Last week boasted the summer solstice, followed by a strawberry moon. A while ago, my daughter Maple introduced me to moon tea: fill a glass jar with water and leave it outside overnight to stew in the light of a full moon. In the morning, drink the water and enjoy a day filled with romance and inspiration, or whatever else you think the moon might have in store for you. Next chance is July 24, the Buck Moon.

Programming director Olivia Gately was kind enough to pass along the news that the West Tisbury Library is open to visitors without an appointment. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays they will offer curbside service only, from noon until 4 p.m. That’s seven days of access! Unfortunately, you’ll still need an appointment to visit the children’s room; that can be done online at this address: Masks are required inside.

It’s something of a miracle to be able to borrow a stack of books, under any conditions. But sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for; until you stroke the spines of several hundred books, it’s so difficult to commit. Wonderful though the curbside service has been over the last year, it can’t compare with actually wandering around among the shelves.

This week marks the beginning of retirement for West Tisbury fire chief Manuel Estrella 3rd. Chief Estrella was a capable and gracious chief who kept us safe for many years and he will be missed. Longtime volunteer firefighter and current Deputy Chief Greg Pachico will take over on July 1. Best wishes to the new chief, who has received strong support from within the West Tisbury fire department. I appreciate our selectmen going with a longtime member of the department for this important role, rather than someone from off island. There’s just nothing like having a familiar face show up to your emergency.

Already we’re going into the holiday weekend: who can believe it? Summer just began and yet it already feels like August in some ways. I think you all know what I mean.

Check out the Fourth of July alternative parade, spearheaded by the Sonia family of West Tisbury. Last year, after the Edgartown parade was cancelled because of the pandemic, the Sonias stepped up, inviting family and friends to join them for a festive drive around the Island. This year, with Edgartown’s festivities once again on hold, the Sonias are hoping for even more participants. If you’re not content to watch from the curb, dress up your vehicle and show up at the high school. The parade heads out at 11 a.m. sharp, first towards Vineyard Haven and passing through Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, out Katama way and back to the high school. I love this new way of celebrating the Fourth, because it feels quintessentially American: independent, creative and on the move.

Shepard and Hazel VanLandingham turn seven and nine on July 11 and 13 respectively. They plan to celebrate with a backyard trampoline party. Also this week, their grandmother Betsy VanLandingham will retire after nearly 50 years as an emergency room nurse. That is an amazing accomplishment so if you see Betsy around, thank her for her service.

Nancy Salon-Nunes has a birthday on July 11 as well. Happy day, Nancy!

Bonnie Levy of Longview celebrated her bat mitzvah on June 26. Mazel tov!

Be safe out there, everyone! Also, if you find yourself tempted to set off random fireworks over the coming days, think of the dogs and anyone else who might be startled in a not-fun way. The Fourth of July is just a one-day holiday. It’s right there in the name.