I simply love rain in the summer. It clears the air, gives everything a little drink and brings folks out to spend money at local businesses. The traffic is downright laughable.

I scurried around and picked yet another boatload of green beans before the skies opened up. By “scurried” I mean I hobbled into my garden. The aftermath of my Covid experience has not been great. This is a person fully vaccinated and in relatively good health. I cannot imagine how some folks must feel after the experience. Trust me, you might want to drag out the trusty masks again — at least until the onslaught of summer visitors slows a bit.

It was great to get back into my life.

I noticed a new and wonderful planting at the Eileen Blake’s pie place in North Tisbury. The parking area is bordered by fully-blooming hibiscus. These are the perennial ones, not the greenhouse varieties. Some of the blooms are larger than a man’s outstretched hand.

This is a reliable plant. It emerges late but will last for years in the late-summer garden. Sometimes called swamp mallow, it is sometimes seen along the median strips of highways.

Back, briefly, to the picking of green beans. One seed package does the trick. The plant produces an incredible amount of beans. I sat on a stool and picked one row and more than half-filled a large paper grocery bag. Sometimes five or six beans could be picked at a time.

The thing I’ve learned from years of bad luck is planting them late mid-July works. The Mexican bean beetle so far has not found them. In the past my early plantings were destroyed by the hideous pest.

Most of the horizontal surfaces in my kitchen are covered with not-quite-ripe tomatoes. I hate that I have to pick them before they totally ripen but some critter always gets to them first. The battle with Mother Nature is endless.

Some of them are the Principe Borghese variety loved by the Italians for sun drying. Supposedly they yank up the entire plant and drape it over a fence to dry in the sun. I know we have way too much humidity for that method to work here.

For years I dried them — cut in half — on cookie sheets in my old oven that had a pilot light. It worked for drying beans and herbs. After four decades it finally gave up the ghost. My new stove, while gas, no longer has a pilot. A battery starts it.

So now I’m sadly in the market for some sort of a dehydrator.

I would can them if I had more so the huge undertaking would be worth it. In another month the main crop of paste tomatoes should come in. Last year I got 50 quarts of juice. It takes at least three quarts to cook down for sauce.

Preserving food in jars is a long tradition in my family. My mother and grandmothers did it and I’ve carried on for almost 50 years.

Because of, you know, Covid, I spent time on the sofa watching daytime television news. I’m not trying to exaggerate but I bet 90 per cent of the airtime was Trump related. I must say, he’s a genius on marketing. He has sold himself to America, both red and blue.

His latest is flaunting the D.C. judge about not intimidating potential jurors. He goes after federal judges, his own vice president, members of Congress — probably me if he could read.

He’s either brilliant, insanely arrogant or just plain stupid. The jury has yet to be picked so I guess it’s out!