I didn’t pay close attention to what was going on at home. It wasn’t that I was uninterested, but I was on a little walkabout with Marshall and the sights, sounds and smells of the adventure we had embarked on were simply captivating.

The first leg of our journey took us to the Mountain State of West Virginia. The state motto “mountaineers are always free” describes our dip into New River Gorge National Park to a T. The steps up the peaks and down into the valley that left me with rubbery legs at the end of the day were worth the awe inspiring views. Go there. It’s a remarkable place filled with not only breathtaking vistas but stories of coal mining days and more.

The second leg of our journey took us even further south through fields where tobacco, cotton and peanuts grow. We were two of the attendees at the largest metal detecting event the United States has ever seen. The 7,000 acres of fields nestled in the towns of Whitakers, Leggett and Enfield, North Carolina were home to 700-ish detectorists representing all 50 states.

The weather ranged from warm, dry and dusty to cold, grey and slushy. It was fun, exhausting and an opportunity to log many more than the 10,000-step goal fitness experts advise us to reach each day.

I’m happy to be home but a part of me is missing the adventure and seeing sights I’ve not seen before.

I could have used some of the skills Anna McCaffrey, Chilmark board of health assistant, is picking up at what we commonly refer to as “dirt school.” She’s been off-Island this past week, taking the Title V soil evaluators course that is a requirement for observing septic system installation test holes. It’s a crash course in soil morphology including both classroom and field training. There are both a written and field exam, too. UMass Amherst was the location where she got to dig in the dirt.

While Anna was out of the office, the board members took turns checking messages. Jan Buhrman had the pleasure and assistance of her six and a half month-old granddaughter Oona Osnoss’s company when it was her turn. Oona is the magnificent little daughter of Faren Worthington and Oliver. They make their home in West Tisbury.

Word traveled fast and I said yippee when I heard Matt Bradley and Kim Murphy decided to tie the knot. The date hasn’t been set but the first part of the process is complete. He popped the question and she replied with yes. The details will come together in the days, weeks and likely months to come, but the knee-knocking hard part is over. Let the excitement begin.

There is one less furball lounging on the couch, riding in trucks and spreading her love around town this week. We all know a dog’s life is significantly shorter than that of a human yet somehow it’s seems like they’ll be with us forever. Extra love goes to the Osmers/Pattinson family as they mourn the loss of sweet little Precious. She was one of what felt like a communal pup around Menemsha harbor. Her presence will be missed.

Jennifer Burkin will be teaching a block printing workshop held at Featherstone on April 1. She will give a lesson in carving, inking and printing on various paper types. There is a fee for the four-hour class but materials are included. You can sign up through Featherstone’s website.

Carl Crocker made it out in front of the stormy weather with his sights locked in on the tropical island of Puerto Rico. He met up with his partner Suzy Crowley, who ventured south a week or so before him to have a little quality time with her nephew and sister in law. The island of Culebra has been a rejuvenation point for them for a number of years; its peaceful charm keeps calling them back.

I can’t let the very special shared birthday of Marshall Carroll and Patrick Jenkinson go unnoticed. I say it each year and will say it again: March 19, 1969 was the day these two were born at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Their dads paced as their moms labored with the end result: two baby boys who grew up side by side and remain friends some 54 years later.

Oh happy day to them and happy birthday week to Zora Morais, Brian Cioffi, Lew French, Sean Slavin, Lisa Bibko-Vanderhoop, Sawyer Rothmann, Richard Skidmore, Nisa Counter, Owen Singer and more.