If you have lived on Chappy for any amount of time, you know we are an island of unique and variable mail and package delivery.

Until recently, all of our UPS packages were delivered and distributed at the old broken down cooler next to the Chappy store. Before the days of Amazon Prime, the number of packages arriving on Chappy each day was manageable enough that Jerry Jeffers (yes, it is spelled with a J) called each recipient to let them know they had a parcel. Jerry would never introduce himself. He would simply say, exuberantly, “Hey! You’ve got a package!” and you knew to make your way over to the cooler to find your mail.

Once Amazon caused an explosion in package delivery, these phone calls slowly tapered off. But in bumping into Jerry around the island, he would often give me his line. I was greeted with “Hey! You’ve got a package!” many times on the ferry, at the store, or once out the door of the school bus (Jerry was also the bus driver) as it passed by the farm early one morning. I was always so impressed that Jerry could keep track of all those boxes and names well enough to accurately report to the recipient when a package was awaiting them. He was never wrong. I always had a package when he said I did.

Sadly, we said farewell to Jerry this winter. I miss him, as I know many others do too.

The walk-in cooler has now been replaced by a shiny new UPS container. After the UPS truck arrives in the afternoon, the container is often overflowing with packages. Several members of the community have asked me to emphasize here the need to pick up your package in a timely manner as the container quickly becomes overwhelmed. Without Jerry, we each have to be diligent about remembering our ordering and keeping track of arrivals. Perhaps write yourself a sticky-note reminder for your fridge that says: “Hey! I’ve got a package!”

The post office mail is another matter. Sometimes the mail arrives, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, like in Barbara Leckerling’s experience, it arrives a year late. That’s just the way it is out here. Ironically we had not received our copy of the MV Times for weeks until this past Thursday when the current issue arrived with a scathing front page article about the Edgartown post office.

Chappy resident Steph Pond was our mailman for a while a few years back. Steph is an avid fisherman and hunter and would sometimes drop off a striper or blue or a pound of ground venison for us at the farm. I always loved that the mailman not only delivered us our mail but also brought us supper.

Mail delivery has seemed especially patchy lately as there has been some turnover in the delivery position. We now have a new mailwoman, Josie, who I met this Sunday morning as she was making her rounds. Yes, you read that correctly – she was out delivering mail on a Sunday. It seems that a large backlog of magazines had arrived so Josie volunteered to come in and deliver them on her day off. So sweet, right?

Josie was remarkably cheerful and warm but honest about the daunting task of delivering mail to Chappaquiddick. There is a lot of area to cover and many mailboxes do not have a number or a name. Because each day she also covers Katama, Josie is often pressed for time, delivering to the dirt roads of Chappy well after dusk when the post office finally calls her in. She seems so dedicated that I am pretty sure she would be delivering until midnight if the post office would only let her. If you happen to see Josie as she is making her rounds, please be sure to thank her for her work. It is not an easy task. We can also all help her out by getting proper numbers and names on our mailboxes.

In other Chappy news, there is a Chappaquiddick Island Association meeting this Saturday, August 4 at the Community Center. Coffee is served at 8 a.m. and the meeting starts at 9 a.m.

Also on August 4, Chatham Baroque will be playing a concert at the CCC starting at 7:30 p.m. The trio is from Pittsburg and consists of a viola da gamba, baroque violin and baroque guitar. They will be performing Italian, French and Spanish baroque. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

That is the news for this week – I’ll see you again week after next. Please email me with any thoughts or events at slipawayfarm@gmail.com.