Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Crazy Woman

I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I'll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.

I'll wait until November
That is the time for me.
I'll go out in the frosty dark
And sing most terribly.

And all the little people
Will stare at me and say,
"That is the Crazy Woman
Who would not sing in May."

                        -Gwendolyn Brooks

Despite the cold winds, I closed my garden down this weekend. Procrastinated yet again. The zucchini had been plentiful, but my heirloom tomatoes were not good despite the best care.  The feathery asparagus canes were cut down preparing for a bigger harvest for their next and third year.  Blueberries and blackberries were acidified and mulched despite their uneven showing. I can still harvest some thyme, parsley, sage and rosemary here and there for the Thanksgiving dinner. And the cats will be happy since the catnip bush is still abundant. Mind-altered cats: nature's housebound court jesters! The harvest is in.

I love this time of year.  There are still faint hues of gold, red and brown left in a few trees.  T-shirts give way to sweatshirts and wind-breaking fleece. The gloves come out of hiding.  The grass no longer needs mowing.  Logs do need to be split given our poor power grid and in anticipation of heatless but snowy nights. Duraflames will be bought just in case for back- up. There’s that sense of snow in the air with low lying clouds but still uncooperative temperatures. The only thing left blossoming is the pilgrim in my soul.

Bulbs need to be planted, being careful not to use the ones which hungry squirrels feast on. Daffodils seem to fair best.  I don’t dare do tulips. Geraniums are cut down and stored since they do come back if properly planted in the spring.

Oh me and my worms.  Voracious devils those red wigglers.  Feed them vegetable scraps, old shredded newspaper and they make the best soil ever.  It’s getting too cold outside for their bins so I have thousands of new pets in the garage.

Winter coats come out of storage.  My older girls still fit into last years but there’s always the hand-me-down scramble for my youngest to see what assorted coat of her sisters’ she can wear.  She got lucky this year. A coat my oldest never wore “because it was purple” was carefully put away only to be resurrected as new. My youngest  daughter's favorite color is purple.  Magician yes, extravagant Mom, no.

We see fewer rabbits in the yard, even fewer squirrels than last week as they sense the weather change.  Curiously, not many acorns again on the old oak in the back. The smashed pumpkins will certainly make up for what the oak trees lack. The deer have lessened too despite me throwing out stale bread.

It is a time for preparation. Hunkering down. Moving inward not only for nature but for myself, for I am not sure what the winter and spring will bring. Hope springs eternal they say.  I certainly hope so. In the meantime, I will sing most terribly with my iPhone.  You’ll all be glad that the car windows will be shut because of the impending cold.

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