Celebrating the fall harvest
The days are getting shorter as daylight continues to wane for another two months until winter equinox, the shortest day of the year.
The little garden patch in the northwest corner of the Knickerbocker Apartments is still producing tomatoes and herbs and peppers and lovely flowers. Cucumbers on vines rooted in pots climb the fence and reach out to Clematis. Some leaves are turning yellow and let go as the gentle autumn wind takes them for a journey. The trees from a neighboring lot give welcome shade in the summer but in fall and winter the more sun the better.
Mint has been harvested and used in Tzatziki, a cold cucumber and yogurt dish. While other herbs are harvested, squirrels gather acorns and Canada Geese fly in formation to their winter homes.
"Teach your children well," sang Crosby, Stills and Nash to a generation now in the autumn of life. I can remember show tunes my mother played on the phonograph: "My Fair Lady," "South Pacific," Frank Sinatra singing "Autumn Leaves" and Mario Lanza singing "Be My Love." I get misty when I hear the piano pieces she played.
I use banana-peel water to feed my garden and despise Miracle Gro which I connect with Round-Up fertilizer blamed for many gardeners' lymphoma, the disease that took my mom, silencing her piano and the stories she told so well.
How right it is to remember the passages of life and celebrate together so that our children find their place and honor the past.
In the past few weeks we have mourned the passing of longtime residents who will be missed; Lakota, Dicie and “Karolyn with a K.”
We would often hear Karolyn say to someone entering the room “I'm over here now.” It's comforting to think someone who needed a scooter to get around no longer needs it.
Around Labor Day we had a concert from a talented violinist, Mary Beth Ions, who played all our requests and lifted our spirits, regaling us with stories and familiar tunes. The next time she comes I'll request "Gathering Flowers for the Master's Bouquet." A song that puts life and death in perspective. I bet she could play all the other soulful tunes I've mentioned.
Fall and winter are a good times to plan for a better garden next year like planting those Morning Glories earlier and in better soil and give them more sun because it looks like they may not bloom before a killer frost puts our garden to sleep.
Chris is a Mama Bear, grandma, artist, writer and entrepreneur. She and her husband were recently transplanted from Massachusetts via Utah to be near their grandchildren.