The next Chappy Community Center potluck dinner will be hosted by Leslie Floyd on Wednesday evening, March 7. Appetizers and conversation from 6 to 6:30. Dinner and dessert from 6:30 to 8. Please bring a dish of your choice to serve six. There always seems to be a well-rounded feast. A few decades back the potlucks were often attended by only a dozen people in the dead of winter. At least a couple of times we all brought desserts. As the cake, brownies and ice cream disappeared, the kids got more rambunctious and the adult conversation became more animated and sincere. The noise level increased noticeably. Lately though, we seem to get a balanced meal. Potlucks are scheduled for the first and third Wednesdays of the month through the first Wednesday of June.

The most recent potluck dinner featured a game of Bingo. Reports are that some folks were shy at first, suspicious that the hosts were up to something. But alas it was just for fun. No arrestable offenses were committed and a few folks even went home with prizes.

Speaking of the dead of winter — last week when I walked into the Edgartown post office, I knew all seven of the people who were in the lobby. Then I went to Depot service station where I knew all eight of the people in the parking lot and at the gas pumps. There are times in July and August when I might not see a single familiar face at those places.

For those of you who must admire the Islands from afar, I can tell you that mud season is slowly departing, a few green shoots are appearing on the sunny side of buildings and the air temperature has been staying above freezing for days on end. The buds on trees and bushes are swollen to near the bursting point. Rumor has it an osprey has returned and a pinkletink frog has been peeping. We have had lots of rain. We are expecting a very wet northeaster to arrive early morning on Friday which will then become a dry northeaster the next afternoon and blow for a couple of days. I’m pretty confident that we are past the harbor ice season. Puddle and pond ice seasons may not be completely over. We’ll see.

This week was school vacation so the Island has been pretty quiet. There have even been empty parking spaces behind the courthouse. Only two and a half more weeks until the vernal equinox. Easter is a dozen days after that and then only nine weeks later comes Memorial Day. Winters seem to fly by more quickly as I get older. It’s supposed to be the time when I can get projects done that I just don’t have time for during the hectic summer months. The mere thought of all of the little things that I should be doing makes time speed up.

Getting older has some wonderful benefits. Not only do you get a little wiser, you get a better perspective on life, especially your own. I like to ask people if they would like to know how much longer they have to live. Wouldn’t they like to know their final due date? Most say absolutely not. But if you knew exactly how many days you had left you could plan better. You could prioritize much more realistically. Imagine being on a vacation and not knowing whether it’s for a few days or two weeks or two months. That may not be a perfect comparison but it makes the point. If there are a certain number of things that you want to do during the time that you have been allotted, you need to know how much time is actually allotted.

A couple of summers ago I realized that I was unlikely to ever use the cooking stove aboard my sailboat. I hadn’t used it yet in all these years. I didn’t have a lot of faith in it working properly anyway. So, I unbolted it and took it ashore. More room and less weight in the cabin now. I’m relieved that I have reached a point in my life when I get to face up to the fact that if I haven’t already, I won’t actually ever use some of the stuff that I’ve been squirreling away all these years. It makes it so much easier to part with it.

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