Some people say that they are allergic to the holidays. I believe that I truly am. Every year about this time, I come down with some sort of turkey fever. This year, my malaise was feared to be a recurrence of Lyme meningitis . . . though I am told that Lyme cannot, in fact, recur.

Whatever the case, the symptoms were eerily similar, and I was a pushcart away from another spinal tap before the decision was made to first give some IV antibiotics a shot. So far, so good. I tell you this, my public, mostly because I crave attention (I resented that I never broke a bone in my youth, and thus never had a cast to sign and fawn over. The one chance I had at glory turned out to be only an ankle sprain — though I still question the diagnosis since my mom brought me to the veterinary hospital where she worked for my X-ray). But, I also tell my tale of woe as a vehicle in which to express my gratitude to this Island’s caregivers.

Having been a frequent flier, as late, of the Martha's Vineyard Hospital due to repeated bouts of Lyme and its associates, I have had ample opportunity to sample the staff at the institution. Almost without exception, everyone from reception to physician has been both compassionate and professional. The nurses in the ER are simply awesome — just the right blend of humor and gravity. The facility itself is well equipped to handle what I’ve thrown its way — it catches everything with an ample first baseman’s mitt of technology and knowledge. So, for all those who generously contributed to establishment of this new hospital, I thank you. Your generosity has directly and effectively impacted the lives of Islanders.

Also included in my list of caregivers are the Chappy ferry captains and crew. Without knowing it, their persistent good nature positively impacts those of us going through some not-so-great times. Thanks this time to Becca and Keith — your freezing rain-spotted smiling faces and good humor were a welcome tonic.

Of course, being a great pontificator and teacher of life lessons, I have a moral to my story (beyond expressing gratitude). And it is this: be respectful of your mortality. For years I have bailed mouse urine-infused water with bare and cut hands; I have blithely trampled through wooded areas with bare legs; I have mowed tall grasses for hours on end without the benefit of mask or eye wear. The fact that I did all three of these things in the past week leaves little doubt about, or sympathy for, my current condition. The Fates will let you get away with some foolishness in youth, but they expect you to wise-up later in life, and as such will punish your insolence with pain . . . great pain. My excuse for my frivolity is not a good one — laziness. However, henceforth, pants, gloves and masks will now be part of my very stylish work wardrobe. I urge others of my ilk to follow my fashion statement.

In other (less Woodger-y) news, our friend weather had a very difficult time settling on one mood, so she decided on a smorgasbord of the good and the bad. Lots of sun, rain, wind, warmth and chill were packed into the holiday weekend, but most of you know that anyway as it seems that you were here. Chappy was abuzz with activity.

Finally (and this actually happened), I saw a turtle outrun a rabbit. Technically, I suppose the rabbit was stationary, but nevertheless if the turtle and the rabbit had a common destination, the turtle certainly arrived there first. It was motoring. Another fable debunked.

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