Welcoming the cold

Last year, we didn’t put the gardens to sleep until well into December.  We had not even begun to pick up the irrigation hoses for weeks yet.  In the last 10 days or so, we’ve been rushing to turn off the outdoor shower and hose, get manure to plow in, picking whatever we could salvage before the temperature dropped to 23 one night.  We till have much to do.  I potted all the plants I needed to bring inside – rosemary, bay trees, some parsley and some chives.  Then the few ornamentals I save, some of which are several years old and then the Christmas cactus [misnamed] Gigi gave me after her mother died.  It is at least 70 years old.  Woody is trying to get the raised beds in the lower garden finishing before the ground is frozen, since he wants to make a few raised beds in the main garden next spring.  Then I’ll be able to take over part of the main garden.  I can’t kneel on my titanium knees, so I need raised beds as I have in my garden.  I have 11 raised beds he’s made for me. 

We’re also still moving coats around.  Yesterday, we finally got some of the winter coats out.  I still have to put away summer rain gear.  Woolens are 3/4s out but I still haven’t found her warmer pants.  They’re in the storage closet somewhere….  The sudden deep cold caught us by surprise.  Normally we don’t really get such cold until into December here. The ocean is still in the 40’s.  It has also been an unusually windy fall.  This is a place that endures frequent gale force winds all year but especially in winter – why a hundred years ago, the Cape was covered with windmills. 

It took me about a week to get used to being off Daylight Savings Time – something I greatly prefer.  The cats have not yet made a complete transition.  They still think they should get treats at what was then 11 and isnow 10 a.m.  and supper at what as 5, but isnow 4.  I’ve got them to 4:30; then they start nudging me.  I find it hard to adjust to the afternoons being so much shorter.  I dislike eating supper after dark, but I’ll just have to adjust. I still wake up too early.

I have been doing little tweaks to my novel ms. THE HOUSE AT HOPE’S END.  They are minor changes, but ones I think will improve it.  I have to start looking for a small press.  I’ve aged out of New York for my fiction, although not for my poetry.  Knopf will bring out my new collection ON THE WAY OUT,TURN OFF THE LIGHT next fall.  I haven’t had to look for an alternate way to publish my fiction ever before, but it’s come to that. I have to start researching small presses that publish fiction reasonably well.

I’ll be going into Boston a week from today, November 23rd, to read with seven other poets at  3:30 at the Omni Parker House hotel on School Street downtown.  It’s for the launch of a new anthology Martin Espada edited WHAT SAVES US: Poems of Empathy and Oiurage in the Age of Trump.  I have two poems in it and will read them and one other at the reading. Since Woody has an all day event at which he will hand over the presidency of the board of WOMR, he can’t drive me in.  Dale and Stephen are going to drive me, drop me off and pick me up @ 5:30, when I’ll take them out to supper at a restaurant of their choosing.  I really appreciate their help and willingness to enable me to join the reading. I haven’t given a reading in Boston for a while and hearing the other poets should be fun.  The reading is free.  There was a nice write-up in the Boston Globe on Wednesday.  Tonight Dale and Stephen are coming to supper.  Woody is doing most of the cooking tonight as he has a new specialty, short ribs.  I’ll make the veggie.  Dale is bringing dessert.

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