Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good bye . . . hello

Funny how routines can change so quickly. Just a few weeks ago, I was going out in the mornings, dumping grain in barnyard containers and dragging a hose around to water the flowers and veggies while the three horses nibbled away at their morning treats.

I wore no coat.

This morning, for the second consecutive day, I gave the horses their grain and began picking green tomatoes from frozen vines. We had a major freeze Sunday night, and I didn't hear about the predicted low temperatures until late Sunday afternoon. I knew there was no way I would have time or materials to cover all the stuff that might freeze.

So, I just let it happen, and when I went outside in the morning, it was obvious the cold had taken its toll. I didn't even get mad cuz I was ready for gardening to end. So, I started the tomato picking routine while the horses ate their grain.

I wore a flannel shirt, a fleece and my barn coat. Still, my hands were nearly numb after plucking a couple of dozen tomatoes from ice-cold vines.

I wore the same ensemble this morning and pretty much cleared the vines near the barn of their fruit. Tomorrow I'll move to another garden to pick more green tomatoes.

Instead of watering the gardens, I'm now pulling up dead plants and putting them in the wheel barrow to haul off to the same piles where, just weeks ago, cantaloupe and watermelon vines spread far and wide, producing several melons over the summer. Those vines are virtually invisible now. Once the fruit's gone, they have a way of disappearing, almost before one's very eyes.

While walking back from the paperbox, I looked at the lawn this morning, strewn with leaves. I thought about how a couple of weeks ago, I had those lawnmowers on the go twice weekly to keep the place looking neat and tidy.

Once those leaves start falling, though, I've found an excuse to cut down on my mowing program. Lots of leaves can hide lots of scraggly grass.

I've hit my point this year of where lawn mowing and garden watering have both lost their luster. It's time to change the whole routine and get ready for the fall mode----cleaning gardens, raking leaves, and general winterizing.

All too soon, my morning routine will involve going to the barn, dumping out the grain in individual box stall buckets, putting hay out into the barnyard or a nearby pasture, turning blanketed horses out and mucking out those stalls.

I'm actually looking forward to that routine because I've kinda missed listening to the morning gang on the K102 country station, and I haven't heard the "Secret Sound" for several weeks.

All that morning drama will return to my day just as "Dancing with the Stars" came back last night. My nightly routine now finds me on the couch ready for the 8 p.m. prime time TV shows, knowing I'll be nodding off by 9 p.m. and off to bed just a few minutes later. While watching "Dancing with the Stars" last night, I was thinking that this same routine sure seemed like it was just yesterday.

The seasons change as do the daily routines. Somehow, though, the routines of these seasons of life always remain pretty constant. Once we settle in through each transition, it seems almost as if we've reconnected with some good ol' friends.

Good bye hose. Hello barn rake.
Good bye lawnmower. Hello lawn broom.
Good bye hoe. Hello rototiller.
Good bye Big Blue Pool. Hello fleece blankets.
So long Crocs and shorts. Hello lined jeans and warm jackets.
Good by birdie tweets and twitters. Hello Breakfast Boys and country ditties.
Good bye open windows. Hello wood stove.
Good bye barbecue. Hello casserole.

The beat of life ticks on.


NNW enemy said...

Although my "gardening" operation is much smaller on my little plot in Coeur d' Alene ... only 25' by 50' ... I've noticed the change in the air and started merging into Autumn mode myself. This time of year is probably my favorite of the changing seasons that we enjoy ... and I suspect I should be gathering my green tomatoes too before they freeze ... although I honestly don't know what to do with them other than a brown paper bag and hopes that they ripen. Any suggestions?

NILove said...

I simply put mine in boxes and keep them in a cool, dark place so that they don't ripen too fast.

Real green ones on bottom and slightly tinted ones on top.