That’s the line from the Grinch that keeps running through my mind., to the point that I thought about a whole Grinchy satire:

Every Yank up in Yankville liked the cold a lot…
But the Grinch,who came from south of Yankville, did NOT!
The Grinch hated cold! Both frigid seasons!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

I didn’t want Fall to come. But it came. It came, just the same. Time keeps marching on, and I stopped to look back at what’s happened to my outside environment before it’s smothered in snow.

The summer started out pretty hopefully, progress wise, on the yard. Previously a weed strewn marsh, tarps were placed, war was declared on Japanese knotweed,  many rocks were relocated and bricks began to be accumulated for patio construction. Roses were on one side…

And edibles (grapes, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and a single tomato plant)  were on the other:

Then the sleigh of life took a corner too fast and tipped over sideways when hubby fell down the stairs, rupturing four discs that ultimately required massive surgery followed by several months in a rehab facility. It made for a long, painful, difficult summer where nothing but his recovery was important enough to get noticed.

Now he’s finally home and doing much better, which has given me time to notice that things have turned brisk and it’s clear that, like the Grinch, I have failed to hold back the season. Things are dying, something I hate and that never happens down south- even when the live oak trees shed their leaves there are already new sprouts taking their place. Winter doesn’t really exist- there are a few cold weeks, sure, but even during those days there are flowers blooming and new shoots coming up. Everything is green, all the time, except for the sky, which is the most crystalline of blues. Here we’re entering the gray season- plants, sky, landscapes- and I just dread it.

And yet, looking around at the yard, I had to accept reality, admit defeat and regroup. Things weren’t pretty. Chaos ruled, but there were some hopeful signs, too.

A tour around the neglected garden shows that life has gone on in my absence, and I have to admit that in many cases thrived all by themselves. The roses have expanded their territory without aid, something that couldn’t happen in the humidity of New Orleans. I missed them, but signs of a big bloom are everywhere:

Some mysterious things have happened, like this pepper, which I never planted:

But the most amazing thing is that single tomato plant, which, left unsupervised, decided to take over the world. I knew it was huge, because seen from above it had taken over all the other edibles and made it halfway across the yard.

In fact, despite the leaves falling and temps falling, The Little Tomato Plant That Could was still working away, on my side, trying to put out more springtime buds and deny the coming cold:

What I didn’t realize is that under that huge mess were a LOT of tomatoes. And yes, about half had been “got at” in ways most gruesome:


Yet there were still quite a lot there, ready to be enjoyed, and more still growing.

And so, if I put my Grinchy ways aside, I have to admit that there’s beauty here, too. It’s a work in progress, but I really am working on it.


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