Don’t forget about the Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Agricultural Hall. I have to work, but might sneak over just for the skillet toss. Watching strong women hurl cast iron with blistering intensity might be exactly what the doctor ordered, as a matter of fact. The festival starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. Admission is free.

Lately, there have been lots of little reminders about how wonderful this island is to its children. I often hear about the experiences of parents and caregivers in other places -- confrontations about breast-feeding in public or nasty scenes at soccer games -- and think, wow, that would just never happen here. People on the Vineyard tend toward kindness and are generally tolerant of children. Animals, too! What better thing can you say about a place?

The library is building fairy and gnome houses on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Come and join! There is information on this and countless other activities on their website. It’s getting chilly at night, and woodland sprites will appreciate your efforts.

In more library news, we discovered yesterday that in the children’s room, there is a whole wall of picture books about vehicles, and they are divided into sections: trucks, trains, cars, and so on. I find this utterly charming.

To the unbridled joy of many, the Dumptique is open. And just in time, because there seems to be a glut of unwanted stuff that needs a new home.

The Salvation Army bins outside down-island Cronig’s are the worst I’ve ever seen them. Come on, guys. It says right there on the bin that they are accepting used clothing in bags. There’s nothing about broken baby equipment or other garbage.

Sure, sometimes we’d all like to throw unusable stuff out of our car window, but resisting that impulse is part of what allows us to call ourselves an advanced civilization. It’s not like the garbage fairy is going to twinkle everyone’s junk away overnight; real people have to sort through that mess and pay to dispose of it.

But back to the Dumptique. What’s the best thing you ever scored there? For me, it was a massive wooden dollhouse. I spotted it the moment I drove in and tore out of my car and just about draped my body over its smooth, carved roof. I was sure people were going to fight me for it and I was prepared to fight dirty.

But the ladies laughed and said, of course you can have it, and do you want to look around a little more? Just like that.