BEFORE THE GARDEN, but still in the outdoor pursuits area – I don’t know how it is at your house, but at my house, which is blessed by more than an acre of yard (and another 4-plus acres of woods and fields overlooking a long open valley) things get messy during the winter. The house is even older than I am (built in 1918) and some of the trees are nearing the end of their lifespan. A green ash tree and four beautiful old soft maples drop branches and sometimes whole limbs, especially in winter, and this year was no exception. In addition, when I first moved out to the farm almost 3 years ago, the limbs and trash had been accumulating for several seasons, and when I got here I was still very weak from surgery and the infection that followed and nearly carried me off. So year-before-last was pretty much a wash, except I did manage to do a container garden that kept me in tomatoes and cukes and a few other odds and ends.
Last year was better, except we went on tour right in the midst of planting, so everything got in late and the tomatoes suffered in the heat, so it was another so-so year. And nothing got picked up.
This year is different. I’m feeling better, doing better and have been hauling limbs and other detritus to the burn pile in great heaps, and with generally good humor, although at times with an aching back or shoulders. Today I’m faced with a profusion of good choices – clean out the area behind the old garage, which is a tangle of old downed limbs, honeysuckle and multiflora rose (O My!) Or make garden beds. Or build garden boxes out of some salvaged lumber. Or start a chicken house. Or finish that song I started writing last week. Or… A world of choices, and all mine. Life is good.