Need a little inspiration for some early season fun? Here are five ideas for the months of May and June.

Simone McCarthy

There comes a time at the end of a long Vineyard summer when the weather loses its sparkle, friends and cousins have all gone home, and kids grow restless. Parents have grown weary of making sandwiches, searching for dry towels, and making another trek to the beach in the fog. The children have been to the Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs and Gus Ben David’s World of Reptiles in Edgartown. They’ve read all the library books about Geronimo Stilton and Captain Underpants.

Betsy Campbell

Steve and his brothers’ childhood adventures included jumping into the Atlantic from the concrete bunker, a relic from World War II, that still stood defiantly in the surf at South Beach a generation later.

“The Bunker Is Leaving”

When I was a boy

I swam at South Beach

We played in the waves

My brothers and me

We laid on our stomachs

We should also note that Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven was damaged by fire on the Fourth of July and is currently closed. We wish the building and business owners as well as the staff all the best through this difficult period.

Fiction

The Birth House by Ami McKay. Selected by Karen Harris of Bunch of Grapes.

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey. Selected by Dawn Braasch and Doug Ullman of Bunch of Grapes.

Susan Catling

Chilmark Pottery, off State Rd. across from Nip ‘n' Tuck Farm, West Tisbury. 508-693-6476. Daily demonstrations. Open Monday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Christina Gallery, 32 N. Water St., Edgartown, 508-627-8794, christina.com. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cobalt Gallery, 553 State Rd., West Tisbury, 508-693-2052. "Small Works" November 23-January 1. Wednesday-Sunday 2-6 p.m.

Craftworks, 149 Circuit Ave., Oak Bluffs, 508-693-7463. Contemporary American Craft. Open through the holidays. Daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

And finally, eventually, most of the visitors are gone from the streets and the galleries and the bed-and-breakfasts. For most Islanders, that means a return to the essential, ordinary lives of work, family and school.

That's also true for Island craftspeople. But the people who make pots and quilts, rugs and jewelry and other handmade crafts often spend the warm months selling their work or their services to summer visitors. For them, the colder months are a time to get back to their craft.

Hollis L. Engley

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