A hippie writes home from the Vineyard, some 40 years ago.

Dear Mom and Dad, things are going great and we have made some strides here on the Island. Here at my place we have completed a number of projects that would be the envy of my neighbors, if there were any.

We do get visitors, especially if we put out food, or forgetfully leave out food, like the slabs of pork fat left for the birds which have now disappeared. Most likely a skunk waddled off with them.

The birds come around when we manage to get to town and buy some seeds. So far, we have had visitors from many of their tribes: blue jays, chickadees, tufted titmouse’s (mices?) occasional grackles and crows, cardinals in pairs, and some solitary sorts from the woodpecker clan. A large family of turkeys come by to raid the bird seed and when they are around one must roust up from their roost in the cabin and chase them away.

On the domestic side of things we are quickly acquiring the amenities of an honest to goodness 18th-century homestead. We dug a new hole for the outhouse. It’s a nice one. about five feet deep and nice and round. I got some guys to help and we put the outhouse on rollers like the boat builders do and moved it over the new hole without incident. Then they helped move the bathtub closer to the portable gas water heater, a life changer.

We are not done yet, either. We got rid of the three burner/no broiler range and replaced it with a practically new (and side of the road free, mind you) gas range with four working burners, a working broiler and oven, and, if you can believe it, a digital clock. Once I figure out how to set it we will be living in high style.

On the working side of things, I keep busy soaking the antique bottles that we found last spring in the woods. To wash off the winter grime takes some effort, especially if it’s the thought that counts because I see the bucket and have to think, “I wonder when I’ll get to that?”

There seems to be no letup in the excitement here. I got some batteries for the radio, which is only AM. So we listen to the Red Sox games and on occasion Paul Harvey and Sinatra.

The Lady of the Land walked by a while ago with the new calf that has been staying inside her house named Spring, appropriately enough.

Maybe best of all, speaking of spring, the daffodils are blooming and I have had to employ some stealth in their gathering. I have managed to poach eight from around here. They truly sooth the soul.

What’s really cool about this place is that there are camps like this all over and the people that live in them are totally cool and interesting. Most are my age but we are mentored by the old timers on all sorts of things — what work is around, good fishing spots, good spots for hunting and the like. I guess a lot of Islanders grew up close to nature. One guy told me about hunting squirrel for dinner.

They say there is a rise in tourists and ‘summer’ people, but out here you don’t notice them that much.

I hope you can come visit this summer, just bring sleeping bags. We can set up a tarp lean-to. What with the new outhouse hole and the bath tub you should feel at home. Well, almost.

Love and peace, your son, Joey.

(P.S. If we get the time we can even hunt some squirrel).

Joe Keenan lives in Chilmark.