My mother died seven years ago at the beginning of February. We had to postpone her funeral a few times as major blizzards prevented me from the 500-mile road trip. This year the ground has really yet to freeze and many days are into the 40s and even 50s. When we do get a little snow it’s melted by the next day. I know I shouldn’t complain but it is a little troublesome. I guess it’s what the weather people are calling the new normal.

I hauled a couple of truck-loads of good compost to an area I wish to revitalize. I might be too old to spend a morning shoveling. I’m feeling it now, pen in hand.

The changing light has encouraged me to spend time seeding in the greenhouse. The onions came up this week, as well as some tiny lavender and thyme. Soon they will be big enough to bump up into larger containers. I took them off the propagating mat. They can tolerate a freeze and it freed up the mat to receive more seed trays. I started some perennials like foxgloves, echinacea, and lupines. This is, by far, is my favorite task in the garden year. Handling the tiny seeds and baby plants just makes me incredibly happy and hopeful. Speaking of happy, Saturday night I was able to attend a Slow Food pot luck supper. There is nothing like a winter Vineyard gathering which involves food. Slow Food was started by Carlo Petrini in 1986 in Italy. It was an alternative to all the fast food which has taken over our world. The organization has promoted food that is good, clean and fair.

Saturday’s event was so enjoyable with not only the food but lively conversation on various subjects like politics and the environment.

Last week I noticed some big machinery in a yard near Morrice the Florist. The stucco white house had some interesting shrubs along the foundation, especially some sky pencils. On my return trip several hours later I saw that the house was completely demolished and gone. Wow! Wonder what’s next?

Roxanne Kapitan is giving another talk on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the Edgartown Library. She is an interesting speaker on the subject of regenerative backyard gardening. Saturday’s talk will be “Reducing Your Lawn Footprint.”

I need to haul out my saws and large clippers. This is the month for the pruning of grape vines, fruit trees and blueberry bushes. I think I neglected these tasks last year so now the fruit trees are in need of attention. They have suckers at the ground level, water sprouts above, crossing branches, mummified fruit and dead wood. It is a satisfying way to spend a sunny afternoon. I save some of the larger fruit wood to use in the meat smoker next fall.

I sorted through my stored garlic and found several that had begun to sprout. Usually, I toss them into the chicken bucket but they looked so promising I set them into a smallish necked jar with their roots in water. Won’t it be fun if the greens develop and I can use them as garlic “scallions.”

As I write, the final results of the Iowa caucus have yet to be revealed. I must say, I continue to be irritated that so much importance is placed on how that state matters. I saw a few interviews this week with Iowa voters who carried on about how seriously they take the election, as if the rest of us in the other 49 states don’t care or matter.

Then, how about the kerfuffle about the app that was supposed to tally the votes. Who would place any credence in a company named Shadow, Inc.?

I love voting in Vineyard Haven. The old paper ballot makes me feel that my vote is safe.

I think I’ll grab a good book. I cannot bear watching the State of the Union.