I spent some time last weekend following the near-nonstop coverage of the fifth-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Then, in watching the Weather Channel Tropical Update I kept my eye on the movements of Earl. I did make a few “in-case” preparations. I searched out a mechanic to repair the generator. I can live pretty well for a while with no power. I have a gas range, plenty of lanterns and always something to do. However, this business of no water because of an electric-run water pump in the well is a big drag.

I pity our ancestors and many in the third world who need to haul it on a daily basis. I have plenty stored in jars as well as plastic jugs in the freezer. It is important to keep the freezer full at all times. It is much more efficient. I replace items with water bottles as I empty it. Then if there is a power outage there is more time before things begin to thaw. Remember to open the fridge and freezer as seldom as possible.

I did a quick survey of trees and branches that could possibly damage the house. If need be, I’ll be ready to bully my sons to come by with the chainsaws.

I am hoping we will be spared from this weather event for yet another season but in reality we are due. I believe it has been almost 20 years since Hurricane Bob. I remember him well and do not wish to repeat that experience ever again.

It is presently Sunday afternoon. President Obama and family have just left the Island. I am in my garden trying to remember a more glorious day. How odd that I would talk about storms on such a day.

I have been working Cousin Mark, my houseguest from Pennsylvania, to death. He has been mulching all the paths in the vegetable garden, weeding, running errands and generally being a good sport.

Summer people have been leaving in droves. Things should be quieting down presently. Marie ordered garlic bulbs and we are preparing areas to receive them. Our beets, carrots, radishes, turnips and lettuce planted last week are all up in need of weeding already. Last week’s rain and then sun did wonders.

I may haul out the bulb catalog shortly. I definitely want more tulips and hyacinths. I use Van Bourgondien out of Babylon, N.Y. They offer some great deals. Check it out.

Oddly I have not been bitten even once this summer by a mosquito. My garden has some areas of standing water. One would think I would be infested with them. I do, happily, have tons of dragonflies. I think they eat the mosquito larvae. My friend Sharlee is not so fortunate. She lives on Chappy where they breed in the salt marshes. She says Chappaquiddick is a native word meaning “land of many big biting bugs.”

Last summer I wrote President Obama about my concerns for national health care. I wrote a check to the U.S. Treasury included in the envelope. I asked him to go to the Senate Republicans and attempt to shame them into doing the right thing for the country. I probably said something like, if I, as a working grandmother, was willing to cough up a few bucks for the common good, they could follow suit. Honestly, where I come up with these schemes is a mystery. At any rate, last week I received a letter from the White House returning the check. It read: “Dear Ms. Irons, On behalf of President Obama we thank you for your message. Your thoughts and kindness mean a great deal to the President. However, because the White House is prohibited from accepting monetary items, we are returning your enclosure. Again, thank you for taking the time to write, and we encourage you to write to the President again in the future. Sincerely, the Office of Presidential Correspondence.”

Well, there you have it.