How much longer do you want to hang on to those containers of yucky stuff that have been taking up space in the cellar? Don’t forget the hazardous waste pickup at the Chappy Community Center tomorrow, Saturday, July 21. Volunteers will be there bright and early at 7 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. sharp to collect household chemicals, old oil paint and small quantities of bad gasoline and used motor oil (the recycling center charges $1 a gallon for the used motor oil). The idea is to keep these materials out of the regular waste stream and out of the ground water. Sorry, they can’t take tires or water-based paint. Pimpneymouse Farm is providing a pickup truck to haul the hazardous waste to the Edgartown collection site.

Remember also that tomorrow is the annual Community Center fair. Unless you got invited to Lady Gaga’s garden party, this is the place to be. Starting at 11:30 a.m. there will be lots of food, lots of games, a book sale, a really great dog show and lots of fun for everyone. Volunteers are needed. Call 508-627-8222. The dog show is not to be missed. The judging is carried out by a very influential politician from the mainland. When he becomes president, you can say you knew him way back when he was still judging dog shows.

I’ve mentioned before that the CCC has a very informative website. Google Chappy Community Center. You can get wireless service through Chappy WISP or free Wi-Fi at the CCC. There is something going on every day. Sailing is four times a week. You have your pick of tai chi, yoga, Pilates, mah-jong, 12-Step AA, tennis and play group throughout the week. Friday is movie night. Tonight’s feature is A Night at the Opera, starring the Marx brothers. There is too much to tell here, so stop by the CCC and look over their schedule and bulletin board for complete information.

Each year the CCC has produced a Chappy calendar. Anyone can enter a photo in the calendar photo contest. The winners will get their color photos in the 2013 calendar. The deadline for entries is today at noon. The pictures will be on display at the center beginning with a gala opening on July 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. Punch and cookies will be served. You get to vote for your favorites. First place goes on the front cover, second place on the back. Voting ends August 3. We have very talented photographers in our midst.

Last Saturday, by chance, I found myself at Mytoi Garden. I had the whole place to myself, and that is a shame. I am embarrassed that I have not found the time to take my grandchildren there. The bridge over the pond gives you a wonderful bird’s-eye view of the frogs and goldfish. I’m no expert when it comes to flowers, bushes and trees, but even I can tell that Mytoi has lots of different kinds. You can help keep the garden in good shape. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, volunteers work with Lindsay Allison from 9 a.m. to noon. No skills necessary. She provides the tools and the know-how. Call her with questions at 617-515-3348.

Do you want to give the kids a break from their iPods? The staff of the Trustees of Reservations has come up with many interesting activities and tours. Just to give you an idea, the tours include: natural history, lighthouses, wildlife discovery kayak tour, explore the shore family tour, snorkel/wading discovery at the Dike Bridge, self-guided kayak tour, moonlight kayak paddles and twilight lighthouse tours. Pick up one of their Discover brochures at the ferry, Mytoi or gatehouses. Call them to sign up at 508-627-3599.

So next time one of the kids moans about how there’s nothing to do, think TTOR. When it comes to subjects for essays on what I did last summer, you can’t beat a tour of the 100-year-old Cape Pogue lighthouse.

Hurricane season is upon us again. Twice a day I look at the Intellicast Weather website to check out the Atlantic satellite and hurricane analysis displays. I like to try to guess which swirls of moisture emerging from Africa will become the atmospheric waves that create tropical depressions and then hurricanes. I’m not doing it for the entertainment value; I’m looking for the earliest hint of a hurricane so I can get the On Time ferries ready to ride out the storm. Lately it seems that our hurricanes have been forming right off the coast of Florida and Georgia, giving us less lead time to prepare.

As a hurricane approaches, the U.S. Coast Guard will schedule what is called a closure of the port for the Cape and Islands. This means that any commercial inspected vessel, such as the On Time ferries, must be safely tied up or moored by a certain time before the weather turns bad. Usually this is at least six hours before the wind picks up. The latest in the day that I have seen a port closure is 6 p.m. The Coast Guard would rather you didn’t have to work in the dark to secure your vessel.

Last year, for Hurricane Irene, I put up a sign that read “No Ferry after 6 p.m. Friday per order USCG.” It was taken very literally by a resourceful grandmother when her grandson broke his arm during the height of the storm. She knew that she needed a boat and a doctor. So she contacted a doctor who also has a boat. Very smart! Fortunately she called my house to check if I had any advice for her. That’s when we told her about Plans B and C.

Even when the port is closed and regular ferry service ceases by order of the USCG, the ferry is still near at hand for emergencies. Just dial 911 from your house phone or 508-693-1212 from your cell phone. The communications center will notify everyone needed to help you.

Before any big storm arrives, an ambulance is brought over and parked at the Chappy firehouse. Among your neighbors are half a dozen EMTs ready to help you. If the weather permits, the ferry can carry the ambulance over to town. If the conditions are too severe for the ferry, the harbormaster’s patrol boat or the fire department’s rescue boat will transport you across. It’s possible that for a period of time you will have to wait safely in the ambulance here on Chappy until the storm abates.

We haven’t had a real hurricane for a long time; even Hurricane Bob reached only 101 knots. Those who have witnessed real, 150-knot hurricanes describe the experience as gruesome. We can only prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If you have medical issues or just feel that you’d be happier closer to the hospital, you’ll need to clear out before the ferry has to cease regular service. The shelters on Martha’s Vineyard will open before the ferry stops. Check out the town of Edgartown website to subscribe to their emergency warnings services. Next time I put up that sign it will read “Emergency Ferry Service Only”.

And on that note I leave you with a question: Why don’t they name hurricanes using names that start with Q, U, X, Y or Z?