By the time Columbus Day weekend comes along, there’s no denying summer is over. The weather, which had been warm enough for swimming all the week before, turned cool. The Island woods and roadsides are full of reds and yellows, and the last flowers of the season are blooming — beach goldenrod and the purple asters. The groundsel that grows at the edges of the salt water marshes is in bloom, covering the bushes with white fluff. The weekend brought lots of people to Chappaquiddick, some for their last visit of the season. All of last week Peter had a sign at the ferry saying “100 Chappaquiddickers Wanted.” He wanted them for a picture standing on the two On Time ferries. Last year he had a picture taken for The Chappy Ferry Book, and wanted to do it again. The photographer with the miniature helicopter camera couldn’t make it, so Peter took a picture himself from a ladder tied up to the end of the pier. He estimated there were 110 people there. Peter said, “I liked seeing so many folks at the Point socializing.” I was surprised how few of all of those people I recognized. I felt a little as if I was at a big party where I didn’t know anyone. They all seemed very cheery and happy to be there, and they looked like a nice bunch of people. You can email Peter at and he’ll send you the photo.

Sally Snipes turned 60 years old on Wednesday. Peter says, “She’s holding up pretty nicely. Apparently I am solely responsible for any of her gray hairs.” Congratulations, Sally. I figure you actually get younger at the beginning of a new decade, as you restart the count up to 10.

Last Wednesday’s potluck at the community center, hosted by Donna Kelly, had the flavor of a winter event. About 10 people gathered to sample Donna’s excellent appetizers and catch up on news. Jed Dowlin stopped by to say hello; he hadn’t been for a visit in two years. He’s here with his canine companion, Fiona. All of us fit around one table, with the conversation anchored by Peter Wells at one end and Liz Villard at the other. Peter offered up a few of his favorite jokes to start the meal, and during a conversation about dirt roads Liz told a funny story about her daughter Anna-Liza. I had said some people don’t seem to know what to do when they meet another person coming the other way on a one-lane dirt road. Evidently some years ago Anna-Liza came nose to nose with a woman in a large pickup truck on a narrow dirt road. Anna-Liza knew the road well and knew that the woman only had to back up five feet to a driveway where she could pull off, whereas Anna-Liza would have had to back up much farther. The woman just sat there probably saying to herself, “What do we do now?!” So Anna-Liza pulled out a book and started reading. Eventually they worked it out. You can see how Anna-Liza would later become a NOAA captain.

Next week’s potluck will be hosted by one of the Chappy’s Bobs and his wife, Ellen Gurnitz. Appetizers and conversation start at 6 p.m. and the serious eating and storytelling begins shortly after 6:30 p.m. All are welcome; bring a main course, side dish or dessert for six.

Slip Away Farm at the Marshall Farm across from Brine’s Pond opens their stand on Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Starting Oct. 13, on Saturday mornings from 8 to 10 a.m. as well. Besides their delicious array of vegetables, they are selling Chilmark Coffee beans and brewing hot coffee.

Last Monday night Sidney and I arrived at the ferry in the middle of the evening, and while the lights were on, the bar was down across the ramp. For a moment, I had that familiar sinking feeling — we’d forgotten about the schedule change and arrived too late! But it wasn’t too late; the captain was just inside, and the schedule doesn’t change until this Sunday, Oct. 14. Don’t forget: the ferry stops at 7:30 p.m. and then runs again from 9 to 10 p.m. and 11 to 11:15 p.m. Try not to arrive at the last minute because the captain is ready to go home by then.

I’m the only person in the known universe who is not “on” Facebook. This may change. My daughter Lily is off on a trip to Nova Scotia, and she’s posting pictures daily on Facebook. I’ve been looking at them on Sidney’s wall, as well as many other pictures, postings and all sorts of stuff. It turns out there is a whole alternate world happening that I hadn’t tuned into. I felt as if I’d walked through the wardrobe door into Narnia. Here I’d been thinking Lily was taking a trip alone — it turns out she’s taking along hundreds of virtual people, commenting on everything she’s doing, seeing and eating. I’ve definitely had an awakening. Now I have to decide if I’m ready to let this alternate universe eat up many, many more of my hours. It sure looks like a cheery, interactive place to hang out.