On the fourth Thursday in November, families gather around tables not only to enjoy a bountiful meal but to reflect on the end of the year that draws near. Doors open and close as relatives appear, having driven across town or flown in from across the country.

Some of us, like me, do the traveling. The hustling and bustling multi-lanes of Interstate 95 lead me to the single lane of Route 16 that creeps through Ossipee, meanders through Tamworth and past Chocorua into North Conway where I have family that awaits my presence.

It may sound a bit peculiar, but one thing I am looking forward to is joining my Uncle Wink at the Kearsarge Cemetery, where we will quietly tuck some of my Gram’s ashes into the ground. Jean Marsh Lees died in 2005 at the age of 89. It’s time that she takes her place alongside Wendell Archibald, who has been patiently awaiting her since 1977. My family has always been a bit unconventional.

The first and, presumably annual, Friendsgiving with Cops took place last week at the Howes House. Chilmark officers Sean Slavin and Liz Rogers — along with Aquinnah’s Rhandi Belain and Paul Manning and West Tisbury’s Jeremy Rogers, Brad Cortez, Matt Gebo, Brad Fielder and Samantha Smith — were joined by more than 30 up-Island elders, all wearing their Sunday best for food, company, conversation and an opportunity to socialize with old friends and new. Participants raved as they headed out the door with Sean Slavin’s butternut squash soup recipe, claiming it was “the best.”

Contributions of carrots from Beetlebung Farm, greens from North Tabor Farm, desserts from Grey Barn, sweet potatoes from Wise Owl, cookies from Cliffhangers, along with other goodies from Chilmark Coffee, Orange Peel and more, took center stage along with the participants that, among others, included our very own Margaret Maida.

Siblings Ava and Graham Stearns have returned to the nest from Auburn University and Colgate University respectively. Parents Sarah Doyle and Bret are wearing grins from ear to ear as they revel in the excitement their young adult children bring to the table.

Also returning to the nest is Gabe Ambulos. Gabe A, as he was fondly referred to during his Chilmark School days — Gabe B was a classmate, hence the last-initial reference — has somehow grown old enough to find himself in graduate school.

Home again, home again jiggety jig comes Jay Lagemann who ventured off and returned home from a whirlwind expedition to South Orange, N.J., where he delivered and installed his sculpture Jitterbug Dancers. What an interesting experience for folks who pass by him on the highway as he tows larger than life sculpted and colorful dancers.

Everett Healy, eldest son of Caitlin Jones and Allen, hit the road on Nov. 8 with and his good friend Gregory Clark. They took to the highway and set out on a cross country adventure with plenty of camping gear stashed away in the back of Gregory’s Toyota Tacoma. They’ve checked in periodically with family and friends, updating them on their whereabouts. Everett just shared a couple of snapshots from the Grand Canyon so their adventure, thus far, has taken them 2,700 miles and counting.

Island Grown Schools celebrated 15 years and there’s a wonderful documentary to commemorate its inception. Highlighted is none other than Noli Taylor, fabulous mom to Emmett and Tilly, and bride of Isaac who just so happens to be one of her biggest fans. Noli was at the table back in 2007 when Island Grown Schools was born. She has been raising it ever since.

Not only has commercial scallop season opened in town with John Larsen, Wayne Iacono and a handful of others scratching up a few, but shotgun season is nearly upon us. Sunday evening hunters will be headed off to dream land with visions of 10-point bucks in their heads.

Choose your woodland walks wisely and be sure to wrap yourself in blaze orange if you set out on the trails. There’s no hunting allowed in Massachusetts on Sundays so that’s the optimal day to get out and enjoy without disrupting those who are trying to stock their freezers for winter.