year forty

My dog loves transitions.  Like a lot of dogs, he keeps very good time—our last two have been cattle dog mixes, who seem especially good at that—and if we had to survive without clocks around here we could do very well.  But the transitions are more than this, he loves the rituals of every routine, and watches us for clues.  I guess that’s his job, since he doesn’t have a more formal working-dog career.  Every finalization—the putting away of the washcloth after dishes; closing of a laptop; hang-up of a phone; and especially the changing of clothes or putting on of shoes—is a signal that something is happening next, (and he certainly knows if it happens to involve him).  Even at the park, which he loves, the end of the walk is one of his favorites—going to the gate, getting his leash on.  Heading for home and for what comes next.

I’m not as good at transitions.  Fumbling for keys and sunglasses before heading to work; the awful last 15 minutes of packing the car before a trip (and the next 15 after you’ve left, wondering what you forgot!), settling the mind before bedtime.  This change of seasons pulls me in two directions too.  Not unusual in fall—normally I’m kind of longing to pull back indoors for a bit, re-tool for winter projects. I want stews and bubbly dinners, and hot drinks, when still swamped with tomatoes and summery veggies that need dealing with.  I just want to cook for tonight, not for February. 

But this year, sheesh.  Even the trees are ready for it to be over, they’ve gone from a tinge of color to peak in the no time, weeks early, just to say “ENOUGH” with the drought and odd weather.  And while I long to rip out tomato vines, my somewhat low stores tell me to plug away, nurse the happier plants through that frost advisory to glean a few more fruit, despite a late September hailstorm that added injury to insult.  I nurture fall crops and seedling in the hoop because I know it’s worth it, but sometimes think a complete winter hiatus would be good for my soil, and my psyche.

Like the trees, maybe it would just be good to call it done and put the year to bed, yes?  There has been some good stuff, I remind myself, but all in all a struggle, with personal, family, friendships, and (UGH) political anxieties.  I joked that the accelerated season would have a month or two fall off the calendar, and maybe that’s a good idea.  

It is SO beautiful out there, though, isn't it?

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  1. I do okay with transitions mainly I think because I am a planner. I also never lose things, and I think the two are part of what make me really annoying to be around.

    But I was thinking just yesterday how I can't wait to experience the new(est) greenhouse this winter with my old cat. She has newly discovered life outdoors and, being an indoor cat, feels most comfortable without *just* the sky above her so she skulks under bushes trees and buildings en route to where she loves to go, and where she loves to go is the garden, to the older greenhouses. How fun it will be for her, soaking up the sun on those pavers I hauled into the new greenhouse!

    But I understand needing breaks. Just use your greenhouse to sun yourself on a winter day. It will do you good.

  2. Our transition to autumn was quite sudden this year, as we adjust to our new surroundings and acquire new expectations. Now it seems we're into the longest Indian Summer ever, and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm getting into the autumn cooking, as well--last night garden potatoes and cabbage simmered with bacon and stock seemed like the most delicious thing ever!

    Do I gather from the title that you're an autumn baby, like me? If so, I hope you had a very happy birthday.


    1. You did have a big year of changes! We are still waiting on a hard frost, though most of the summer plants are done anyway. And no, not an autumn baby, winter--and kind of wishing the last year could just be done :)


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