By Lynne Irons>

I usually write on Sunday mornings and type it in the evening. I have managed to submit over 75 columns never missing a week. Here it is Monday and I have nothing. In fact, I have less than nothing. I have been thinking of every excuse possible. It’s August, it’s hot, I have had it, the fair is this week, and Harley Davidsons scream past my window wrecking my solitude, concentration, and good humor. What’s the deal with them, anyway? I would never think of myself as a prude, after all I loved Brando in the Wild One and Easy Rider was the signature film of my generation, but they are just too loud! There, I said it. Last week’s Run to the Rock brought 25 or 30 at a time burning up the pavement in front of my house.

Where was I? Oh, yes. I was trying to get myself off the hook with the column this week. Yikes! I may have developed a sick relationship with it and do not want to let it down. Pity my poor editor. For the past several weeks I have neglected to replace the ribbon in the trusty Smith Corona. I have to open the top and advance the ribbon manually every four or five words, not to mention all my o’s look like e’s.

I can hear the suggestions already (actually the you oughta’s). I still am digging in my heels about getting a computer. I am very tactile. I love the feel of the pen, the sound of the typewriter, and the satisfying motion of the returning carriage. There is also the ADD quality of the computer. I hate how I look up something and one word will put me off on another quest. Hours can pass before I emerge bleary-eyed with a headache and carpel tunnel syndrome.

I did absolutely no gardening for myself this weekend. I processed the huge basket of tomatoes that I had picked on Friday. They were the old-fashioned Romas (my personal favorite). I cut the core and washed them, and put them on low in a big crock pot. Once they began to weep, I turned it off and let them set for several hours. The skins slipped right off. Then, I am happy to report, I made a killer fresh sauce, fixed myself a big plate of stress-relieving spaghetti, ate a bowl of ice cream and called it a day.

My son, Jeremiah, known in our family as the King of Trivia, called with these two gems: Americans purchase 23 billion beverages yearly. Placed end to end, that would stretch around the globe 70 times. Taco Bell sells enough tortillas to make a pile 3,500 miles high.

There were two great articles in this paper last Friday. I am sorry I missed the film about tick-borne diseases. I hope it plays again when we year-round garden types have time to attend.

Also, I was happy to read about the selectman addressing the loss of Lake Tashmoo view. Way to go, Tristan. It does bring up the private ownership versus the common good debate.

Now that the Beijing Olympics are wrapping up, it reminds me that Fala Grew visited China several years ago. She reported that there was quite a bit of sidewalk spitting. She said there wasn’t a square foot of the great wall not dotted with it. She wondered if she should be wearing rain gear. Anyway. I heard on NPR that streets were cleaned before the world arrived and spitting would carry a hefty fine during the 16-day event.

Where do I come up with this stuff? I’ll get back in my game next week, hopefully. In the meantime, dear reader, get out there and enjoy the end of another Vineyard summer