The usual five-hour road trip from Rew, Pa. to the Massachusetts border took me nine harrowing hours. To call the weather awful would be giving it a compliment. As if the snow, sleet, rain and wind weren’t bad enough the other people on the highway were certifiable. I crawled along at a terrifying 40 miles per hour with cars passing me at least 70 mph. Every time a semi tractor trailer passed by it doused my car in so much slush that I was blinded for several seconds, minutes, yards, miles — who knows? Even poor Violet kept saying, “Oh, Mame, here comes another one — look out!”

Three road signs you never want to see when enormous trucks are barreling towards you are: Runaway Truck Ramps Next Five Miles, Blasting Area or Falling Rock Zone! What a welcome relief to arrive in Stockbridge at our favorite Red Lion Inn.

The other favorite sign is Falmouth-The Islands, topped off by a greeting in Woods Hole of an assured spot in the standby line!

The window boxes and pots at La Choza drew us in immediately to a quick and easy take-home supper. After two days of road food, the Island’s version of fast food was a welcome relief.

Wonder of wonders, my early crocuses were blooming as I limped into my own driveway.

Thanks to son Jeremiah for tending animals and greenhouse seedlings. Happily, several flats germinated during my absence.

On Sunday, a walkabout at my garden revealed a remarkable amount of emerging plants. Here’s where memory comes in handy. Sedum, phlox, echinacea and hosta are poking through the thawed soil.

I uncovered rows of spinach, kale and lettuce to find new growth and was able to pick some carrots and leeks and was grateful for life itself.

Marie came for a visit ­— big box of seeds in hand. We made some decisions about our joint order for another season at our mutual vegetable garden. Last Sunday’s New York Times review section had a rather disturbing article entitled Look Carefully at Those Seeds by Margaret Roach, the author of The Backyard Parables Lessons on Gardening and Life.

She talked about the wonderful potential of life within each tiny seed, but cautioned the reader to pick those seeds with care. Because a plant produces seed at the end of its life, there is all the more time for that plant to be doused with herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. Honestly, sometimes I should simply stop reading anything. I don’t want to end up like Chicken Little!

Big thanks to Meredith Dillon. She suggested a book called The Cure is in the Cupboard about the antibiotic qualities of oregano. It’s an informative read.

The week spent in Rew was a desert of news. There was no television, landline, newspaper or reliable cell service. Only upon arrival back on the Vineyard did I catch up on the latest. About the sequester, what is wrong with our elected officials? Don’t they pay any attention to Greece? Austerity in times like these will only make the overall economy worse. Oh well.

I should reread some old economics 101 textbooks so I can back up my opinions with some semblance of fact.

Oh! One more thing — Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman are now BFFs!!