Closing the Windows

Closing the Windows

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.

6 thoughts on “Closing the Windows

  1. Wow! Snow in September. That is even colder than Maine when I was a kid. Now I am here in Texas and have just been able to open the doors and windows for the first time in months thanks in large part to Gustav. All summer here it is so hot that you don’t open things up so you can keep in the A/C enough to stay upright without the cooling bill going through the roof.

    I envy your seasons up there. We won’t see a significant weather change for another couple of months.

    Wish I could be more coherent and conversational here. Battling a bout of summer bronchitis.

    Anyhoo. I love your blog.

  2. Well to be fair, there was snow above about 7000 feet — none in town, and none even on the benches surrounding town — but the high peaks all have a fresh dusting … it’s beautiful, that’s for sure. Just a little too soon!

  3. Beautiful yes, but doesn’t it make gardening difficult!!! We’re only at 4500 feet, but have freeze warnings several nights ago.

    Personally, I love Autumn. Always a good reason to resume baking and ‘nesting’, for want of a better word.

    Peace to you!

  4. Harvesting the carrots too soon…would that cause them to be sour? I pulled some last month that looked good, but my daughter complained that they were sour (I forgot to try them before they shriveled in the fridge, my attention to detail needs work.)

    Here in Portland OR we saw snow on the Coast Range for many months this winter, instead of just a few weeks. Our mornings have been crisp — some mornings a little too crisp, I’m afraid. But we’ve got warming coming this weekend, so Fall isn’t here just yet.

  5. Hmm — I don’t know about sour — that sounds like a soil PH thing maybe? Check with your extension office I guess (or you could post it in the forums at A Way To Garden). I’m just trying to wait so they’ll get a little bigger — trying not to jump the gun. I want a whole fridge bin of my own nice carrots — they’re one of those things that are so much better than what you can get in the store that they ruin you. Last year I didnt’ get my act together — I only planted a row or two and didn’t water enough, and I hadn’t turned over the soil in a couple of years and I got about 12 stubby carrots that were all gnarly and branched. So this year I tried to pay attention ….

  6. Thanks, I don’t know why I always forget about the extension service, I’ll make a note to check with them when I’m planting next year, or if I happen to find some time soon to ask them.

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