I’m not a big fan of hot and humid weather especially when it comes so quickly after cold and rainy. Might need a bit of an adjustment period. We indulged in quite a bit of whining on the job site.

The trees and bushes are still putting on a great show as a result of all the spring rain. There is a pink rhododendron taking up a big portion of the yard on the corner of State Road and the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road.

Growing up in Rew, Pa. we shared a driveway with Nonnie and Popop, my mother’s parents. We had an enormous mountain laurel between the two properties. Kalmia latifolia is the state flower of Pennsylvania. Sad to say, I’ve tried for years to grow one here on the Island but never had good luck. Since the deaths of my folks, we sold the old home. I wonder if the laurel still stands?

The memory of that shrub was sparked while waiting in the queue at the aforementioned intersection. That property also has a purple rose that I admire every year and probably write about. I am the queen of repetition, after all.

Another fabulous shrub blooming right now is Kolkwitizia, aka Beauty Bush. There is a nice specimen just as you turn onto Cooke street from the Katama Road past the Edgartown Fire House coming from Katama. It puts mine to shame.

Both Morrice the Florist and Heather Gardens have Kousa dogwoods in front of their places. Both are half white and half pink. The one at Heather Gardens seems to come from one clump. At Morrice I think there are two separate trees. Anyway they are cool!

I picked some decent-sized beets. I had started them in the greenhouse in late winter and painstakingly separated them. It was an altogether pleasant task on a cold sunny day in the 70-degree greenhouse. I moved them into the open ground as soon as it could be worked. They are bigger than ping pong balls and, I must say, I’m downright amazed and proud. I had some for lunch, warm with olive oil, blue cheese and pecans.

Also, I picked a huge amount of broccoli. I use the leaves and stems. This is the Calabrese cultivar which produces only small florets. It is a mistake to wait for them to grow into supermarket size. They will flower and go to seed long before that happens.

I made one of our favorite quick suppers. Upside-down pizza. I sautéed the broccoli with onions and balsamic vinegar in a large cast iron skillet, topped it with Grey Barn Eidolon cheese and a thin-crust Boboli bread. The bread softens and gathers the flavors. We flop it over onto our plates—yummy.

Oh, how I wish I could report that all the seedlings are planted. This would imply I live in a perfect world. I still have leeks waiting patiently for their spot in a garden bed. There is never a moment of boredom in my life. I do not believe I have ever complained of nothing to do. Gardening has given me life-long purpose and enjoyment even with all the pitfalls and annoyances.

In June of 1967 I was a college student in North Texas. A few friends and I developed relationships with some Lebanese young men who attended flight school in Fort Worth. This was 50 years ago and the Six-Day War was happening. My friends and I, in our innocence and hate-to-say ignorance, voiced our support for Moshe Dayan and the Israelis. The Lebanese young men promptly schooled us in the complex relation between Israel and the Arab world.

It was the beginning of opening my mind to the greater world around me. It was probably the summer I turned into a political junkie. The rest was history. The assassinations of MLK and RFK finished the job for me. I went home that summer and proceeded to drive my family crazy. They truly thought I was dropped on them from Mars.

One thing that bespeaks my Appalachian upbringing is understanding how Donald Trump won over the white working class. I am about to watch Jeff Sessions before the Senate Committee. Every day is an adventure in Trump world!