It’s hot! And it’s dry.  In fact, this weekend, people on the island are saying they have never seen the island so dry.  We were at a party at Weezie Ford’s on Saturday night on Mac Rae Point, and talk turned to concern about a fire, which a fellow on the north side had set to burn some brush. We all agreed that any fire now is dangerous.  Just a spark could escape and cause an enormous amount of damage. On our land, a miniscule stray root once caught fire and burned, smoldering, as a string burns, until late evening when one of the young people noticed it.  But it took a bucket brigade of all 10 or so of us to get the small  fire in the mosses completely extinguished. It is next to impossible to have a “controlled fire” when everything is tinder.


The leaves are curled so tightly that you can easily see the full moon through the trees behind our house. The storm that brought thunder up the Canadian side of the river on Friday never did what storms over the mainland usually do. The wind never shifted suddenly to come out of the northeast and drive much rain to Grindstone. Neither did the storm do what Old-timer Emmet Dodge said they do when they go past us on the Canadian side.  He said they would always come back.  This one didn’t.  The evening turned beautiful; we watched a spectacular sunset from the point, and the full moon over the river was lovely as we walked home.  The river is now as warm as those Florida swimming pools I’m told about. Not refreshing!


But a little heat, a little ice, a little lightening and thunder, a flat tire, a leaky fuel pump,

a microburst never stops life on Grindstone.  So, of course, life has gone on this week just as it should have! No one was flustered much at all. I did hear a few sighs though.


Bob Smith managed to have a fine week visiting Debbie and Robert.  Minister Dick and Phil Marra and Jeff  fixed him up with steps and a banister that made him able to get out into the yard almost every day where he could hail all the passers-by.  John had several good talks with him when he went up for the mail.  It was nice to have him here, and Debbie thanked all the people in church who had given him so much help, so many she couldn’t name them all.  It was such kindness and affection that made Sis Matthews able to stay on the island in her own house for so long.  You get a lot of  help here when you need it.


Robert Bikwemu writes about the Tuesday afternoon schoolhouse program, “There were only 5 people at the School House. We talked about the early sixteenth century, when the explorers came to Grindstone.  Some of the Indians believed that the Thousand Islands come from a blanket that broke into a thousand pieces.  Then Eliza told us  to write pictures that describe that folk story, or to tell ‘what you think of the blanket’.”  (Audrey Lashomb’s book about Grindstone begins with that legend.)


Meghann Parker describes Wonderful Wednesday this way:  “When I first arrived at the parsonage Dick and Mary called me over to their house to help bring over the crafts.  While Dick and Mary set up for the crafts, Mary asked me to make up lemonade and put

peanuts and raisins in dishes.  When I was done with that 2 kids arrived and we started to make sand creatures, the most popular one was a fish.  We used such colors as black,

yellow, orange, purple, green, and pink. Then when we were done we proceeded on doing a lesson.  Mary talked to us about if we didn’t have thumbs then what would we use?  Next she taped our thumbs and our pointer fingers together and she had us write our names and pick up nickels, dimes and a quarter.


Bobby Bazinet writes,  “ At art and crafts we made cards that we could send to lots of people.  We folded a piece of paper.  Then we decided who we would send it to and wrote their name in the front and told who it is from. Then we wrote something inside for them.  After we did that , we could make it pretty by putting borders on it, glitter, or some people even put stamps that looked like animal on the cards.  Urch served lemonade and pretzels.  This was Urch’s Thursday morning program at the schoolhouse at 10:30.


Robert Bikwemu appeared at our back door at 7:00 p.m. sharp with all three of these paragraphs collected from his friends on Cross Island Road. It is wonderful to have accounts from the mouths of the kids who attend the programs! And now he is running an express mail bike down the dusty hill and up the next, to gather photographs from trusty Mary Petry of  some of the people who will perform in the concerts on the 15th and 17th of August.


On Thursday afternoon at 2:00, Norm Wagner gave a talk about the loggers on Grindstone, how they made rafts of the trees and shipped them down river. He talked, also, about other early industry in the region.  A lot of people came to hear him.  These Thursday programs are growing in popularity. Next week the subject will be Native Americans, and  a native American will tell us something about her tribe.


Ray John’s Band was at Dodge Hall on Saturday night, but I think the bright full moon tempted people to the beach rather than to the Hall. Next week the Bandits will play.  Maybe there will be a larger crowd to hear them.


The annual Memorial Service for those who died during the last year was held on Sunday morning in the Grindstone Island Methodist Church.  Helen Ingerson was there to sing to us as she always is on this Sunday. She is a favorite of Grindstone Islanders. We always welcome her with open hearts. Katie Carlisle and Kayla Williams sang Kum ba yah before Pastor Petry read the names of those no longer with us.


These are the people we remembered:


Callie Affleck, whom Carl Larson remembered sitting on the wonderful front porch of Bosco Belle, inviting that passer-by from  his canoe to the chair next to her to help eat cookies, of which she seemed to have an endless supply.


Hank Borman, who, with his wife, Ann, gave the church an organ.


Lorraine Elger, who is one of the Calhouns, our dock-building family of Grindstone.


Hildred Garnsey, the former island post mistress


Helmuth Joel, whose wife, Penny, had stayed at home, where she thought Helmuth would like her to be, with two new twin grandchildren.


Elizabeth Kelly Williams, one of the Williams clan who visited us at the schoolhouse picnic last year.


We were delighted to have Carol Marsh back with us to lead the choir in an anthem.

It is amazing what this choir can prepare in their short 10:00 a.m. rehearsal on Sunday mornings before church! And there were Margaret’s flowers, drought or no!


Here are some dates for your calendars:


Tuesday, August 7th:  2:00 p.m.  Children’s Musical Heritage Workshop:  This week they will hear about horse racing on Grindstone and will finish their song about the witch on the Base Line Road.


The children are gearing up to take part in the concerts next week, August 15th in the Clayton Opera House and August 17th in the Squash Court on Grindstone.


On Monday at noon, the children who will perform in the concerts on both August 15th and August 17th, met at the schoolhouse to rehearse their music.


It will be a program of music gleaned   from the history of Grindstone from the days of our American Indians and the early explorers to modern works performed by contemporary Grindstone musicians.


Both programs begin at 7:00, and the proceeds from both will be divided between the Grindstone schoolhouse and  Dodge Memorial Hall. There will be a potluck desert after the program at the Squash Court.


On Thursday, August 9th, at 2:00 p.m. John Marks will talk about the ministers who have served the Grindstone Island Church.


Saturday, August 11th, Barnyard Olympics & ice cream social on the church grounds.   Fun and games for all ages. Pizza. An old-fashioned ice cream social.


August 12th, Sunday, there will be a brief business meeting of the congregation after church to hear a report of the Trustees regarding the renovation of the Carriage House.


There will also be a potluck luncheon on August 12th, to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversaries of Andy and Beverly Davison, and John and Aminta Marks.


August 18th, there will be a spaghetti supper at Dodge Memorial Hall at 5:00 p.m.


August 19th, Pancake Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. This before church “feast” brings fellowship, and conversation, as well as pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee.   (free will offering)  10;30 a.m. Church Service and Sunday School.


August 26th, Sunday, Charge Conference.  After the church service and Sunday School, we will gather for the annual church business meeting that is chaired by our St. Lawrence district superintendent.


August is a busy month!  So it is

Aminta Marks