I have returned to the Chappy column roost from a long hiatus, or whatever it is called when a chicken steps out for a while, to alternate weeks with Peter. I loved reading Lily’s column, as I’m sure all of you did. She brought genuine affection for Chappy to every piece she wrote. I will try to do the same.

Did I miss the Shad? Has it flowered and gone? I find that far too many pleasures are fleeting in this life — the effort to notice everything only becomes more strenuous the older one gets. As a child, I had a large closet in my room that was the meeting place for: all the toys that I’d play with later; all the unfinished school workbooks; some rocks I’d found; and several paper mache mummies.

I feel that my brain is my new closet now — everything I plan to do later, every person I need to write, every word and every novel thought — all piled up in storage awaiting use. Plus, I have a six-year-old boy that takes up a decent amount of memory with his wonderfulness, and incessant retelling of Minecraft adventures. There’s always next year for those perfectly contrasting white flowers.

I think this Chappy summer may be different from last summer. I hope so. I associate our Island with a carefree and wild spirit, one that doesn’t do well with constraints. It was as if we never fully got our sea legs in 2020. Everything felt out of balance and unsure. Of course, this was due primarily to the poor performance of the Red Sox, but I think Covid played a part as well.

There is, however, also a patience to Chappy. Things have always taken just a handful-of-sand longer here. So I feel we can wait. We can be safe, patient and courteous until this awful virus finds it no longer has an hospitable host.

I attended an “owl seminar” in Plymouth a couple weeks ago. Man, do I love owls! I got to meet a couple screech owls (one looked like a long suffering spouse, because the partner never shut up once doing the entire lecture). I also had pleasure of making the acquaintance of a snowy owl, a barred owl (don’t know what he did wrong to be prohibited), and a great horned owl. We had a great time, and the consensus among the owls was that, out of all the attendees, they liked me best. Which was nice.

My point is that I have purchased several (more than two) owl houses for installation at the golf course (in addition to the bluebird houses already in place). I feel a little bad — I’ve already had calls from college kids asking if they could rent one for the summer, but the owls weren’t having it. So (hopefully) look forward to hearing their calls at night. Ah, envy the owl, life without cell phones.

It is truly good to be back. I enjoy conversing with you folk. Please let me know if there is anything of note you’d like me to mention. I’m happy to help! Cheers.