Sunday, November 11, 2012

First Frost

Last night the weather service prediction was for the possibility of frost -- our first of the season.  Because the tomatoes have finally gotten into the groove and are steadily producing, we decided to rig up some tarps over them to try and thwart a mild frost. 

And so by evening we'd built the world's ugliest tent over the railed bed off the carport.  Under it were tomatoes, basil, a few surprised cosmos and a row of marigolds. 

Then I went down to the orchard garden and said goodby to my zinnias.  They're still stoically flowering and putting out new buds, but look tired and ready to pack it in and call it a day.  I felt a bit wistful as I looked down at them, knowing that this was their last afternoon.  (I've long accepted that I've an almost Victorian sentimentality when it comes to flowers)

Then I went back up to the nice warm house and closed the door behind me.

In the morning, our home weather station gave a reading of 28 degrees for our low temperature of the night.  This was definitely colder than we were anticipating.  Outside, frost glittered on the golden grass of the hillsides...

...and bumpy crystals thickly covered the green tarps that sagged over the garden.  Underneath, the tomatoes had made it through passably well.  Their long tips had gotten zapped and were already beginning to droop, but the centers of the plants were still green and sturdy.  The basil, though, is pretty much shot.  However, to my surprise, the marigolds look great.

Tonight is supposed to be a few degrees warmer than last night, and the rest of the week the lows will be back up into the mid 40's.  With any luck, we'll have garden tomatoes at least through Thanksgiving.  It's the little things.

Tomorrow I have the day off for Veteran's Day.  A strange thing happened -- on Saturday, while Bruce and I were on our way to the little foothill town of Murphys to buy fresh bread and spices, a name suddenly came to me.  So, out of the blue, I asked Bruce, "What would you have done if your mother had named you 'Pendergrass'?  Bruce looked puzzled, but said that he'd have been ok with it  because he liked the name.  After we were done shopping and were walking back to the car which was parked in the small lot on the other side of the creek, we came upon a Veteran's Memorial that we'd never seen.  It was simple, but dignified -- a tall flag pole in the center, with a brick semi-circular wall behind it.  On each brick was a plaque listing the name and information of locals who had served in the military.

And there on a brick, right in the middle, was the name of a serviceman whose last name was Pendergrass.  Bruce's brain veers away from things like this, so his reaction was decidedly cool.  That didn't stop me one little bit from being gobsmacked as I stared at the name.  What on earth do things like this mean -- surely this can't be coincidence?  This sort of thing has happened at regular intervals throughout my life.  It never seems to be linked to anything to do with me.  It's just a random "something" that I somehow pick up on.  Or it's just coincidence.

Anyway, I like these isolated, sort of spiritual events that pop up every once in awhile when I least expect it.  Call it another one of my Victorian qualities.

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