I’ve been wondering what the character of our Chappy is. I hear much about it being lost, but it would be a help if I knew what I was looking for, in order to find it. Maybe, as my housemate Bob suggests, one could find some answers in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Or Character Lost.

But guidance most likely will come from within, filtering our definition of character through personal experience. Thus definitions will likely differ. What one finds charming, another may find obtrusive. And vice versa.

Is “Chappy character” Matt Wetzel in his starched white captain’s shirt, or is it Liz Villard in her worn sweatshirt and kitchen apron? Is it an unmown field of butterfly weed, ragweed and poison ivy, or is it a horse pasture? Is it bird-watching on the beach or driving on the beach? Is it Lilly Pulitzer at the beach club or Carharts at the job site?

Opinions differ and these disparities lead to the bemoaning of this change or that change — character alterations all. We all like to invoke character to support our island arguments. It is a powerful word. But character is not an absolute, so how can one define the character of character?

Character is often used when describing something old, something broken, well-used. There is a reverence for that which has been: a battered Chevy, an aged home, a weathered face. But is it always better? At what point does character become a liability? At what stage of decay, does the Chevy cease being quaint and become hazardous?

There is also a romance inherent in our understanding of character. Flaws are overlooked and reality’s edges are softened by a smoothness of heart. Chappy character, for many people (including me), has much to do with its rural, natural beauty: its wild quality. I cherish the untouched, unrestrained nature of our nature. But I’m also aware that this lack of restraint breeds bittersweet, poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos and rats — to name a few less-character-imbued aspects of the Chappy wild.

So, what is the character of Chappy? I don’t know. And without a definable, mutually agreed upon answer to that question, we can’t preserve or protect it. The best we can do is to cherish that which is dear to us individually. We cannot demand that others share our sentiments, though.

To me, the cut is an excellent metaphor for the soul and character of Chappy. We are the anti-community community. We want to be part of a larger whole but still retain our individuality. We’re so close to being connected and yet so far away. We remain undefinable because we can’t define ourselves.

Speaking of character, Donna Enos surely is one. Donna is a nurse at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, in charge of infectious diseases. Well, maybe not “in charge of” — that sounds as if the diseases are her students. But she does keep tabs on the buggers. But Donna is also the unpaid, overworked nurse for Chappy. Twig in throat, fingertip missing, raging fever, swallowed cricket? Ask Donna! (But wait, don’t! This isn’t an offer of Donna’s services! Just a celebration of her generosity. Okay? Agreed?) Donna is the mom to many of us children and adult children who need the answer to “Am I okay?” I don’t believe Donna ever requested this role, but she has graciously filled it for her many friends. Recently, my Bob (father in law and aka Kim’s dad) found himself hospitalized on-Island with an infection and corresponding high, high fever. The hospital staff was superb: caring, courteous, compassionate and competent (we thank you all so much). But it was Donna, visiting us in the Emergency Room and then by Bob’s bed in his lovely suite overlooking Vineyard Haven harbor, who was the ultimate source of calm and confidence. This coming from a woman who herself battled an infection, was airlifted to a Boston hospital, and staved off Mr. Reaper with some good old Long Island “what chew lookin’ at?!” attitude. Thanks, Donna, from all of us. Oh? And how’s Bob doing? He was mowing our golf greens barely a week after hardly being able to roll on his side. I’d guess that’s character, too.

I ran into Mary Goldstien’s publicist, Stanley Goldstien, at the Ross hootenanny. Stanley kindly reminded me that Mary (golden retriever) is still as loving and adorable as ever.

I also saw Monica Reusch, who sadly informed me that my good pal Sandy (golden retriever) had passed. Sandy was John Updike’s “good dog” incarnate. He was nature’s way of reminding us of love. I’ll surely miss you, Sandy. Monica did say that their cat is doing its best Sandy impersonation in an effort to soften the loss. Good cat.

And the Menoyos have a new yellow lab, Lucy. We had a really nice time with Sven and Sarah, sitting on their Marshall Cat on its mooring in Edgartown harbor, watching the sun retire and the stars show up for work. Lucy is a gift from Sven and Sarah to Mom Deirdre. A beautiful soul, Lucy is already busy soothing the wounds of a difficult year for the Menoyos. Good dog, Lucy.

In other news, things are winding down at the Chappy Community Center, but there is still plenty happening this next week. The building is open during the day, and wifi and ping pong are available on the porch. The Trustees’ Night Hike is on Monday evening from 7:30 to 8:45 for ages four to eight, with a guardian. Contact the CCC to sign up. Gail Rodney’s art exhibit will grace the walls. Tennis continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays through August 26 for kids and adults. Sign up at the CCC office. The Farmers’ Market continues on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:30. Vineyard Sound sings on Wednesday at 6:30. Tickets are $8, or $5 for ages 6 to 12, free for those under five. On Thursday Mary Beth Alger’s concert series hosts The Claremont Trio at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20, or $18 for seniors. Reception follows the concert. Mary Spencer’s Foreign Film on Friday is Something Like Happiness, a Czech film, at 8 p.m., free.

Chappy Pong, with Bob and Marvene O’Rourke, will be running a Table Tennis Tournament on Saturday, August 21, starting at 11 a.m. All levels; come and compete for fun.

Alan Leist, who, along with wife, Connie, has been in summer residence at the Fynbo house, known as Hill House (which overlooks our house, so we have to behave while the Liests are here) sent in a question for this week’s column. Unfortunately, I have discontinued the “question of the week” (union issues), so I am unable to print the question. I do know the answer however: nonstick cooking spray oil.

No surprise of the week news: Annie Heywood bought a male nude charcoal drawing. Laura Jemison drew it.

This week’s horoscope: hope for rain while wishing for sun.