Warm greetings dear friends and patient readers, welcome back to the Front Porch (after a brief summer hiatus) and welcome to the month of August!

Well, I guess it's true, as the wisewomen say, that it's exhilarating and important to travel but there's no place like home. I loved visiting Virginia (make sure to visit Marjorie Merriweather Post's Hillwood Estate and Museum the next time you're in the D.C. area, the Russian art is breathtaking!) and Minneapolis (where there were several fabulous gluten-free restaurants, by the way; Colita, which was exquisite, and Sassy Spoon, which was a vegetarian's delight) and spending time with my two youngest sisters, Ginger and Betsy, was beyond perfect, but it's still a great feeling to get back in the Ocean State.

The only problem is that I missed a number of parties and events including the Colonial Theatre fundraiser held at "Sunnandene," the stunning Bluff Avenue home of Marion Markham and Randy Abood. My little birdies told me it was fabulous affair with dozens of Colonial supporters in attendance. Marion, of course, is currently on stage in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," a Colonial production, which is playing in Wilcox Park through Aug. 18.

I also missed the fundraiser for Rhode Island Public Radio with Torey Malatia, Alex Nunes, and my longtime friend from Nantucket, Maia Farish, who is a member of the board of directors. I'll have to find out more that snappy-sounding event and report back!

And I missed the Lilly Pulitzer party hosted by Deborah Goodrich Royce and the Ocean House Fund for Charitable Giving (a portion of the proceeds was donated to support local families in need), which my birdies told me drew hundreds of guests, all dressed in their liveliest Lillies, who were served such treats as avocado toast, sesame crab salad and mini hot dogs, along with wine, champagne, lemonade cocktails, and a three-course luncheon of gazpacho, salad topped with shrimp and grilled chicken and, for dessert, petite macarons. Several local ladies, along with  state-wide stars modeled dresses and skirts from Lilly Pulitzer’s "Endless Summer Collection," including Westerly Town Councilor Sharon Ahern, Susan DeMovick, Caroline Maynard, Kara Lech, DeDe Madeira, Alexa Curtis, CEO of Life Unfiltered, Ashley Erling, the executive producer of the Rhode Show and Kathy Conger, past president of Stonington Garden Club.

I was sad to learn of the passing of Doris (Quattromani) Abosso, my friend from the Blue Mitten. She was such a lovely woman and so enjoyed telling me stories about her family. Peace be with you, dear Doris, rest in peace, and condolences also to my good friends and neighbors, the Adams family who lost Kevin's dad, Ron, on Saturday.

And rejoice, it's good news for the lovely Tara Whelan and her darling daughter Kennedy, who welcomed a new member to their family in July. Teddy Bears are off to Elm Street for beautiful Brooks David Whelan, who arrived July 19, weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces and measuring 21 inches long. Said mom, Tara, "His big sister and big cousins are in love! So are his mom and his grandparents" and aunt and uncle of course! Baby Brook's grandparents are David and Linda Whelan, his cousins are Rory, Reilly and Tyler, and his aunt and uncle are Chelsea and Paul Brayman. Brooks is also the nephew of the late David Whelan.

And so, dear friends, we roll into August full of hope and good cheer. If I missed any of your good news during my long weekend get-a-ways, please feel free to call or write, until next time, ciao bella!

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