were chosen and Zachary was one of them. He left June 8, and met the other 15 students in Munich. There he made new friends and had the time of his life. He loved Berlin and said he would visit again. After his tour he had some time left, so he flew to Dublin, Ireland, and did a two-day tour there before returning home. Knowing that he now has the traveling bug, I wonder where his next adventure will take him.

Don’t forget that school is out on Friday for the summer.

Have a great week and keep the home candles burning.