For many on the Vineyard, Memorial Day weekend is a time to restore the water and open up the cottage since the winter closing. Scrapping the wrought iron, sanding and painting the porch floor and exterior trim, planting colorful flowers, chasing the landscape firm to cut the grass, pulling out the deck furniture and the grills, taking the car over to Nelson’s (it will always be Nelson’s), it’s all done to prepare for the season. And similar tasks are in play for the businesses in and around Circuit avenue.

These tasks are not only necessary but for many it is also a time of family bonding. Tasks are divided among the adults, children and sometimes grandchildren who get to appreciate that the cottage does not open up automatically. But that physical labor, time, focus and, yes, resources are required before the happy times and social events unfold over the summer. This is indeed part of the Vineyard experience.

But it is also important that we take time out to honor those veterans that made the ultimate sacrifice for us to enjoy our potpourri of freedoms in our evolving democracy. Memorial Day itself is a federal holiday and began initially as an event to honor Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. But it was inspired by the way residents of the southern states honored their dead. Today it includes all men and women who died in any war or military action.

I am always inspired by people who take the time to put up flags and post signs over bridges and railings that surround our highways and byways. Coming over the Bourne Bridge as one approaches the Cape Cod sign in the rotary, all are greeted by flags, posts and people honoring our fallen soldiers.

Take the time to stop by our cemeteries, nod or tap your horn as you pass the VFW, stand at attention if you are near a parade. Freedom is not free, and but for the lives that have been sacrificed we would not be the great country that we are. We live in perilous times which serve as a reminder for us to cherish one an other and be eternally grateful for those that when the call came they served and died so that we might live.

Toni Kauffman announces that the NAACPMV branch is seeking volunteers for a range of summer activities, including table signings for new memberships and outreach programs for support. They include the June 8 Pride Parade in Ocean Park, June 16 Brazil Fest and the third annual Taste of Juneteenth from 4 to 8 p.m. at the PA Club. Please be reminded that the deadline for entries for the Marie B. Allen Creative Arts Contest is June 14.

Dr. Thelma Johnson has kicked of the summer season for ASALH by announcing that all are invited to attend An Evening with Demola the Violinist on June 19 at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum beginning at 5 p.m. Special recognition will be given to their distinguished achievers: Dr. Lorna Chambers Andrade, Dr. Constance Wheat Batty and Dr. Preston Noah Williams.

Many have enjoyed the food and the friendly atmosphere at the former Golden Bull Brazilian Restaurant at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven and have lamented their closing. Well the Barn Bowl & Bistro in Oak Bluffs saw an opportunity to bring the fabulous Brazilian cooking to Oak Bluffs, especially the famous “Rodizio” meal which includes beef, pork, chicken with bacon and more. The meat is served on delicious skewers with the server cutting the meat in portions that suit your appetite. So come on out to enjoy but come early as parking is tight. The food is great and the atmosphere is exciting. Uncas avenue will never be the same.

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

Randell Edward Taylor, rest in peace.