Last week’s weather made me eat my words. I usually brag that I an cold-tolerant, wear appropriate clothing, and enjoy rain and snow. Not so lately. It’s gloomy and downright unpleasant. I spent most of the week tending fires in the wood cook-stove and sitting with my feet on the table.

I did spend a tiny bit of one day throwing a few seeds in the ground of my hoophouse. I had some of last year’s seed packets of radishes, spinach, lettuce, pak choy, and blue-leafed kale. They might germinate in a month or so after the light changes. Hope springs eternal.

Because I have a frost-free hydrant in the garden I set the sprinkler on the seedlings. The hose, however, was semi-frozen and there was considerable bending and twisting to get a few drops to finally flow.

The only other remotely garden-related news I have this week is driving around admiring Christmas lights and decorations. The boxes at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore are very nice on Main street in Vineyard Haven. The little corner next to CB Stark is lovely with the different sized trees and white lights. I still miss Cheryl.

This past week we lost two greats. Jean Wexler wrote this column for 20 years. It’s been nearly impossible to fill her shoes. And I saw that Malcolm Dunkley died over in Sandwich. He was my go-to person for bee-keeping. He kept them for years, even on the rooftop of his Toronto apartment building.

Once I had a huge swarm hanging from my apple tree. Malcolm came at once. He climbed a stepladder wearing no equipment, snipped a couple branches, and caught the entire hive in a trash barrel. He was a man in his 80s at that point. He remarked: “Well, will you look at that!” Then he reached into his nose and said, “There’s one in my nostril.”

I think the British would describe my reaction as gobsmacked.

Then, with a thank you, he put the trash can full of bees with no lid into his car and drove off. This experience is forever etched in my memory.

Speaking of memories, this year is a time to rely on our past. Our family is not getting together nor attending church services, as is our custom. Violet is playing the cello at the Federated Church’s online Christmas Eve service. The church is pretty with all the greenery but sadly missing the people this year.

By next column we will be in a new year. Hopefully, 2020 in the rear-view mirror won’t seem so awful and we can be thankful for a forced time of rest. Meanwhile, God Bless Us Everyone!