After Hans Solmssen, with a great big smile on his face, described the fantastic state of his and Sally’s household, my thoughts immediately went to a children’s story by Cynthia Rylant titled The Relatives Came.

Hans and Sally’s delightful story begins in late June when 15 family members of various ages joined them at their Abel’s Hill home. Seven grandchildren are in the mix. Max, Pippa, Maisie, Ridley, and Jack are coordinating summertime frolic for small children at the CCC. Alex is serving up French fries and frappes at the Galley. The seventh, Peter, is 11 and attending Felix Neck and longing for the day he turns 14 and can join the workforce. Topher and Courtney, Andrew and Bonnie, and Kate and David, the middle generation, are taking full advantage of their children’s time out of the house bringing home the bacon. Two of the dads are west coasters whose job hours allow for epic morning surf sessions, including riding the storm swell that made its way up the coast last week. The moms have taken full advantage of their partially empty nest, occupying their unscheduled time with yoga, running, walking and the beach.

From July 8 through July 31, A Gallery is collaborating with Featherstone for a group exhibition of 14 local artists. Two of those artists are within yelling distance of my own home. I’m pleased to share that Chioke Morais and Jennifer Joanou Frank both have work on display that is well worth the trip downtown to visit.

I spotted Elizabeth Delaney Robinson with her soon-to-be five-year old, Harriet, in Menemsha the other day. It was so nice to catch up with her after many years have passed from the time she used to pour a mean cup of chowder at Larsen’s Fish Market. Harriet has, of course, passed some time with her cousins Jack and Greta Lenkner.

On Squid Row at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 28, friends and family are invited to join Bill Shanok’s daughter, Tory Shanok Dolan, for coffee and the opportunity to reflect, share and remember Bill. He passed away this past spring. Bill always joined the eclectic early-morning coffee klatch, where conversations often turn into debates that almost always result in resolutions. Please consider bringing your own mug for a pour.

Peter Darling made it to town for a visit with his mom, Della, at Windway. I’m sure there was some fishing, some grilling, a few chores and a whole lot of laughter during his visit.

I also spotted Alexandra Mendez-Diez strolling Basin Road, which means her mom Jackie must be smiling from eear to ear with her daughter in town.

I caught a glimpse of Aubrey Shipway over the weekend. Although it was a busy moment at the Texaco, we managed to make eye contact and pass a smile back and forth. I’m guessing Fiona and Malcolm are with her and some good quality time will be spent with their big cousin, Tyler, son of Sarah Mayhew and Charlie Shipway.

Paul Zydel, who used to be a regular on the transient dock with his kids Tim and Lenore, paid a visit this past week with his dear friend Gail on his boat, Iron Gennie. Although the sunsets during his stay weren’t particularly noteworthy, his opportunity to catch up with old friends was. They began their westerly trip back to New York on Tuesday morning by stating, “We will be back.”

Speaking of Sarah, her dad Ted celebrated his 81st birthday on July 20. His bride Judy is a great facilitator of family get-togethers with great food, so I am certain he celebrated in style. Happy birthday, Ted.

There are probably more family members in the mix, but it is Cody Jacobs who pays regular visits to the Texaco for, shhh, candy. Cody is the teen grandson of John Jacobs.

And to quote that wonderful children’s book that reminds me of a summer in Chilmark, “...the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars. When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer.”