Truly, these are the times that try our souls. The weather events are frightening. I know we are all keeping the fires, the earthquake in Mexico, the devastation in Texas, the wrath of Irma foremost in our thoughts. I know we shall have a friend or family member affected by this turmoil. My sister in law, the Nancy Gardella with red hair, was attending to her house in New York last week. She rushed back to Florida to get her son, Jonathan, in school right after Labor Day. He had one and a half days of school. Then they were told to evacuate. Oh, yes, they live in Fort Myers. No flights to be had. Nancy rented a vehicle and began the long crawl out of Florida with Jonathan and his pet turtle, Bob. Bumper to bumper. By the time they reached Georgia that state had just declared an evacuation. It took her three days, two nights at motels to return to New York. Motels were crowded but she did get two bookings. The mood of the people on the road was quiet and grim, worried as they were about their loved ones and their homes. There has been no electricity at her apartment since Saturday. The carport at her building collapsed just one car away from hers. Jonathan’s school is closed till Monday at least. Odd, I never considered New York a place to escape to. Please keep all these afflicted regions in your hearts and prayers.

I misinformed you in my last column. Judy Hickey of the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library pointed out I had an old day and time for the monthly meeting of the Friends. The meetings are now held on the fourth Saturday of every month from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the function room of the library. All are welcome. New members may join us.

Now that school is reopened it is time to hit the books. Philip Weinstein, the Alexander Griswold Cummins Professor of English Emeritus at Swarthmore College, will lead a six-part seminar on classic short stories. The first meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. You may register online or call 408-696-4211. You will be able to get the program and find out which short stories will be discussed each session. Reading materials for the program are kept at the circulation deck. Ready, set, read.

Get well wishes to Nala, Eric’s dog, who had surgery on her torn ACL. Her baby Hootch kept looking for her and was puzzled. Hootch has calmed down since Nala’s return.

Get well wishes also go out to Lindsey Lee Ben David. Her little girl has a broken left arm.

The birthday bandwagon pulled along three of my favorite ladies, Nary Alice Jannace, Tootie Strople Kieffer and Kristen Kazlauskus. They all take the cake. Many happy returns.

Send Vineyard Haven news to