This was the summer that never was. I borrowed a sunflower from years ago to bring color to this post. My present garden is a slumping disappointment draped with dew-spangled spider webs. It’s given up. I’ll be lucky to harvest a few green tomatoes. The cukes were stunted nubbins, the green beans made one meal, a single zucchini struggled into existence. (I gave it to our neighbor thinking surely there would be more appearing soon – nope.) Slim pickin’s indeed.

This week I put away the deck furniture and cleaned up the front courtyard. There is little chance anyone will be sitting in the sun before next year. Of course we in the upper left hand corner should count our blessings – compared to the rest of the country the season was blissfully benign. No hurricanes, no triple-digit temperatures, no floods or fires. Basically, no nuthin’! And here we are, ready for winter. I’m hauling out the trappings of Samhain already and before I know it I’ll be clipping strings of lights on the gutters to celebrate Yule. Happy New Year!

It’s almost a year since our big family reunion. Already it has slipped into memory as a watershed year – the year Mom took her fall – the year I became a full-time caregiver. I have to look at it as a learning experience. The best we can do in life is roll with the punches – do the best we can with what we have. Though I know I’m pretty inept I just keep plugging away. Even the worst garden imaginable will sometimes produce a lone zucchini you can gift to a hungry neighbor.

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