Except for Dorothy’s transport into Oz, I have had no experience with tornadoes. After seeing the devastation through the Midwest this past week, I am, once again, grateful for Vineyard weather. Granted, I did a fair amount of complaining last week about the dry wind. The gardens dried up and hoses needed hauling around. Then there was the unpleasant seasonal pollen blowing all over the place.

Otherwise, what a lovely late spring. For the first time in several years lilacs and bridal wreath spirea are looking their best by Memorial Day. In the last decade or so they have bloomed earlier in May. The yard opposite Delano on State Road has two handsome bridal wreaths in the front.

This cultivar of spirea is a hearty old-fashioned shrub. I do not see it for sale very often in the local nurseries. As children we would lay under my grandmother’s old specimen and shake the branches. It tickled us to be covered in the white petals that fell!

I saw a woman on Skiff avenue in Vineyard Haven, dustpan in hand. She was edging her sidewalk and tidying up her side of the street. We had a sidewalk running the entire length of Rew, Penn. We spent many a summer’s day rollerskating. This was back when we needed a key to put on our skates. We knew every crack and bump in that sidewalk. We loved skating in front of Thelma Hayes’ yard. She pulled every weed and swept her walk weekly.

The horse chestnuts are in full and glorious bloom. There is a small but beautiful pink one on the Menemsha crossroads. Maria and I passed it on our way to the Blessing of the Fleet on the Menemsha dock on Sunday morning. It was a nice service with Jaime Douglas on the bagpipes and the singing of the Coast Guard and Navy hymns, “Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep its own appointed limits keep; Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea!”

I moved the rest of the seedlings out of the greenhouse. As usual I was forced to do it. This time a rat, it seems, was running amok on the newly germinated. Honestly it’s always something.

After several years impatiens are back on the market. They suffered a deadly fungus for a few seasons and no one planted them. I’m hoping for the best and purchased several six packs.

How I wish I could report the planting of the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. They are sadly still in their flats looking at the still-to-be prepared beds.

It’s been fun to see the hustle and bustle of preparation for another busy summer. Traffic is terrible, lines are long but most folks are generally cheerful.

It’s embarrassing and sad to see our president in Japan siding with Kim Jong-un against Vice President Joe Biden. The man truly has no sense of decency.

I see he wants to give 16 million dollars of our tax money to the midwestern farmers to tide them over. His trade policy is hurting their bottom line. I guess if he bails them out they will still vote for him.

Wait, there’s more. So far you and I have spent $102 million on his golf weekends. Not only the cost of his secret service, but they have to rent rooms and golf carts from him. What a world!