Grindstone Island News -August 17, 1994
I usually think of Grindstone as the place where everything is planned:
"weather permitting," or "God-willing and if the creek doesn't rise." But a lot of this summer has been concerned with who controls what, with people fearing losing control. However, in true island fashion, by last Sunday, the church and Dodge Hall had concluded that what little control one has happens only when friends are mutually responsible for what happens. And so it is.
I was amused to watch myself as Saturday, my 70th birthday, arrived. All six grandchildren, I knew, were to come to an evening party along with their four parents. Belle and John Marks and Fleur and Bill Rueckert. Peter and Mia didn't know until Friday that they could not get there. Grandpa John seemed to know a little about what the evening would bring forth.
But I felt like a bumper that had fallen off a boat. I kept making cards for other people - for young John who was in Ohio on Aug. 6 when he usually celebrates his birthday with "Grandpa John," for Grandpa who had had to celebrate alone last Saturday in only half a celebration, and for John and Belle whose fifth anniversary was Aug. 12.
But I still felt as though I were bobbing about, not in control. However, in true island fashion (God was willing, the creek didn't rise, and no one paid any heed to the wind and waves), "a good time was had by all!"
At the dance, meanwhile, there was another good time in Dodge Hall. Sis Matthews told me about it after church: "Yes, I stayed right to the end." "After it was all over, they played one of those antique tunes, and Phil Marra asked me to dance. I was afraid I might fall down, but he told me to try it... and I danced the whole thing. He told me it would be good for my feet to do it every day! It reminded me of when Charlie and I were first dating and Charlie brought me cream for my coffee..."
Sis went to see her sister, Pauline Honeyman, who is in the Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown. "And," Sis said, "my visit reminded Pauline of all the good times we had had together when we were all young. It was a good tonic for her."
Mrs. Keith Custis (Naomi), not undone at having lost control and fallen down her stairs, breaking her pelvis, got herself back to bed that night, and next day, as she was being taken to the fire boat, called out, "Now, remember, the dog gets one cup of Kibble every day ... Someone bring a camera! I want a picture of me on the fire boat!" Dr. Withington assures us she will be out and getting around very soon!
Marjorie Rusho called to tell the news of Naomi, and assured us she is in no pain. She is just finding it a nuisance to use a walker. She said to me, "It could have been worse. It could have been you!" and hung up with a chuckle. She also told me that Mary Lou Rusho had come over Thursday evening and cooked a wonderful party meal for her's and Leon's 64th wedding anniversary. Manley had to be away that night.
So, God wills, the waves roll, the wind blows, the fiver rises and falls, and life on Grindstone moves through another summer. "The trees are no longer as green as they were in July," Mary Beers remarked on
Sunday morning, "and islanders are taking stock of their freezers preparing for winter." Solomon had a dream that he could tell good from evil. Eve ate an apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The minister dreamed that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. But we go on, here on Grindstone, having been told to rule over every living thing in our garden, still not sure we can tell good from evil, still making plans, weather permitting and God-willing, still enjoying this place, this people. And we DO SING so the turnbuckle rings!
Note: Aug. 21 is the charge conference in Grindstone Methodist Church. Dodge Hall will make a report of the year's activities as Mary Beers and Doc Schwartz give the church report. Then we'll gather together in the carriage house afterwards for a potluck lunch. Judy and Liz Bacci will teach Sunday school.
John Morrow will be disc jockey at the dance on Saturday. So it is.