Spring has officially arrived, actually the same time that summer has arrived, in Aquinnah. The temperature has been in the 60s and 70s, a few scattered showers on occasion to keep the water level even, and a few brisk winds. The blossoms of iris, wisteria, lilacs, rhododendrons and azaleas are all dotting the landscape. It has been a long weekend of many more families opening their summer homes for the season with many family gatherings.

The annual Chilmark Preschool violin concert was held on Wednesday morning. Music instructor Becky Barca Tinus demonstrated the talent of the preschool students who have all learned a great deal over the past year and for some students it has been for the past two years. They have learned music appreciation through various songs and stories; how to hold their violins at rest and during their performance; the parts of the violin including the bridge; and how to bow and curtsy at the end of their performances. Students from Aquinnah included Lily Duarte, Rodeo Langer, Olive MacPhail, Violet MacPhail, Noah Manning and Yoszi Monahan, along with their fellow schoolmates Axel, Bea, Ben, Elizabeth, Hayden, Katherine, Peter, Tasman and William. Their parents and grandparents were very proud of their performance, as were their Chilmark Preschool teachers in attendance, Kathy Carroll, Talia Luening and Heather Quinn. Laurisa Rich was not in on Wednesday.

On Friday afternoon, the Chilmark Preschool students learned about the significance of Memorial Day as they tossed flowers into Menemsha Harbor from the new Coast Guard dock.

The Martha’s Vineyard Relay for Life will be held this afternoon beginning at 1 p.m. at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School track field. Support those who are cancer survivors and to observe the memory of those near and dear to us that we have lost.

The Summer Preview of the Martha’s Vineyard Arts and Culture Collaborative will be held on Tuesday, June 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Grange in West Tisbury center. There will be an open house with an array of work to be presented. Their work will be presented over the next few months and includes many artists and artisans.

The Oak Bluffs Council on Aging will sponsor the annual “Senior Prom” on Saturday, June 11, at the Senior Center on Wamsutta avenue from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be hors d’oeuvre and beverages available. Tickets are $7.50 in advance and $10 at the door. Rumor has it, Karen Achille was once a prom queen and would like to retain that title! Vineyard casual fancy attire is acceptable.

Congratulations to our longtime up-Island rural mailman Sean Cummings and his wife, Kerry, on the birth of their daughter, Sophia Grace, on May 25 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Sophia is the granddaughter of Diane Sertl of Tisbury and Annie Cummings of Edgartown.

The Aquinnah Board of Health would like to remind residents that the landfill drop off will be open on Saturdays through Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The new town nurse Mary McLaughlin will have a blood pressure clinic on Thursday, June 9 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Aquinnah town hall.

Thomas Fantasia, son of Edward and Fawn Vanderhoop Fantasia, has returned home following his sophomore year studies at the University of Maine in Orono where he studied accounting. Tom will be working at the tribal offices during the summer.

Michael and Eleanor Hebert returned home on Monday evening after spending their anniversary weekend in Newport, R.I.

David and Clare Kane have arrived to spend the holiday at their Lobsterville home. They will anticipate being assistant lighthouse keepers once again for the summer as they have enjoyed in the past.

All the best to Joseph Vanderhoop Lee, son of Marshall Lee and Martha Vanderhoop, upon his graduation from Newton South High School.

Samantha Maltais, daughter of Dan and Cheryl Andrews-Maltais will arrive home today following the completion of her freshman year studies at St. George’s School in Newport, RI.

A memorial service will be held for Barbara Flanders Seward this afternoon at Abel’s Hill Cemetery at 1 p.m. Barbara passed away in January and her family and friends will gather this afternoon to honor her. She is survived by her children, Nancy, David and Douglas, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a dear friend to many across the Vineyard.

Congratulations to Tiffany Smalley upon her graduation from Harvard College on May 26. A contingent of tribal elders and spouses as well as tribal council members and of course members of Tiffany’s family were present throughout the day for most of the festivities at varying times.

Her family and tribal council attended her graduation ceremonies in the morning and the dinner in the evening. Tribal elders, council and family all attended the ceremony in the afternoon with the posthumous award of a diploma for Joel Hiacoomes, a member of the Wampanoag tribe, who had drowned off Martha’s Vineyard before receiving his diploma in 1665.

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust gave encouraging words in this tumultuous “time of tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and the financial crisis.” Her statistics on the Class of 2011 were even more encouraging as she reaffirmed that college degrees are needed more than ever and can be more affordable for those in need.

The keynote speaker for the afternoon ceremony was President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, also known as “Ma Ellen,” the President of Liberia. She is the first Harvard graduate, having received her masters in public administration degree from Kennedy School of Government, to become a leader of a country on the continent of Africa. She gave a very impressive and powerful speech.

In my haste to meet President Sirleaf, I tumbled down the granite steps and have thus walked around for the past week bruised from head to toe. Thank you to all who have called with their concern. I am healing slowly but surely. At least I got the photograph I wanted of President Sirleaf! Thank you to Harvard University police officer Maura Hayes, who stayed by my side until our leaving Harvard Yard for our return trip home. Will look forward to her vacation on the Vineyard in August and lunch.

It was a delight to have authors Geraldine Brooks and her husband, Tony Horwitz, present for the award ceremonies at Harvard. Geraldine has recently published the novel Caleb’s Crossing, which is inspired by the true story of Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck but is a work of imagination. Caleb was the first Vineyarder to graduate from Harvard. He too was a member of the Wampanoag tribe.

Luc Woodard will arrive home this weekend from his freshman year studies at St. George’s School in Newport, R.I.

Seth and Megan Woods arrived on May 25 in time to celebrate their anniversary with their children, Ava, Dillon and Jocelyn, with family bike rides, the beach, and just relaxing for the weekend at their summer home.

Happy 18th anniversary wishes to Captain Brian F. Vanderhoop and his wife, Elaine Diotima Vogel Vanderhoop, on June 5.

Happy 34th anniversary wishes to Marvin and Jane Bankoff Popkin as they celebrate their special day on June 5.

Happy 59th anniversary wishes to Captain Robert E. and Ernestine Rose Kinnecom as they celebrate their special day on June 7.

Happy fourth anniversary wishes to Michael Abram and Melissa Vanderhoop Abram as they celebrate on June 9.

Belated happy birthday wishes to MVRHS classmate James Beckman, who celebrated his special day on June 1.

Happy birthday wishes today this week to Janette Galbraith, Emily Vanderhoop, Jason Widdiss and Leah Bassett, who all share the day on June 4. Emmett Cole Taylor will be two years old on June 5 and shares the day with George Baird.

Happy birthday wishes to Dr. Michael Drew, Hilda Correira Mitchell, Griffin Hughes, Barbara Conroy and Thomas Fantasia as they all celebrate on June 6.

Aquinnah treasurer Judy Swartz Jardin and fellow MVRHS classmate (the valedictorian) will party on June 7. Sarah Saltonstall and Mark Harding share the day on June 8. Michael J. Fox, Kenneth Rose, Ernestine Kinnecom, Allen Carney and Meaghan Jeffers all share the day on June 9. Carl Widdiss, Ruth Stiller and Aquinnah Hill will all share the day on June 10.