I’m a relatively light sleeper, so Monday night’s thunderstorm was, as they say, a rude awakening. The news covered much more serious damage from the fast-moving storm. A tornado must be one of the most terrifying experiences a person could have. It’s always surprising there are not more deaths given the total destruction of homes and businesses. The forecasters are predicting an acute Atlantic hurricane season — as if we need more to fret over.

Speaking of fretting, I’ve noticed a number of tents of caterpillars. One year, I sprayed white vinegar on an active tent in the branches of my apple tree. Happily, it did the trick.

In better news, nature is putting on her best face. The trees have leafed out, irises are blooming, the peonies are about to pop and the weather is beautiful. We seem to be getting adequate rainfall, so hose-hauling is still at a minimum.

I’m behind in tending and planting of my ornamental pots and window boxes.

The nurseries are quite busy, and I admit I spend quite a bit of time gabbing with other shoppers.

It’s handy to have some sort of plan beforehand, but I seem to neglect that aspect. I’m envious of those who, lists in hand, seem to be sure of their mission. I’m more of a wanderer, prone to quick decisions.

In my own garden, I was pleased to discover many Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis). I planted them from seed years ago. Since they are biennial, they rarely bloom the first year from seed but are very nice in bloom. The following spring after that, they self-seed and pop up here and there for years (I guess). I’ve had them so long I do not recall even where the originals were first planted.

Both Persian and Miss Kim lilacs are still blooming after their large, common cousins have gone by for another season.

I finally planted the sweet potato starts that came in the mail weeks ago. They had been in a jar of water in the kitchen looking at me accusingly. Remarkably, I still have some good ones from last year’s harvest.

I saw a lady slipper on the edge of the property. I’ve never noticed it before. A member of the orchid family, I believe it’s illegal to pick or transplant them. Wonder where it came from?

Memorial Day just passed and is always a holiday with so many connotations. Once called Decoration Day, it was traditional to decorate the graves of loved ones, especially those who served the country.

My grandparents lived across from the Rew, Pa. fire department where there was a memorial to veterans of war. My grandfather put up the flag every morning and took it down at sunset for countless years.

When we children were old enough, he instilled in us a respect for the flag — never let it touch the ground and we learned the proper way to fold it every evening into its tight triangle.

At the end of Franklin street in Vineyard Haven, the Sue Branch/Joey Hall house always sports an enormous 48-star flag on national holidays. Joey told me they just found one with 45 stars in the barn. It had to be before 1908 when Oklahoma was added. Then in 1912 New Mexico and Arizona came into the Union. Thanks, Joey. I always love a history lesson.