The best news I have heard this week is that Tom Osborn, grader of roads and hauler of loads, is back home on Chappaquiddick. He spent the last six months in Boston recovering from multiple complications after a fairly routine surgery. When I spoke with him on the phone briefly yesterday, he sounded tired but relieved to be home. His sister is here from Atlanta to help during his continued recovery. Welcome back, Tom.

Last Saturday, we had a brief glimpse of weather to come, a warm spring day filled with birdsong and sunshine. It lifted the spirits of the Island, energizing all to get out on kayaks and walks and bike rides. I stopped to say hello to my neighbor, Rick Hasslet, who was buzzing with excitement, bouncing around his new beautiful wooden boat, Margaret, which they were launching for the first time that day.

“We have been waiting for the perfect day and here it is!” he exclaimed.

He and his wife, Chrissie were headed out with champagne. A few friends, masked and gloved, were going to cheer from the shore. The boat is named for their mothers, who shared the same name and both died before Chrissie and Rick met.

We planted our potatoes at the farm in the sunshine that day, first trenching six long rows and then dropping in the cut potato seed one by one. As the shoots emerge from the soil, we will hill the dirt around them, forming mounds in which more tubers will form. Then, mid-summer, we will dig our hands into the base of each plant, searching for the potatoes with our fingers, sifting through the soil as we go. The early, tiny potatoes are always the best. I often find myself coaxing a few from the plant before they are truly ready to be dug.

We have a broody hen at my house. We are watching her every move, hoping that in several weeks time she will hatch her own flock of tiny chicks. When they are sitting on eggs, hens rarely leave the nest, only occasionally stepping out for a bit of food or water. On Sunday we noticed our hen was outside the coop, looking unhurried and unconcerned, and we peered at her from the kitchen window to see if she would return to her eggs. She pecked around the yard a bit, said hello to the ducks, nibbled on some grain, sipped a bit of water, and eventually meandered back to her nest.

Other than that, the news from my house is that we are in the middle of potty training our daughter, who seems to think the world is her toilet. She crouches everywhere: behind trees, next to the chicken coop, by the porch steps, on the kitchen floor, in the driveway, on the trail, outside the greenhouse, and once (embarrassingly) at Polly Hill Arboretum. Dancing legs, diapers pulled down, rush, rush, rush, sometimes in time, sometimes not. She will figure it out eventually, right?

Last week, Juna returned home from planting a few fruit trees at Slip Away with her dad with two worms in hand. She walked in the door and said, “Mama, I want to do yoga with my worms!” So, we got out the yoga mat, and Juna did her down-dogs and her toddler stretches with two terrified worms wriggling around underfoot. Later, we put one in a jar with some dirt, but she refused to relinquish the other, carrying it around the house in her palm. I turned away for one minute and then heard, “Uh-oh! I don’t know where the worm went!” We looked everywhere, but sure enough, he was gone. My hope is he managed to find his way out of the house and into some good soil once more. Sorry, worm.

If you have not visited Mytoi recently, I recommend you stop by while the daffodils are still in bloom. The deer have nibbled on a lot of the rhododendrons, the worst damage seen in recent years by garden volunteer Lindsay Allison. She says rumor has it that it was a bad acorn year, and the deer are scrounging for other food sources. Despite the damage, the garden is looking beautiful, especially with the newly dredged pond filling up.

That is all the news from Chappy this week. Hopefully we will have a little more sun and warmth in the coming days.