The windy rain and chill signaling more like fall than spring was no match for the rush of activities in Oak Bluffs preparing for what portends to be a very busy summer.

Circuit avenue saw Help Wanted signs; façades being scraped with paint to follow; and UPS delivering retail inventory for the shops, and more. One could see the fullness of very wide sidewalks with fresh cement bracing for the dense crowds that can now walk safely on the avenue without spilling over into the street. Parallel parking from Gio’s to Linda Jean’s will allow cars to pass easier. Union Chapel is undergoing a full interior cleaning and the two massive trees that were about to fall over on chapel grounds have now been chopped down. The Flying Horses are open once again, which will be a great relief for parents who count on this generational tradition to have big kids and little kids chase the brass ring. A true metaphor for life!

Karl Fuchs writes for many when he says “For everything I am today, my mother‘s love showed me the way!“ This might well be said by Ann Smith as she walks into the magnificent Francine Kelly Gallery in Featherstone’s Art Barn, especially on this past Sunday. After eating a light lunch with family, Kathy and I drove up to see The Art of Flowers exhibit, which is showing from May 8 to 30. Ann has the privilege of managing the institution that her dear mother led with great distinction. The tradition has existed for more than 20 years and each year it features different artists. This year it features some 30-plus artists. Please stop by and try to bring your mother.

For some, this Mother’s Day was bittersweet. Dr. Ernest Hardaway passed and will be missed by many in the Healey Square neighborhood of Oak Bluffs. He was a fixture at the lawn parties given by Les and Adrienne Hayling in East Chop. Hugs and kisses to Carleen Cardwell, who lost her beloved Shawn. Her son was constantly by her side at catering events. A mother and son bond admired by many. Jocelyn Coleman lost her dear son David Williams and knows that this royal of Vineyard families will embrace her as she grieves.

On April 23, more than 100 celebrated the many facets of the life of Steve Edmonds of Nashawena Park. The family carried out his wishes of not having a public obituary and by not having people read about some of the things of his life that he thought not important. But I will remind all that Steve had a remarkable career at several technology companies well before diversity practices. These professional assignments allowed him to leverage his considerable talents as an engineer. He was also an avid tennis player active in the Oak Bluffs tennis tournaments, the Herbie Tucker Invitational and the Saturday morning gatherings at The Island Inn, coordinated by Tommy Rabbit.

It is impossible to speak of Steve without thinking of Jane in the same instance. They were a dashing couple devoted to family and friends who loved nothing more than entertaining the people they cared for. I have put my feet under many tables but none have matched the cooking, baking, grilling and cuisine from the Edmonds kitchen. Turkey with oyster stuffing was my favorite. They also threw a splendid book party on their sprawling lawn for friend and neighbor Senator Ed Brooke when his book Bridging the Divide was published.

Hospitality, generosity of heart and spirit and friendship rarely seen today is how Steve lived his life. And this theme and character is what made the Age of Brooke in Oak Bluffs a very special place in decades past. Jane: we will now try to return the love that Steve gave to so many of us.

Paradise on earth is living the Vineyard experience. Enjoy it as life is fleeting!