A pretty day, after a couple of days of much-needed rain fell, so I finally became disgusted enough with the view of the potager to do something about it. The two potted “Juliet” grape tomatoes that have produced a quart box every other day all season have become brown skeletons with mushy green and red fruits around their pots. Well past time for them to go, so all the tomatoes were picked and put into 3 harvest baskets to go to my friend’s chickens, and the vines were clipped and hauled to the compost pile.
As I worked, random thoughts popped into my head, fairly unconnected as usual these days. I pondered the reported list of things that are selling well these days. Some of them were expected: wine, office furniture as people create home office spaces for the long-term, holiday decor as people prepare to celebrate at home more, board games and jigsaw puzzles, canning jars and pressure canners, cooking utensils, and car parts to fix up those vehicles that have been sitting in the garage or yard for years finally get some attention. But one item surprised me: pianos!
Once the potager’s entrance looked decent, and since the forecast is for a few days of nice temperatures, the covers were removed from crops. Sadly, two layers of frost cover were apparently not enough to keep the final crop of beans protected. I doubt that those tiny 2″ beans will grow much more. But, happily within minutes of removing the cloths, several bees were working the blooms, so I deem covering them worth the effort if only for that!
I’d covered a bed of beautiful “Tom Thumb” lettuces with a frame and plastic. Imagine my surprise when the end of one row was pretty well eaten, and filled with droppings from whatever ate it. Too big for a mouse. I’d guess tomato hornworms from the droppings, but there aren’t any this late. Haven’t seen any chipmunks…hmmmm. Well, there are 5 fewer heads than there were when I covered them, but we still have plenty.
A friend bemoaned, “I feel like we are being robbed of our golden years!” And, I’ve been thinking a lot about that. We seniors worked hard for decades, thinking that someday we would retire and live “the good life” filled with time with our grandchildren, travel, friends, maybe some interesting volunteer work. But, as my friend observes, all those things have been taken from us, and a nasty dose of fear and worry and isolation has been the substitution. I’d already begun to suspect that the “golden years” weren’t quite as “golden” as we’d been led to believe, because about the same time there is freedom from the workforce, health issues begin to dictate what we can eat, what we can do, and how we do or don’t sleep. I try to toss most of those thoughts aside, but it’s not easy. So, let’s think about something good about being an adult!
As the frosted dahlias were being dug, my thoughts were on the beauty of the day. Colorful leaves drifting lazily from the trees. Two hawks making circles as they called to one another in the blue sky. A big Eastern swallowtail butterfly sipping from the verbena, and beneficial wasps busily feeding on the blossoms of garlic chives. When my aching hands and back told me it was time to quit for the day, I found a happy surprise waiting for me in the mailbox.