Most of us have been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. Every morning there is a thin layer of ice on the animals’ water but by 10 a.m. we are removing jackets and sweaters. Weeds continue to grow. Honestly, can we catch a break?

The amount of winter moths is downright alarming. Recently, after dark, I was driving down a dirt road in Oak Bluffs and it was like being in a snow storm. I have learned to avoid using the porch light. It is impossible to get into the house without dozens of them joining me. I confess, I went all crazy with the fly swatter, as if it would help.

Supposedly, only the males fly. The females are busy laying eggs which hatch into those hideous worms. They eat huge amounts of leaves and drip disgusting webs everywhere. It’s difficult keeping any sort of humor.

Now is the time to sharpen saws and pruning shears. I like to tidy up trees and shrubs ahead of potential winter damage. May as well take down dead branches now before they fall on their own during a storm.

I’m not a huge fan of burlapping shrubs unless they are next to the house and could be damaged by a snow slide off the roof. Also, it can offer a bit of deer protection.

I have a great pruning saw. It is a cross between a pole and hand saw. It is three feet long and is made in the U.S.A. The number of Fanno Saw Works in Chico, Calif. is 530-895-1762. I suppose you could find it on the Google.

Also, for your information, if you, like me, are a fan of leaf raking as opposed to blowing, Home Depot carries the Best Rake Ever (my words). It is made by Ames and is called steel tine leaf rake. It is lightweight and easy to use, unlike the huge unwieldy plastic monstrosities. A word of advice for those of you about to tackle an entire yard. After 10 or so strokes, switch to the other side. It is awkward at first as we tend to favor our good side. You will thank me and save money on the chiropractor for that lower back.

I admit that after the first few days out raking it is difficult to use your arms. Moving the blankets off oneself in the morning is a challenge.

The warm weather affords some interesting observations. I have emerging crocuses and daffodils. Good thing, since I’m still planting and naturally have forgotten where they were.

At the exit of down-Island Cronig’s there are blossoms on the P.J.M rhododendron. I love that variety with its tiny leaves but admit I’m not crazy about the lilac-colored blooms. It’s a color used by Walmart and other off-Island big establishments.

Speaking of off-Island, last week I noticed purple petunias blooming in the big planters at the Steamship Authority in Woods Hole. It was hard to see them with all the cigarette butts. People, please!

The Vineyard Haven branch of Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank still has summer color — yellow margaritas, hot pink guara, Mexican sage, and I believe lobelias. Wow. An interesting mix with the window box greens and red berries.

Since it’s Christmas time, I’ll take a break from my usual opinionated closing. After all, what new could I offer about yet another mass shooting and/or the rantings of our egomaniacal front-runner in the GOP race for the Presidential nomination.

Instead, I’ll share something I learned in church this week. The Christmas song Do You Hear What I Hear was written in October 1962 by No ë l Regney and Gloria Shayne. It was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban missile crisis.

With our present national fear over the rise of the Islamic State and the resulting terrorism, it is good to remember a similar time in our recent history when the very real threat of nuclear war hung over our nation.

Young President Kennedy had taken a beating over the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. He had received bad counsel from the CIA and his national security advisors. His resolve, against the wishes of some of his top aides, brought us safely through the crisis. Of course, we now know he had a secret deal with Krushchev to pull U.S. nukes out of Turkey in exchange for the Soviets backing off in Cuba. It was a secret because we Americans apparently need our leaders to talk and appear tough. The big criticism of Obama is his lack of in-your-face rhetoric.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could pull together as a nation, politics aside, and calmly face this existential threat in our time?

I was a sophomore in high school during those days in October, 1962 and remember quite well how frightened everyone was. We got through it then. We will again.

God bless us everyone!