I’ve noticed the little black birds with the white bellies flying overhead (as opposed to underhand) in droves lately. Seems like they’re flying north, though. Turn around little buddies — it’s even colder up there! Or maybe you know something I don’t.

My brother bought one of those one-cup coffee makers for the Big Camp. I’m a coffee lover, so I’ve enjoyed the any-coffee, anytime type of deal it provides. But my mom seems a little flumoxed by it. She’s more of a two-pot type of gal, so she’s surprised when those wee cups disappear so quickly. But I just bought a box? And that, to me, is like Chappy summer. We gulp up her precious days, cup after cup, until we open our eyes and it’s Labor Day. And our summer box is empty.

Part of the charm of living on Chappy is in seldom possessing what you need when you need it. We try. No trip to town is ventured without first checking with the households for wants or desires. You (Edgartown people) may amble to the store for a dozen eggs, but we Chappy folk treat each trip across the channel as if we’re preparing to join Lewis and Clark (Lewis and Woodger?) on an expedition. And yet we still find ourselves lacking over here from time to time. Especially hardware. This past Monday it was wire nuts. Like beer nuts, but less edible. So we took a trip to town and combined a breakfast out, grocery procuring, and other knickknacky stops with the nut shopping. While in the hardware store, Bob was queried as to how he was doing by another gentleman in his seventies, and replied that he was just fine but wondered if the gentleman knew if they had larger wire nuts. “What the heck you asking me for! I’m a pharmacist,” answered the other oldish guy. Apparently each thought the other was hardwarey looking. That’s what passes for news these days.

I should also mention that I lost half a blueberry pancake to the wind. This amounted to 50 per cent of my cherished leftovers from a Black Dog breakfast. What made this loss all the more difficult to swallow (or not swallow) was that the half blown away into the sand was the heavily buttered and syruped top half of the pile. I had planned to cut through the pile, sharing the accoutrements of the above with the unadorned below, but such was not my destiny. So I had to make do with half a dry pancake. This all came about because I decided that I’d eat breakfast with dear old mom at the Big Camp, some 50 windy yards away. Last time I’m a good son.

Life gets tedious, don’t it? This actually was a song from 1948, or so Bob says (I Googled it — he’s right. Again.) And that is Chappy. Full of life’s tedium. But for some of us, that’s bliss. The crows awake, we awake, the wind blows, we go, the rabbit crosses the road, changes his mind and goes back the other way, we watch the waves, the moon watches us. To bed. And another day. Life is good.

I saw Annie Heywood with her old buddy and neighbor Jane Wasey. Annie wasn’t doing anything but smiling. Sometimes even the rockiest seas are calm.

Old business: Kim had dinner and drinks with Terry, Bonnie and Justin Dangel on the eve of hurricane Earl. I was invited as well, but I am less inclined to leave my cocoon than Kim, so I deferred my invite to a future, less wet, date. Also present was neighbor Liz Villard. Liz and Kim took the opportunity to school Justin and Terry on Old Chappy (OC) and New Chappy (NC). One need not be an old timer to be OC, and one need not be a new timer to be NC. It’s more of an attitude. In a nutshell — OC is cross breeze. NC is a/c. OC is station wagon. NC is Denali. OC is freezers full of venison and bluefish. NC is pantries full of Harry and David. No judgments being made here, just observations.

Jocelyn Filley celebrated her 30th birthday in style with a sit-down dinner for 30 at The Shack on North Neck. Her friends Dan and Noni prepared a lovely salmon dinner. There was a chill in the air, but the warmth of friends filled the house. I wasn’t invited, but I was looking in the windows and could just tell it was a good time.

Kevin Keady headlined my activities this week. He and other Wintertide Coffee House alums performed at Nectar’s on Sunday. Back in the day (oh, 1990s I guess) Kevin and I were regular performers at the Wintertide. Not together. I lack a musical gene. Kevin once asked me to accompany him on bongos. Once.

It was a kick (for you younger folks, a kick is akin to a thrill) to see Kevin perform again. Kevin tells great stories in four-minute melodies. He brings an energy to his music that brings me out of whatever funk I may or may not be in. Thanks, brah.

The following comes courtesy of Steve. He drives a an older-model white sedan with Cali plates. I can’t remember his last name, but I’m pretty sure he is Helen Stephens’s son in law. He’s a nice guy.

Helen Stephens will be arriving Sept. 24. She is now 89 and will be staying in her cottage at Peaceable Kingdom — within sight of the rose bushes planted by her Grandmother Garrett (Bram) in 1907. Helen has a little cart that she drives to the beach to fill her senses with the wonderful blessings of Katama Bay, and through the woods where she can identify every flower, tree and plant. Those lucky enough to catch up with her while she is here will not be disappointed in her keen sense of Chappy history.

I (me, Brad) hope that people will visit with Helen. Good things don’t last forever.

On that note, Margaret Knight, the winter Chappy columnist, called me in the midst of this writing to discuss the column’s immediate future. You may have already guessed the outcome: beginning next week Margaret will take over the writing on the column again for the winter. I will return on an as-needed basis. Until next summer.