It’s a peculiar time of year on Chappy, made more so by the threatened arrival of that bore Earl. Summer is certainly not done — the 90-degree days being my clue — but there is an eerie calm that descends on Chappy in the last days of August. The outer harbor waters ripple only occasionally with a passing boat and Daytona Beach North (at the gut) is barely dotted with boats from Falmouth. It’s as if there were a big party elsewhere and we were mistakenly left off the invite list. I’m not complaining. I like the peace. It’s just that the weather and quiet don’t quite jibe. I’m guessing a major catalyst of the calm is the earlier school opening for the children. I can recall returning home only hours before first bell, my rope bracelet still wet and funky from a last swim (a bracelet, by the way, that rarely survived the first week of school. Bracelets on boys in 1970s Pittsfield were not all the rage. As out of place as Pittsfield was in Edgartown, the same held true in reverse). But these days, there must be a week between vacation’s end and school’s beginning. Reintroduction into the hometown atmosphere apparently must not be rushed. The bends? Awkward silences at the preschool Starbucks tête-à-têtes?

I wrote the preceding before we went to town tonight. Apparently, summer is still swinging on the other side. Thus that calm that pervades here is only a real-world illusion fostered by our good fortune to live where we do. Chappy, in a sense, hypnotizes me. I am conscious of the existence of the rest of humanity, but my awareness of it fades the longer I stay continually on Chappy. Of course it may be said that one could stay too long on Chappy. My full conversation with the seagull on our dock could be a possible symptom of Chappy intoxication.

Speaking of Earl, my aunt’s husband had a brother named Earl, but they called him Air Force Earl. Don’t know why. But maybe more pertinent to our conversation, the Hurricane Earl is slated to arrive Chappy-side at approximately 2:13 a.m. on Saturday. But if Earl is anything like my family, it will get a boat several hours earlier than scheduled and call us from the Stop and Shop. If only hurricanes were so polite. My guess is that Earl will amount to little. Experience tells me that it is the unexpected, unheralded storms that do the most damage — this past week’s northeaster being a case in point (thanks for the winds 20- to 30 knots. Really? Felt more like 60 to me). But please do not take my word for it. I don’t want to hear that someone told somebody not to haul their boat because someone told somebody that they read in Brad Woodger’s Chappy column that Earl would be of negligible effect. Gosh people, I understand the weight of my words but I so wish you’d all stop quoting me! Especially you, President Obama.

Saw many North Neck neighbors and assorted other Chappy folk at Cynthia and Ted Hubbard’s party this past Sunday. I found that this particular evening was especially ripe for the walkaway conversationalists. Not one, not two, but three folks walked away from me in mid-sentence. My mid-sentence. They were each elderly, true, and may have figured that their remaining time on earth was far too precious to be spent listening to the words of somebody not in charge of a hedge fund. Still, I’ve never once walked away from their thrilling descriptions of grandchild’s mispronunciation of Gay Head. Hey Ged? You don’t say. Oh my.

Perhaps the most enchanting guest was the lovely and unassuming Lucy Hubbard. We visited her in Ted and Cynthia’s bedroom where she was locked in, since she has a bad habit of getting into trouble at night. Her beautiful strawberry blond hair shimmered in the rays of the setting sun as she reclined atop the Hubbard bed. Kim stroked her hair as I watched admiringly. Unfortunately we had to take our leave as the party wore down. I kissed Lucy good-bye on her furry tummy, and Kim gave one more pat. Lucy is the Hubbard’s cat. And now . . . you know the rest of the story. Cynthia and Ted were, as always, as nice as could be (which may be quantified as fairly to generously nice).

Speaking of children, there’s always one child in every family that is never dissuaded by the cost of food when ordering from a restaurant menu. We call these kids our market pricers. Their eyes seem to gravitate to the small font that reads market price. Yes, that looks good, oh so very good. In our family, we have two — Brad Bennett (Kim’s brother), and Little Brad (my nephew). Brad B. eventually grew out of his market priceness, as do most children when the bill begins to stop at their place at the table. But little Brad has some years left to enjoy his ignorance of food economics. Jimmy Hall may be the original market pricer, however. Ordering lobster for his 12th birthday dinner, he was finally reprimanded by Dad — “Jimmy, this is neither the time nor the place for lobster!” Little Brad’s Chesca’s tenderloin fit perfectly with the moment.

I was remiss in excluding Annie Heywood from last week’s column. One could say that it was simply a case of out of sight, out of mind, but the memory of Annie tends to linger long after sighting. No, I simply failed to notice anything of note as it pertained to Annie. Still nothing this week, but I can hardly leave her out two weeks in a row. So here’s an Annie story from years past. Annie, noticing a young man on the Big Camp porch (during some party or another), remarked to said man that she was indeed fond of younger men. To which the man responded “I’m 95.” “That’s okay,” said Annie “I like old folk too!”

Kim and I have had the good fortune to be outdoors working on the golf course these past couple of days. So that’s what 99 per cent humidity feels like on a 90-degree day! My sweat was sweating. Easy, ladies.

I will be continuing as columnist for the next few weeks, and perhaps sharing winter duties with Margaret. I still have so much to say, and Chappy news never stops pouring forth so I’m grateful for some remaining column space. Hope you are too!

For those of you wondering when the Mullens would finally become grandparents, the wait is over — huzzah. I received notice from Sydney Mullen that Bridger Anderson Westhelle was born August 21 to parents Whitney and Robbie Westhelle of Portsmouth, N.H. I’m guessing that Whitney is Jim and Margaret Mullen’s daughter, or else it would be odd to be assuming possession of someone else’s child. Or maybe Robbie is the daughter. Oh boy, I’ve really messed up this announcement. Maybe that’s why people don’t send me birth announcements. Anyway, Sydney looks forward to seeing Bridger on the beaches of Chappy next summer.

A final shout-out to Bob Enos — props to you Bob! Thanks for enduring our (and quite possibly many other) inquiries about Earl as he pertains to boats. Bob mentioned that our trailer was in his boat yard and he would free it up in case we wanted to haul it out from its outhaul off the ferry line. Oh Bob, that’s funny, you know we don’t haul boats. That’s why we have you! Oh, and I should mention that Bob says he cut his hair. His mustache however is still wilder than Lindsay Lohan the first night out of jail.