After years of pressure from family members, I finally put in back-up heating. I have only heated with wood for the 47 years I’ve lived in my house. Back-up heating has turned me into a bit of a wimp, though. I never minded the cold but now I do. Go figure.

Speaking of cold, it’s possible we are just beginning to get some winter. A couple of water bottles burst in the truck and hopefully the aphids on my kale have frozen to death. For the past few mornings I’ve had to bust ice on the chicken’s water.

There is sparse news in the garden world with the exception of a few things barely up in the greenhouse. I have been enjoying pea shots and sprouts in salads. Otherwise, I spend a lot of time rummaging in the freezer and pantry.

I finally began the emotional and daunting task of going through my parent’s belongings. It’s been seven years since we cleared out their home for Pete’s sake. Good thing I have a storage area.

One thing I found which made me laugh and cry was a large photograph of my grandmother, Nonnie, hanging laundry in her housedress and artics (rubber boots from the 1940s that went over one’s shoes). She refused to use a dryer. Then again, I don’t have one either.

Then, with the image still fresh in my mind, I was in a ridiculous long line at the Martha’s Vineyard Bank drive-through. I remembered an old woman who lived there before it was a bank. She hung her laundry outside and placed her underwear discreetly behind towels.

The mystery photo this week is my childhood skate key. We spent days on end skating the sidewalks of Rew, Pa. We always appreciated neighbors who kept the walks in front of their homes in repair — swept the sidewalk and weeded the cracks. I actually could name those people to this day.

Violet earned her farm cred this week. She shook a skunk out of a peanut butter jar. She ran away at a pace I could not replicate before he sprayed. I confess we laughed our heads off.

Son Jeremiah repaired my favorite pitchfork. He is available at Vineyard Gardens (508-693-8512) for the service. (I missed my calling in advertising.)

It was a five-tined fork (rare to find these days) with a thin handle. I got inspired and sanded the handles of many of my favorites and rubbed them with linseed oil. The sanding resulted in plenty of dust. Good think I had my trusty Covid-mask at the ready.

I bet the MAGA mob who attacked our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6 wished they had worn a mask. It has become very easy to identify them if you are an investigator from the F.B.I. I found it astonishing how many of them willingly confessed on social media. Guess they were so self-assured that consequences never crossed their minds.

Never mind all that. I loved the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. From the emotional Lady Gaga rendition of our National Anthem to the sea of flags on the mall, everything was perfect and normal — even a little boring. I have longed for boring these last four years.

Did I detect a huge sigh of relief from the whole world?