There was a steady flow of traffic headed up-Island on Sunday afternoon as families began to roll back into town from faraway places. They made pit stops at the grocery store to get a few things for Monday morning breakfast and lunch boxes. The washers and dryers were spinning and tumbling while kids soaked and scrubbed in the tub in preparation for a good night of sleep.

Teachers would be waiting to greet them Monday morning, eagerly anticipating wide-eyed retelling of adventures including snorkeling, skiing and everything in between.

A 60th surprise party for Alan Porter was one heck of a surprise and all planners, attendees, family and friends managed to keep the whole shebang from him until the confetti was tossed and “for he’s a jolly good fellow” was shouted out. It’s hard to believe this feisty Brit has completed six decades on Earth. He shouts out a big thank you to all who helped him celebrate, especially his wonderful partner in life Alison Curtin.

Good luck to Eloise Christy who will be competing at the 2023 New Balance Indoor Track Championships being held at The TRACK at new balance in Brighton. I look forward to hearing how her experience was at this high-tech facility and, maybe, passing along her story to you.

Ginny Jones, along with a dedicated group of friends, has managed to get the bulk of her Fo’c’sles Locker shop packed up, with books being distributed to a few libraries and other notable locations. It is a bittersweet change of pace moment and, as I told Ginny, I hope she continues to “buzz the Bight” so things still feel a little normal in Menemsha. I do wish her every happiness in the possibilities that the extra time by not tending her shop will bring.

It doesn’t seem possible that little Olivia Larsen, now Gately, could be a mom because she was just a little kid at my wedding — which was just yesterday — wearing a matching red and white-checked dress with her sister Abigail. Olivia and husband Michael welcomed Michael Patrick Gately 3rd to the world on Feb. 8, just six days after grandpa John Larsen celebrated his birthday alongside Punxsutawney Phil. John and grandmother Sue are thrilled this new little buddy is just down the road in West Tisbury.

Yellow lab Ozzie’s dog-cation with Tim and Laurisa Rich has come to an end. He frolicked; he took car rides; he had belly-scratching marathons; but his people have returned home from a spectacular journey to the Bahamas. If you ask Scott McDowell, his sweetie Annette Cingle was top rod. They fished hard but not as hard as they vacationed.

Stowe Mountain was the source of fun, adventure and shooshing for Nell and Mae Thompson. They, along with mom Zoe, caught up with some friends and did so much laughing and frolicking that they came home with sore cheeks. Having Sore cheeks from all the smiling is a genuine sign of a wonderful time.

Congratulations to Annalee Hoy, whose college acceptances are rolling in. Hampshire College is just one of the big “yes”es she has received.

If you like live music then stop by or Zoom in to the Chilmark Church’s Sunday morning service. At 9 a.m., you can hear Flanders Lane high schooler Kestutis Biskis — son of Ellen and Tauras — pluck and strum. He has a wonderful presence in the room and is truly a chip off the ol’ block. The Zoom link can be found on the church website.

If you’re not into music but are into pizza, then stop by the church for a slice on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. You’ll find friends and neighbors chatting over cheese and pepperoni and, if you’re lucky, a few rounds of Bananagrams.

This week and next are Falmouth Academy’s school vacation. For a couple of Chilmark high school juniors, passports were necessary for them to fulfill their vacation plans. Clara Athearn, daughter of Meg and Dan, and Oona Carroll, daughter of Kendra Buresch and Chris, hopped a jet bound for Heidelberg, Germany. The two are immersing themselves in German language and culture as part of a cultural exchange through their school’s foreign language department. I look forward to their stories and to listening to their improved language skills once they return.

Diane Morgan has returned from a family ski adventure and shares the proclamation, “Do what makes you happy.” We should all be more like Diane.