Because it has been oddly chilly for April and May, the spring ornamental bushes and trees are behaving the way they did decades ago. When my children were in grade school in Tisbury the annual Memorial Day festivities took them to the dock at Owen Park. They each carried flowers and tossed them into the harbor. For years, they carried Bridal Wreath Spirea and newly opened lilacs. In recent years, those two spring bloomers have “gone by” for the Memorial Day holiday. This year the spring bulbs have lasted an enjoyable length of time.

Good thing, too, since we meed all the enjoyment we can get now in the time of Covid.

Violet and I took a sad road trip up to Tabor Academy on Tuesday to fetch her belongings that were left for spring break at the beginning of March. Like all 2020 graduates, she is experiencing quite a sense of lose. On Friday at 8 p.m., Barack Obama is giving a graduation speech for all the 2020s.

On the trip, we noticed the trees are much further along than on the Vineyard. Downtown Vineyard Haven has more leaf growth than at my house just two miles west.

Patricia Carlet and I had a catch-up conversation recently. We talked about rhubarb and how its flowers, while not good for the plant are nonetheless beautiful in an arrangement. She informed me that the flowers form especially if it is rainy. I did not know that. I hate when I don’t know everything. I hope I pick some soon before it becomes tough.

I’ve had good luck in the past chopping it into one-inch pieces and popping it raw into the freezer. Who knows what next winter will bring in terms of acquiring food?

I finally got the dahlia tubers planted. They had been stored in dry peat moss for the winter and had developed foot-long stems. They should be fine in the ground even though we still get some freezing nights. My seedlings that I planted in flats are quite large but I am still cautious to rush exposure to the elements. The seed packet simply said giant dahlias so they will be a tall mix of colors. By fall they will have formed storable tubers if I find the time and inclination.

I’m eternally grateful to have a garden I love and the desire to spend my time in it because everything else in Corona-land seems so tiresome.

The supermarket, although it is now a weekly rather than daily affair, is so time consuming and not in a good way. After suiting up in the parking lot, wiping the car, navigating the one-way aisles, rarely looking at or speaking to another human being, the decision to take the paper bag is just one more thing. Instead, I have begun taking everything in the cart with no bag to the tailgate. I wipe the cooties from all the refrigerated items and bag them in my own freshly laundered bag. All the other items stay in the truck for several days. Then, I finally get back into the truck to de-mask, de-glove and bathe myself in rubbing alcohol.

I would so much rather be shoveling manure and pushing a wheelbarrow.

I cannot bear one more big, fat lie from our commander-in-chief so I shall end with the third stanza of our national hymn. The hymns’ title is God of our Fathers Whose Almighty Hand and was written in 1876 by Daniel C. Roberts to commemorate our first 100 years as a nation.

Verse III: From war’s alarm, From deadly pestilence, Be thy strong arm, Our ever sure defense, Thy true religion in our hearts increase, Thy bounteous goodness, Nourish us in peace.