When Julie Wells asked me to write this column almost five years ago, she said I would develop a relationship with it. It has, in fact, come to pass. It may be a bit of a dysfunctional relationship at times. This is one of those times. Here it is Monday morning before Christmas and I have nothing to say (a rare occasion for me). My fourth grade teacher told my parents, “Lynne talks too much in class!”

The weather has been so fabulous I continue to garden in the face of untended Christmas preparations. I do like last minute shopping. I love Vineyard Haven in the hustle and bustle. There is Fred Fisher with a patient team of draft horses carting folks around. A brass band including one of my favorites, the French horn, usually plays under the no-longer-living linden tree. I even love the ringing of the Salvation Army bells. I always contribute. The philosophy of the army is one with which I heartily agree. Soup, soap, salvation, in that order.

As many of you know I do not own a computer (on purpose). I hand write this column. Since I am not on Facebook, I use this venue to burden you readers with the endless minutia of my daily life. Thankfully, you do not suffer pathetic photographs of me chopping onions, dumping compost into the chicken yard, or transplanting seedlings in the greenhouse.

I heard a wonderful story on NPR about the origins of tinsel on a Christmas tree. Supposedly, a little spider was so taken by a newly decorated tree that she went from ornament to ornament enjoying each one. She left a web behind her. When Santa arrived he feared the children would be disappointed in the morning so he turned the webs to silver. My family of origin always used the silver icicles. I remember carefully picking them from the tree and saving them until the next year.

If you have a chance, stop by the Fourway on Franklin street in Vineyard Haven. They have a tree at least twenty-five feet tall. It has more than three thousand lights. Violet and I stopped by last Thursday evening. She played with the train sets placed around the room. We enjoyed a surprise visit from Santa.

Please donate to the Island Food Pantry. I collected the cardboard from the monthly federal food distribution at the Baptist Parish House. Over 150 families were served. The Grey Barn donated milk and people received Christmas turkeys. The gleaning project at Morning Glory Farm yielded plenty of potatoes and turnips.

Rather than taking the cardboard to the recycling center, I decided to do my own recycling. I am placing it in my garden paths and covering it with woodchips. That should thwart weed growth for a year or so.

The last of the American troops have come out of Iraq. Where are the victory parades and celebrations? With the exception of the military and their families there has been little, if any, involvement in that war. I’m going to say something extremely unpopular. We should reinstate the draft. When people realize their own children could be called to serve in the military, they would think long and hard before rushing headlong into wars of choice. There would be massive anti-war rallies just like during Vietnam. There you have it! Peace on earth, good will to men!