Yesterday was the last good day. The last good day of the fall. The last good day of the year, probably. The temperature was in the sixties. The wind was moderate. I was able to finish my yard work—except for the last batch of pesky leaves, which will hang around on the trees in my front and back yards for several more weeks. And I did a solid 90 minutes of garden weeding, almost all of it on my knees. How often will I be able to do any of that once the weather locks into the cold, dark days of winter?
Yep, it’s all downhill from here. This morning dawned cold, wet and raw. The forecast hints of no more days reaching the mid-50s in my part of Virginia, let alone the 60s or 70s.
Then there’s the low end of the temperature scale. The frosts and freezes that have wiped almost all of my vegetables and every cell of every flowering plant. Nothing left but mush.
No question about it. The weather, the gardening season, the year: It has all gone to hell.
Well, let me amend that assessment just one tiny bit. The sun did come out today. In fact, it’s a rather gorgeous shade of blue. Driving home from the gym, I noticed some maple trees full of orange glory still displaying most of their leaves despite the worst that Superstorm Sandy could manage.
And, speaking of Sandy, my community sure did dodge a bullet. My sump pump died a heroic death while working almost non-stop at the height of the storm. (Clarification: My house’s sump pump died. My own is just fine, thank you.) A few shingles tore off the roof. I suppose those can be replaced without taking out a third mortgage.
But things really are terrible, horrible, beyond belief. I mean, the gardening season is over. Over, except, of course, for not just one but two fall plantings of lettuce and spinach. Some of the red leaf lettuce I planted in late August is still edible, and the September planting of fall salad greens is just about peaking. The best fall crops I have ever had, without question.
Still, I have to say, there’s nothing good to look forward to this fall and winter. Nothing but dark, cold days and nights. Sure, there’s that trip South coming up over the Thanksgiving weekend to see a football game and some good folks. And then the holiday shopping crunch; thank goodness I already have a partial gift list and I buy Everything online. Black Thursday? Only if I cook the turkey.
On balance, though, I have to say: Things just stink. Crummy weather, definitely. Of course, I work from home now, so that routine of struggling to and from the office through rain, sleet, snow and the threat of fiscal cliffs just isn’t part of my days anymore.
Ah, where was I? Right: Bad. Everything’s bad now that the gardening season is over. Yesterday was the last good day.
Except for today. And maybe tomorrow. And a lot of days later this week, and next. And the next month. And, before you know it, the next year and the next spring.
Yes, there are a lot of legitimate, undeniable reasons to hate this time of year, to think that all the good days are gone. There really are.
Uh, let me get back to you on this….