We used to wait. There was a joy in slowing down. We’d come to Chappy, away from ringing of home phones to the four-digit dialing quiet Island phones. If the phone rang at Grammy’s, someone wanted a ride home or a drink on the porch. Now the ringing (in all its mutations) follows us here. Distance is no longer enough to discourage attachment. The sea does little to abate the connection to that which we leave behind (flee?)

Waiting has become a lost art. We are accessible, almost always. But if not, on those rare instances that we are out of range, we have forgotten how to occupy ourselves, simply to be alone.

I locked my keys in my truck last Tuesday, an event in the making for months. I have, over the years, locked my keys in various vehicles perhaps two dozen times. I was due. I stopped for a coffee at Espresso Love on my way to Cronig’s for my nuts, berries and vegetables of choice. Coffee is my vice and my reward. Coffee, or the promise of it, makes chores and errands more doable — the perk to the work. So the location of my predicament was no surprise to me. And of some convenience. I drank three iced coffees inside the walls of the Love (tipping generously to offset my non-eating, space-taking). Then I waited outside on the entrance bench, unwilling as I was to appear to be a coffee shop loiterer. AAA was coming, I was assured by Mitch. Then Paulette. Then Alphonse. I was waiting, somewhat patiently. Yes, I could have asked Kim to bring me the spare key, or just asked the police. But this was my stupidity. I owned it. And I wouldn’t burden others by its existence.

After three hours, I walked into the courthouse and they contacted the on-duty police. Officer Michael Gazaille arrived within five minutes of my call. No iPad, iPhone, laptop needed — I just walked into the local courthouse. Just like old times. And true to the spirit of the day, Officer Gazaille arrived not with some sort of laser-operated lock unscrambler (as I had envisioned), but a slightly updated version of the coat hanger. And what appeared to be an ice scraper and blood pressure cuff. The wire tool meandered from its start to finish like the bridge of a boxer’s nose, but it did the job.

Door propped ajar by ice scraper, held in place by cuff, Officer Gazaille deftly maneuvered his doohickey to manipulate my door lock to open. Many, many thanks.

Back to waiting. While I sat on the bench, I was treated to the conversation of a gentleman on his iPhone speaking with an Apple representative about an apparently irreconcilable iPad 2 problem. How, inquired the gentleman, was he to proceed without his iPad2? Now or ever? “This day,” he proclaimed to his obviously disenchanted spouse, “just keeps getting better.” But I don’t think he meant it, despite the clearing skies and chorus of joyful birds. Later that day, I overheard a beGuccied lady decry the chaos that was summer. And surely anyone who had ventured into town or even just the Chappy Ferry parking lot this Fourth of July might have had to agree. But what is chaos except our impatience with the expectations of order? Most all ferry line disorder and stressful moments are born in someone’s (or someones’) need for predictability. There’s a line? Now? They’re only running one boat? The ferry is dependable but hardly predictable. Which I kind of like. Because that to me is Chappy. Dependable in its nature but unpredictable in its mood.

Chappy is chaos because Chappy is natural. And anyone who has attempted to apply his or her order to nature knows the attempt to be futile. Don’t want flying ant parts falling from your ceiling? Moss growing on loafer insoles? Mice in your rolled-up rugs? Too bad. Nature and Chappy will always win, because behind each resolution is a new issue. That is, at least, until one accepts the order of disorder.

I wait for most everything here. I wait for the grass to grow, for the grass to stop growing, for the rain, for the sun, for the fungus to abate, for the soil to aerate, for the crows to quiet, for the whippoorwill to sing, for the tide to come in, go out. And as long as I’m willing to wait — to accept the order of a plan that far preceeded mine — the chaos is manageable.

I love Chappy. I love its chaos. Its order. Its cell phone dead spots. I love that Chappy will embrace and protect me if I’m simply willing to offer it the same kindness.

In community center news: The Chappy Community Center is serving lobster rolls on Wednesday, July 13. Please pre-order by noon on Tuesday, July 12 at the CCC or by calling 508-627-8222. The cost is $15 including chips and a drink. Pick up will be Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. the Symmes-Jones Family Band will play traditional and original bluegrass music. The concert is open to everyone and is free.

The annual CCC Fair will be next Saturday, July 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a barbecue lunch, a giant book sale, bake sale, kids games, a cake walk, and a dog show at 1:30 hosted by Joe Sullivan. If you can make something for the bake sale, or would like to help set up, clean up, or cook, please contact the CCC at 508-627-8222. Also, if you have books in good shape that you’d like to donate to the book sale, Cory Dean asks that you please bring them to the CCC by Thursday, July 14.

The CCC has classes going on each day, including tennis, sailing, art, yoga, Pilates, tai chi and dance exercise. There is also mah jong, and a foreign film series starts on Friday, July 8 at 7:15 p.m. — check the bulletin board for list. Photos for the 2012 Photo Calendar Contest need to be at the CCC by Friday, July 22, at noon. Check the Web site at or the bulletin boards for more information.

Jim Mullen and his wife, Margaret Rodney Mullen, celebrated their 37th anniversary yesterday, July 7. Wait, that’s wrong. Or was it their 38th? Jim wasn’t too sure himself so forgive my confusion.