Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall drops in

Here in the Pacific Northwest, summer usually fades. Not this year. Fall arrived almost overnight this week. Sun is gone, rain has arrived. We're told this may be the rainiest September since 1978.

On Friday Art and I went out to the garden and harvested about 200 green tomatoes. They're in grocery sacks, but this afternoon we'll transfer them to boxes, layered with newspaper, so they can ripen in the pantry. We were delighted that this year, for the first time, we ate several dozen vine-ripened tomatoes out of our garden. We were lucky for a warmer-than-usual summer.

Yesterday I went out to the garden and noted that most of the cornstalks in our small patch are leaning over or lying on the ground. We're not sure whether it was wind or an animal - coyote or dog, perhaps - but decided that next year we'll (1) plant the corn earlier than June 25 to take full advantage of our long summer days and (2) erect a chicken-wire fence around the patch. Looking out there, I see five stalks with an ear of corn growing in them. We planted 180 kernels. We figure it cost about $400 for the preparation of the soil and the compost as we converted the rest of our lawn to agriculture. So we figure this year's corn cost $80 an ear. Not too bad for a first-year crop!

The community pool didn't have classes yesterday so I knew I needed to take my two-mile walk around the neighborhood. But it was raining. Not just misting, but a mid-level rain. I couldn't find my rain pants or my poncho. Art was reading, but he got up and found both where he'd packed them in a closet in the spare room. He moves things as he needs extra space - packrats (collectors!) do that. Fortunately, this year he labeled the boxes. So I donned my black rain pants and my burgundy poncho and headed out. Even stopped at my espresso stand for my usual drink. By the time I got home I was still dry, but a little sweaty under my poncho. Instead of a t-shirt and fleece vest, on my next outing I'll wear a silk undershirt with the vest. Silk does a better job of wicking.

As an indoor activity yesterday, I went through our closets and pulled out six jackets - from heavy to windbreaker type - and put them in a Goodwill bag. And I went through two storage dressers and extracted odd sheets for various sizes of beds. They went in the Goodwill bag also. And an old jewelry box from my first marriage. It's a big bag and it's full now, so Goodwill will be a destination for us this week.

When I changed the sheets on our bed I put on the flannel ones for the first time this year. And took off the lightweight silk bedspread and replaced it with the heavier winter one. On the way home from the Goodwill run, we'll drop the summer bedspread off at the cleaners.

The gas fireplace, installed seven years ago, needs to be serviced before we'll be able to get it turned on. There's a three-week wait for a repair person to come out. I can live with that.

I look outside. It's gray, and the tree branches are communing with the wind. Tis the season.

11 comments:

DJan said...

Yes, Linda, I hear you. I'm up here in Bellingham watching the rain and listening to the wind blow. I'll be heading off to the Y sometimes after it opens at noon and will walk a few miles on the treadmill. :-)

Rian said...

Linda, you made me laugh with the $80 corn comment. My daughter laughs at me all the time when we buy one ear of corn at Central Market. DH and I share an ear of corn so there's no use buying more. It doesn't keep. We do the same with potatoes, etc. - one per week.

and we also had some rain this weekend here in Texas. Really needed it! And a little cooler weather...

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

We had a hint of fall weather yesterday, but for the most part we are having an amazing run of warm sunny days. I've been too enchanted (and lazy) even to post. Must change that!

Arkansas Patti said...

I love the idea of walking in the rain. That is such fun and brings out the kid in me.
Had to laugh at your 80 buck an ear corn. Lesson learned.

Olga said...

I did not put in any vegetables this year--just as well. I have made several trips to the farmers' markets though. I had been thinking about doing a small raised bed vegetable garden but never got around to it. Maybe next year...

Grandmother (Mary) said...

I'm so not ready for the cold. Good that I live where the sun is still warm (60's) and shining most days. The rains will come soon enough.

Dee said...

Dear Linda, here in western Missouri we are still into summer with days in the 80s. However, the nights are in the 60s--a sure sign that cooler days are on the way.

Like you, I recently went through my closet and filled 7 grocery bags with slacks, T-shirts, sweat shirts, and sweaters. We don't have a Good Will nearby and so I plan to give them to another organization. One that stops in this neighborhood to pick them up. I was able to fill those bags because I've recently lost some weight. Yay!!!! Peace.

Perpetua said...

Your sudden switch to autumn weather is mirrored on this side of the Atlantic too. We've gone from warm and mainly sunny last week to warmish but very wet now. The rain is beating on the window as I type.

Congratulations on your garden crops. and I'm sure you'll get much more next year.

Galen Pearl said...

Same here in Portland. I had out of town company for a week. At the beginning of the week, we were sitting out in the back yard enjoying the sunshine. At the end of the week, we had our rain jackets on and the furnace cranked up!

Retired English Teacher said...

Rain eh? I hope it doesn't rain on our trip to Vashon. You are certainly prepared if it does.

I love how organized you are. You really put me to shame.

Deb Shucka said...

Fall may have dropped on our heads, but I'm hoping for Indian Summer, sometime toward the end of this month. It sounds like you're ready for the next season, too. :-)