Annie Couch is ninety years old!  And the island is celebrating with her. Almost her whole family must have been with her this week from all over the United States.  There were tents pitched all around her little house down by the marsh on Aunt Jane’s Bay. 


Norma Couch, her daughter, sent me this note on Sunday afternoon. Can you imagine the celebrating that must have gone on?!


“Present at a  family reunion for Anna Couch’s 90th  birthday celebration were:

                        Son William and Wife Carolyn (Norfolk, Virginia)

                        Daughter Norma Frazier (August) (Grindstone, Plessis)

                        Son Arthur and Jeri (Arlington, Texas)

                        Daughter Linda (Warrenton, Oregon)

                        Daughter Alice (Odessa, Texas)


                        Arthur Couch (Lyn) (Charlotte, North Carolina)

                        David Couch (Texas)

                        Shane Simpson (Robin) (Redwood, New York)

                        Linda Carlisle (Bill) (Plessis, New York)

                        Steve Frazier (Lisa) (Lafargeville, New York)

                        Suzette Sinapi (Dallas, Texas)

            Great Grandchildren:

                        Shane, Brandon, and Anna Simpson

                        Heather, Kristen and Troy Frazier

                        Robert Carlisle

                        Alyssa and Shannon Couch

            Nieces, Nephews, and Friends:

                        Bill and Jackie Arnold (Rochester)

                        Bob and Mary Arnold (Chile)

                        Catherine Snow (Virginia Beach)

                        Claude Graham and his son, Shawn (Phoenix, New York)”


Norma said that the family party was not quite enough, though.  So she is planning an Island party for Tuesday, July 11th  in  Dodge Memorial Hall at 6:00 p.m.  It will be potluck, so everyone fix your favorite dish and come join us in saying “Congratulations Annie!!” We hope Sis Matthews  can make it.  She is doing well after some facial surgery, and surely will be able to come give her old friend a celebration kiss.


We celebrated another birthday today, July 9th. Robert Smith turned thirteen!  He took the moment of sun at about six o’clock to dolphin-swim to the cliff, and then to come eat ice cream and cake with Mary, Bobby, Phyllis and Bob Edwards, Debbie, his mother, and John and me.  Some of his birthday happiness is his joy over mail once more going back and forth between the United States and Burundi.  So Debbie and he are again in contact with their Burundi family.  Robert likes it that Harry Slate’s birthday is on the same day as his. We wish them both a happy year.


It seemed like a quiet week on this north side of the island, but when Saturday night came, there was a big crowd at the first dance of the year. Andy Davis was the disk jockey with all of his midnight “suns” bouncing up and down and around and over the wooden beams as the kids danced the macarena.  Brian Parker won the 50-50, and Kitty Paxton won a  “dog” or “burger” hot from the Dodge Hall kitchen.


Emmie Paxton held her hands over her ears, though. So next week I will ask whoever is playing to sympathize with the racket my hearing aids’ can make, and with the problems too loud a noise can give to Emmie’s  and Mary’s and Katie’s and Kayla’s,and Robert’s and Robbie’s  and all  delicate, pretty, useful little ears. There will be a dance next week, same time, same place, but the music is still a surprise.


I got to church a bit later than usual, and I didn’t think there was a single seat I could fit into!  Rex Ennis and Janet, however, squeezed together and I could just sit down with them. So the hymns swelled the little sanctuary.  The children’s choir practiced on Saturday night, and sang “My Lord, what a morning, When the stars begin to fall” in their clear sweet voices. The adult choir sang too. And all in all it was as if we were already at the peak of summer, even though we could see that the rain was certainly going to dampen things, and swimming in the afternoon was downright chilly. Margaret’s daisies, though, were again bright fountains on the table, and black-eyed susans raised their quiet faces on the organ. The two flags whose colors were presented last week to the church complemented the colors in the stained glass window in the front wall of the church.  The freshly painted wall needed just their bit of lift.


Several of the announced events from last week are yet to come:


Aminta Marks, is talking at the village museum on July 19th at twelve noon, about the history of the Grindstone Island Methodist Church. It is part of a weekly program of local history held every Wednesday at noon. I’m hoping a lot of the “ancient” islanders will come so we can work on some questions that have puzzled me as I’ve been writing the history. I especially hope that Annie Couch and Sis Matthews and Leon Rusho will be able to get across the river.


Kitty Paxton invited everyone in church to come to a party on July 29th to celebrate Michael Paxton’s graduation from his first stint in the navy.  He will be home, then, and ready to celebrate with us all. Save the date.


There will be a potluck picnic lunch at the island schoolhouse immediately after church (12:00 or 12:30 o’clock) on Sunday, July 23. Transportation will be available from the Antique Boat Museum at 9:30 a.m. for those who would like to attend church, and, again, at 12:00 o’clock noon. Boats will be met by island transportation. A boat will be ready to take people back to the museum at 3:00 p.m.  To reserve space on a boat, please call 686-4093 leaving your name, the number in your party, the boat you wish to come over on, and the telephone number at which you can be reached.


The Annual Turkey Dinner and auction will be held in the Grindstone Church Carriage House on Saturday, July 15th, beginning at 5:00 pm.  Dinner is $6.00 for adults, and $3.00 for children (10 and under).


There was a productive joint meeting of the Dodge Hall Task Force and the Church Council on Sunday. The two governing bodies are working well together.


Children’s choir rehearsal will be at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday evening. 


Adult choir rehearsal will meet at 10:00 am on Sunday morning.


There will be a Church Council meeting at the parsonage on Tuesday, July 11th at 7:00 p.m.                                                                              


But there were a few new announcements:


Schwartz Day Planning Committee meeting, Tuesday, July 11th at 10:00 a.m. at Kitty Paxton’s house.


Aleitha Williams made a plea for more help in the Sunday School.  There were a raft of children there this morning. Call Aleatha and sign up for a day when you can be there to give a hand—or seek her out in church.


Janice McPhail wanted us to know how glad she is that she can be in attendance at the Aunt Jane’s Bay service on their lawn this year.  They have had to miss it for several years, but next Sunday, July 16th she can be with us, and serve the cookies and coffee there in her own house overlooking the river.


Marjorie Dower told us that Polly Kolle sends greetings and wishes she could be with us on Sunday mornings.  She is having trouble with her leg and can’t get around as she always has.


We send our sympathy to Jeff Marra’s family.  His father- in- law, Bernard Reese died last weekend.


Debbie Donaldson’s dance class from Gananoque went to Montreal this week for a dance competition.  They did well, and the whole group came home, having had a good time and happy with what they did. Hooray for Dance!


So It Is,

Aminta Marks