How is it that Labor Day weekend is already upon us? There is a strange acceleration of time after the Ag Fair.

This is a sweet little threshold here, when the weather still says it’s summer but the traffic begins to abate somewhat. Islanders begin to come out from inside caves and behind mushrooms, and to recognize each other at the post office. Also, cool nights!

We have not yet received any guidance as to school supplies. I am hopeful that this year’s lists, if they are indeed on the way at this late date, will be less daunting than in the past, especially since Educomp is now closed and Amazon Prime’s “two-day shipping” is a hollow joke.

In lieu of three-ring binders, I ordered a store of fresh masks (made in America, because you have to take a stand somewhere) and a few of those at-home Covid tests from CVS.

At this time of year, it feels good to make lists and plan meals, to plug all the soccer practices and dance classes into the calendar. It’s a return to routine and ritual, a short-lived pleasure around my house. This week offers a great excuse to make your children go to bed early so you can finally binge-read in peace. Right now, I’m taking turns with Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a biography of Ghengis Khan, and the more spirited comment threads on Islanders Talk.

Come to the Agricultural Hall for the 25th annual Vineyard Artisans Labor Day Weekend Festival! This is the largest art show on the Vineyard, and a great place to pick up unique holiday gifts. This year’s festival kicks off on Friday, Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. There will be live music and demonstrations of all sorts.

A modest $2 parking fee benefits the Vineyard Artisans Scholarship Fund, which each year gives several Island high school graduates a boost in their artistic pursuits.

Seth’s Pond is, as of this writing, still open. If you are there and see any wildlife that appears to be making unsanitary choices, feel free to chastise them loudly and at length. This method works about as well with geese as it does with our fellow humans, but geese are less vexed by it.

The Up-Island Council on Aging has an amazing website that everyone should check out: all sorts of health and social services, regular Zoom museum tours, yoga and dance classes and card games. It’s a really impressive program.

For those who prefer to do things in person, the office hours at the Howes House are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

If you stop in to say hello, consider picking up a File of Life to fill out and keep on your refrigerator door. In times of trouble, that’s the first place EMTs will look when they need basic information about your health history and what medications you’re taking. It’s funny how the simplest things can sail right out of mind during an emergency.

The tragic moped accident last week has surely affected all of us. Moped controversy seems to rise and fall from year to year, sometimes dominating the conversation and sometimes receding into the background. This season, a lot of people have commented how few mopeds there seemed to be on the roads, and how welcome that change has been.

However, sometimes people ride a moped to get to work, which seems like a reasonable thing. We’ve all seen tourists whooping it up on mopeds, obviously deep in some Hells Angels fantasy, and it’s hilarious. They are having a good time, and who is to judge how another person spends their good time?

And yet this week, I was talking with a paramedic friend who described a meeting, years ago, after some other terrible moped crash, when the pressure was really on to ban the things, once and for all.

My friend reminded others at the meeting of the toll that such accidents take on first responders, who must do their best with whatever horrors they find on scene, and are forever scarred by their failure, and sometimes even their success, when they confront the impossible.

Given the cost to heroes as well as victims, my friend asked, don’t we have a responsibility to try and minimize such catastrophes, if we can? Shouldn’t we consider the effect not just on the moped rental owners, and the moped riders, but the people who have to go and fix what’s broken?

And he recalled that another person present at that meeting quickly retorted, “That’s what they sign up for.”

Which is true as well, I guess. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to think.