Hurricane Ian finally reached us here on the Vineyard with some much-needed rain. The wind, I could do without. It’s amazing that a storm system could develop into a monster in the Gulf of Mexico and affect us here in the northeast.

The photos of the devastation in southwest Florida are remarkable. I was complaining about my house listing in disorder when I was brought up short with some humbling perspective.

Here I am with too much food to process and too much stuff to sort and people only have the clothes on their backs. I know life isn’t fair but...!

I plan to get my pigs this weekend. My daughter and I spent an entire day getting their pen together. Honestly, I never have any right to complain. I chose this lifestyle.

The amount of bittersweet that grew since last January is astonishing. There is no hope for ever eradicating that pest. Watch for its babies. They are everywhere. When pulled they have a tell-tale bright orange root.

There always seems to be rogue squash or pumpkin growing happily in compost piles or abandoned animal pens. They are deceiving in that one thinks they are edible. Not so. They are a cross between anything in the cucurbit family. It could be a zucchini crossed with a butternut squash. They are nearly always bland and tasteless. They do, however, make for inexpensive holiday decorations.

If, say, a pumpkin is to come true to type, it needs to be planted only with its actual siblings.

Every year I haul my large pots of geraniums, mandevillas, plumbagos and tender vincas into the greenhouse to “harden off” before their winter in an unheated yet frost-free room. They never look great until spring when, like magic, they out-perform themselves.

Something caught my eye under the greenhouse bench. A broken pot had an almost-completely dry plumbago from last year. I watered and fussed over it and sure enough, it has revived. How is that possible? No water for five months on its side in who knows how hot and horrible conditions.

A few weeks ago I warned about botulism in low-acid vegetable canning. This is not true if vinegar is used. For example, pickles of any sort only need 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

In the late winter I seeded several packages of perennial flowers. I carefully transplanted the babies into a holding area. They grew and several are blooming already — monarda, echinacea, butterfly weed and gaillardia. Color me happily surprised. I thought it would take a year to bloom. Each one of those plants could cost $15 at the garden center. Just saying!

My friend Linda brought me a purchased bouquet of a dried plant called pumpkin tree. A search of Google revealed it to be, in fact, eggplant. I vaguely remember growing an orange eggplant some years ago. It was too bitter for my liking but as a dried arrangement it is seasonal and interesting. Who knew?

In 2013, freshman Congressman Ron DeSantis voted against federal assistance to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey. How quickly the tides change.

Now he comes asking for aid from the federal government, saying it is no time for political pettiness.

Joe Biden, being a good and decent human being, immediately delivered because he never has time for political pettiness when the wellbeing of his fellow Americans is on the line.

Oh, since pettiness came up, how about the Florida tax dollars used to fly Venezuelan asylum seekers to the Vineyard?

What’s beyond ironic and rich is that DeSantis now wants migrants to help with hurricane clean-up.

Heck of a job, Ronnie!