Painting is a simple way to spruce up a house. And when times are tough, color offers an economical way to brighten your outlook too.

Nicki Miller

“New England hospitality” is not exactly a phrase that rolls off the tongue like, say, “Southern hospitality.”

Perry Garfinkel

I am one of the crying mothers. On the first day of school, I let loose. But my sentimentality is becoming increasingly problematic, as my daughter, Maddy, is now a sixth grader. I find myself crying alone.

I recall last year we woke up extra early, even though her clothes had been laid out for days. I made pancakes, and we gave ourselves an additional five minutes of driving time.

Kate Feiffer

Though we’ve settled on the Vineyard, many of us still feel like wash-ashores. As the daughter of a diplomat who moved around the world every year or two, feeling rooted is a challenge. Then, a few years ago in the Vineyard Gazette, I came across some lesser-known names of early settlers of the Vineyard and was surprised to see my husband Jeff’s surname: Wass.

Deborah K. Sillimanwass

I recently had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., and not meet the Obamas. I was hoping to run into them, perhaps over dinner at the White House, but that didn’t work out.

Kate Feiffer

Sofa bed. The country-themed print with barely discernible stains has just enough wear and tear to give this sofa bed a comfortable, homey feel. The former owners supplemented the couch with a piece of plywood for extra support and are passing along the plywood for your convenience.

Kate Feiffer

If you’ve gotten the call, you know how it feels. I had never gotten one before, so I didn’t know how I’d react. Actually, I had never even thought about how I’d respond.

When the phone rang on a cold, dreary, winter morning, I wasn’t expecting the call to be from the Martha’s Vineyard Steamship Authority. I assumed it would be from the furnace guy who was supposed to have been in my basement cleaning my furnace forty-five minutes ago.

Kate Feiffer

The young think they will never be old. Gradually, they realize that they will age and even die, but not yet. At fifty, you’re just hitting your stride. Sixty is still pretty young. I thought I would never be seventy, but now I feel lucky to have made it so far. Even so, I don’t feel like an old woman except for the moments when I see my mother in the mirror or when a person offers me a seat on the T (or when nobody gives me a seat and I wish someone would) or when I get the senior discount without asking for it.

Betsy Campbell