Porchless

Our small front porch is rotting and we’re both afraid one of us or a friend or visitor will go crashing through it. Also the way to the car now is very circuitous and leads over bricks I laid in 1971 that by now tilt in all directions, collect water and in winter turn icy. Besides replacing the wood of the front porch, Scott and Woody are also creating a new set of stairs directly down to the turnaround where the car is generally parked. That will make life easier, especially when we’re loading or unloading and in winter.

It has rained and rained this week. We had a light frost. It killed the basil, finished off the pole beans. I don’t know why anyone grows bush beans. They make all at once and you have to really get down to pick them. Pole beans start a bit later but continue till the cold kills them. I froze about 25 lbs. of beans, we ate many suppers of them and I gave a bunch away. They are productive and have a very long season and are easy to pick.

Woody also brought in peppers – 31 of them. When cold approaches, the peppers come to frenzied life and produce like crazy. I am using half of them and giving half to Dale on Monday. I’ve finished potting herbs and houseplants and have brought them in, all but the lovely tarragon Dale gave me after I had a crop failure this year. I have to repot that and also I want to try to save my elephants ears. They’re hard to find and impossible to grow from bulbs, at least for me. This iteration was amazing, four feet tall and imposing in the large pot by the top of the drive. I’d like to have it again next year.

I was more productive this week than in several. I wrote, rewrote four poems. Last night we went to have dinner with friends at their house. People complain that there isn’t much color this year, but our big sugar maple was brilliant and my pink dogwood turned a beautiful maroon. The Norway maple is showing color too. December magazine is finally publishing my short story, The Service, so I proofed it. Dale and I sent out some poems and had immediate acceptance, unusual but very nice for a writer.

The CBS streaming purchase of WOMAN ON THE EDGE OF TIME is still alive. The contract is being revised. I don’t expect anything to come of it. They’d be much better off with HE, SHE AND IT –far more relevant, unfortunately. People ask me how I feel about so much of what I wrote happening and I say, I wish that novel were still fiction.   I’d rather be a failed prophet than an accurate one.

I receive about 75 emails a day from various candidates demanding money. I have given what I can, but I get really sick of certain of them sending pleas every day. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Sure, but if you don’t run a good campaign, my feeble contribution is not going to help. They try to guilt trip and I resent it. The more they do that, the less I feel like trying to scrape together another contribution.

Because the new windows are not stained yet and won’t be until the last week of October, we can’t put all the plants I’ve potted and brought inside where we usually do in the diningroom and the bay window. I begged Woody to take down the screens on the sunporch and put in the windows. There’s no heat out there but it will be warm enough for them to survive mostly until the windows are stained and we can move them where they will presumably thrive through at least part of the winter, if not until spring. I potted all but one of my rosemarys, for instance. I know some will die during the winter, but hope I can nurse some through. I love rosemary and use it a lot in cooking. I’ll bring a pot of chives in, but not yet. They are pretty hardy and can survive till the windows are stained. Lemon verbena is in and usually I can get that through till spring. I brought in the only basil I’ve had any luck with in the house, a small leaved Greek plant. Of course the two bay leaves are inside. One of them I’ve had for twenty years. I have a Christmas cactus my friend Gigi gave me fifteen years ago, that had belonged to her mother for as long as Gigi could remember. She halved it, kept half and gave me half. It blooms every year.

 

 

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