I don’t usually find it difficult to write about what I don’t know, but the hereafter supplies a particular challenge. There is little in life to lead us to a knowing of death. I suppose it’s nice, this passing, but can only suppose. What I do know is that what those who have left leave behind — the collective memory — holds sway over us still here. I grew up on Chappy with an older generation; my friends and acquaintances tended to be more likely to drink a bourbon and milk than a Miller High Life. I’m not a young man anymore though, so old friends are no more. But they survive in the cells of the Chappy foliage. In us. Their last breaths we still breathe.

A celebration of the life of Hope Welch Slater will be held at the Chappy Beach Club on Sunday, August 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. All are welcome!

I did the four-minute-window-chat thing with Gerry Jeffers on my way over to town on the ferry this morning. Gerry said the Chappy Store was slow and that it seemed that folk still weren’t keen on spending money these days. We agreed that things probably still had to get worse before they get better. I asked when worse would wind down, and better would begin. Gerry thought about this, then said, “Not for a long while.” He did, however, agree to text me when bottom was hit. Thanks for the pick-me-up, Gerry!

I saw Melissa Kagan at Cronig’s while I shopped for my nuts and berries (ever since my yoga seminar this winter, I am so hip with food). She mentioned that she had just returned from dropping her two young daughters off at Woods Hole for a few days. Which I guess is cool; the oldest one is nine, I think, and Woods Hole is a pretty safe town. I’m sure they’ll make their way ‘til Melissa picks them up.

Speaking of nuts and berries, Jack Pardee wrote to fill me in a bit on his tai chi classes that the Chappaquiddick Community Center offers on Mondays and Fridays at 9 a.m. Jack is an instructor for the International Taoist Tai Chi Society and teaches classes in New York city and Bedminster, N.J. This is the largest not-for-profit tai chi society in the world, with 40,000 members in 27 countries. All instructors volunteer their time as a way of sharing the health benefits they themselves have received, most commonly relief from back and other body pains, increased balance and leg strength, increased flexibility and a calmer mind. There are many more dramatic stories from members who were in accidents or had significant health challenges. You can visit online for more information on this truly transformative exercise.

And I think I speak for more than just myself (don’t I always?) when I say thank you to the Jack Pardees of the world who are so willing to share the benefit of their discoveries with others. I took a couple weeks this winter to immerse myself in the aforementioned practice of meditation, yoga and nutritional reexamination. The effort to connect with oneself and others through a healthy mind and body is nothing short of brilliant.

And many thanks to the CCC — they continue to provide our little island and population with a disproportionate bounty of opportunities. Thank you, Margaret, et al.

The natural segue here would be to go to CCC news, but despite my dietary efforts, I possess quite a few unnatural tendencies (of pure intention). So let’s talk more about me.

Here’s my thing about heat and humidity: I know they exist and expect their arrival, but, like difficult relatives, I’m always surprised at how poorly I cope with them. Perhaps it’s the quality of stickiness that I most resent. When hot and wet (or in poor company), dirty irritations tend to cling more easily to me. Thank goodness for the ocean.

I have my 30th high school reunion coming up in August. And though my achievements of 30 years prior stand on their own merit, it wouldn’t hurt my rep to have either neighbors, Meg or Lady (or both), be my plus one. Just saying.

Speaking of reunions, it strikes me that Chappy is somewhat of an alma mater to us all. We spend time here together in its lovely hallways of oak, then depart (most of us) to reunite years later on the ferry. The trip from Chappy to Edgartown is about the same duration as a typical cocktail conversation, too. Just enough time to brag and/or complain. But best of all, with the ferry, there are no awkward transitions (“wellll ... um ... good to catch up ... I’m going to freshen my drink, I think...”), because there is a built-in termination: the destination. Hurray for ferry.

In CCC news: Tonight’s film at the Chappy Community Center is The Art of the Steal (U.S.) shown at 7:15, free. The Table Tennis Tournament is postponed until Sunday, August 14, starting at 11 a.m. It’s for all levels, run by Bob and Marvene O’Rourke. Bob spends every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the community center porch during Chappy Pong, where he offers to play or give instruction to whomever asks. (Bob will not be there Saturday, July 30.)

The photos entered in the 2012 Calendar Photo Contest will be on display for the next two weeks starting on Monday, July 25, with punch and cookies from 4 to 6 p.m. Come and vote for your favorite photos then or during the week. The building is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to about 5 p.m., or later if there are events or classes. Sarah Lindenberg, assistant in the office, is hanging the show and running the contest.

Next week you can order lobster rolls by Tuesday at noon for Wednesday pick-up from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Cost is $15 including drink and chips. The craft and farmers market continues on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Classes in yoga, Pilates, tai chi, and dance exercise are scheduled throughout the week. Check the calendar on the Web site for more information.