In the first several decades of my life, I was fearless when it came to thunder and lightning. Lately, however, I’ve been heeding all the warnings. I come inside, do not use the telephone, take baths or stand near the windows. Here it is, Tuesday afternoon, and we seem to be in the remnants of hurricane Florence. Maybe I can finally stop hauling hoses around. It’s been a long, hot summer.

I’ve been canning food like a crazy woman. My tomatoes are finally coming in full-on and I’m squeezing juice from them daily. I’ve canned several pints of plain green beans. I’m the only one in my family who likes them. They remind me of home. We used to cook string beans within an inch of their lives alongside a ham bone.

For the first time in years, I had a bumper crop of beets. I pickled them according to the recipe in Stocking Up, my well-worn canning book from the 70s. I eliminated the cinnamon and allspice and used only apple cider vinegar, honey and boatloads of Ailsa Craig sweet onions. They are mighty vinegary but I’ll add some olive oil when I serve them this winter.

Every year I carry on about how beautiful the sedum is in the fall, why would I change? There are the ones who have managed to escape the deer— little jerks!

I have a large Autumn Joy right outside my front door. Every morning all the blossoms are covered with honey and bumble bees. They are very sleepy so I try not to disturb them.

Crows keep knocking down all my apples and before I can retrieve them, an extended family of turkeys (mothers and children) eat every one.

Then as luck would have it, I noticed the large apple tree on the Edgartown Road end of Skiff avenue in Vineyard Haven. The fruit is falling onto the street and mostly being ruined.

I risked life and limb crossing the street to retrieve a few. I came home and scrubbed them with soap and water. They were absolutely delicious.

Soap and water brings me to an unpleasant topic— E. coli. I used to pick food from the ground and wipe it on my shirt. No more. When animals (say the aforementioned turkeys) are hovering around fruit drops, you are asking for trouble. Raw cider can be problematic if you fail to wash the apples before processing.

You may wonder how I can go from good food to animal poo. I just listened to an alarming and extremely disturbing report about the hog farms in North Carolina. The waste is being carried downstream by all the flooding. We are talking about tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of pigs. Dear God! I cannot look at the poor people wading around in that flood water without thinking about that report.

How are we so technologically advanced in so many areas and yet do not seem to solve a problem associated with our food system?

Speaking of problems, how about Paul Manafort? Never mind the angst it must be giving people in the Trump family. I would be looking over my shoulder if I was a Manafort family member. This is an area where trusting the Russians could be one’s undoing. Yikes!