It’s August. Yes, it’s been August for a while now, but “It’s August” is currently the number one phrase around town due to its usefulness in explaining so many late-summer phenomena. For instance, this week there was double parking on Main Street in front of the bank, clogging downtown traffic. There were also 10 people walking down the middle of the road in front of the library completely oblivious to the cars behind them. Also sighted were bikers riding four across up School Street into oncoming traffic. Ah, August, when Vinalhaven turns into some odd northern version of Disney. But the phrase “It’s August “ can also explain happier occurrences such as fun events, fundraisers, prolific gardens, cooler mornings and evenings, and gorgeous sunsets.

School events

More teacher traffic is being seen at the school these days in preparation for the start of the school year and the end-of August work-days. Students start back to school on Sept. 4 here, and folks are glad it’s later than the August start in many Maine schools. The new high school English teacher, Ryan McLellan will arrive soon, and the temporary Second Grade teaching position has been filled, and should be approved by the School Board soon. Also at school a new outdoor classroom pavilion is being built by the brick patio as part of the celebration of the school’s 10th year.

Business around town

Around town some stores are changing their hours for late summer, and though we’re at our high point of visitors now, in another week or so, the numbers will decrease markedly as vacationers with kids in school and jobs related to that calendar get back to work. But for now there is always time for shopping and another fundraiser or two.

The Annual Vinalhaven Pet Show is always a town favorite and this year the raffle for the “Ultimate Maine Lobster,” a pillow sewn with more than 200 vintage buttons, many from houses on Vinalhaven and North Haven is a hot ticket. I hope we’ll see more gorgeous button pillows in the future. The raffle benefits the Knox County Humane Society as do many of the other events at the pet show including a silent auction, lawn sale, pet portraits, and food sales.

What folks are talking about

At the flea market folks have been talking about the beauty of the vegetables as well as the beauty of the crafts. Conversations are about how the tomatoes need more sun to ripen and how the zucchini is always prolific no matter the weather. We’re not producing high variety in our family’s garden, but I’m keeping busy harvesting and processing carrots, zucchini, basil and beans to put away for winter. I like to think that I am preserving the summer sunshine while I work and while making a stew in February I’ll think back on the warmth of this season.

My favorite moment of the week had nothing to do with the bustle of town or the social calendar but everything to do with why some folks keep coming to Vinalhaven and why some stay here. I was out on a morning walk a little after six admiring the early light, and the shine on Indian Creek. Then, in a shaft of light were two deer slowly walking along the mud flats. They stopped and watched me walking as I had watched them walking and then we three went on our ways having shared a peaceful moment. Moments like this are truly special, but though they may be rare in other places, thankfully moments like this aren’t so hard to come by. Such moments are timeless enough to make you forget that it’s August.

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