ANNIVERSARY Countdown (Count-Up?)

Today is Friday, March 7th, 2014. We were married 986 days ago, on June 25th, 2011.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A time to plant, a time to reap.

Tonight the air temperature will be in the mid-30's. That seems sudden. And cold. But in  places like this, it has other ramifications, and ironically they help with the emotional transition to Fall.

The garden needs to be put to bed. [Click for the link!]

Truth to tell, I am both relieved and reluctant.  I have not had enough time to dig in the dirt, to satisfy me. With all that has been going on in both our lives, I have been on the road more than I would like and I have had to leave the garden to fend for itself, which it did well enough.  I wasn't planning to do any garden at all, but the idea that there would be a wedding here and that I would have no flowers to show off, just wasn't possible. Thanks to my friends, I had more blooms than ever. There was  more diversity than I am accustomed to, and the place looked great though admittedly it took longer than I might have liked to get it there. The sun gold tomato vines were sturdy enough to knock down the cages and far outgrew them. They were probably 7 feet tall if I stretched them out. The squash that I bought at the last minute (yellow summer squash and Kuri winter squash) produced prodigious vines that stretched far into the raspberries and corn and mint. They produced fruit modestly, but that I got anything at all with the early squash beetle infestation is amazing and there are 6 orange red globes resting in the upstairs study where they will be warm until their rinds harden. I harvested about 4 dozen potatoes  (also put in late) and Herb shucked 50 corn ears into a pot and I peeled kernels into snack size bags for freezing. I estimate that we got about one per ear. And the basil plants that we uprooted, washed and turned into pesto, produced roughly 50 snack bags - but I won't tell you the cost of the pine nuts and parmesan we added.  Suffice it to say that rain man has been doing the calculation of what we would have to charge if we started the pesto ranch.

For the past three nights, we have covered the green tomatoes and the dahlias, the impatiens and hostas, the petunias and nasturtiums with garden fabric and plastic and old woven plastic seed bags. Glen sucked one of the bags into his mower and in typical rural fashion dug under the behemoth to drag out the sheet of plastic while the engine ran.  I was sure we'd be retrieving pieces of his fingers from there as well.

I should cover some of the decorative plants tonight but I am reluctant to leave the relatively warmer living room to start the process all over again, and there is part of me that is ready to bid the dirt goodbye and let it rest. I still have squash to cook and freeze, and applesauce to make from the yellow apples that are better after the frost. And there are brussels sprouts still to harvest, so there remains work to be done even if I let some of the plants go to the frost. Still, my teachers were good ones, and I have Zara's words ringing in my ears: "they depend on you, and only you can do what is needed."  So tomorrow, it will be warmer and I won't need to cover the tomatoes and other plants. I will start harvesting apples and I will check the supply of canning jars for green tomato chutney. I will locate the apple peeler and the clamp to hold it to the table. And I will start clearing the garage so that Ed can bring us two more loads of wood to join the ones that are stacked against the north wall.  Instead of tracking grass and dirt into the house on my bare toes, I will be dodging bits of wood and twisting newspaper into knots for the wood stove. For the moment though, there are pink, red and purple dahlias, yellow rudbeckia in two sizes and some dead sunflowers that are oddly beautiful in their demise. They are in vases that we were given for our marriage, and they are reminders of the seasons that will come to pass.

"To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven"

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