Sigh. It’s that time of year again. My house has been wide open since the middle of June and in the last week it’s become clear that it’s time to close the windows and, double sigh, turn the heat on again. It’s time to come inside. It’s cold out there — in the low 40s at night, and we’ve had rain so it’s damp. No more sitting in the backyard under the Coleman lantern reading novels into the night. Even with the firepit going, it’s just too cold, and too damp, and unpleasant.
Part of me loves this back-to-school feeling. I was in Target the other day and it was all I could do to tear myself away from the school supplies aisle — there’s a reason I went all the way to a PhD — I loved school. The chill in the air has come far too soon — I mean, it only stopped snowing on June 17 — but that turn of the planet always feels to me like a hopeful new start. And I have work to do — I need to get back to this blog after a slacker summer, and there’s a novel manuscript that is three chapters long that has been languishing since spring.
And there is still work to do in the garden — the tomatoes are tucked away under a tent of six-mil plastic with jugs of water tucked in there to store heat overnight. The Galician kale is three feet high and will need to be harvested. There are three more cabbages and the mystery broccoli that is also three feet tall with nary a head in sight. We lopped off the apical buds hoping to spur the growth of side shoots — and there are a few shooty-looking things going on, but we’ll just have to see. If nothing else, we’re looking at a lot of fodder for the compost heap. The brussels sprouts are starting to get tall, the chard is finally firm and green and lovely, and the onion tops have flopped over. The carrots are also looking good and I’m trying not to let the cool weather fool me into pulling them too soon.
But I’m sad to see the summer go. We got snow up high this weekend, and it’s just over. Morning dog walks require long pants, socks, and a jacket now. And my windows are closed. My house has an inside and outside again, and this weekend I found myself at Lowes looking at storm doors. Winter’s on it’s way, and it’s supposed to be a cold one, with high energy prices. I’m battening down the hatches and filling my larder.