It was 64 degrees on Saturday. We’d spent part of Friday chipping away at the ice that encased our (long, long, terribly long) driveway so that we could go out to eat, since we were tired of cooking–like, I expect, a lot of people on that day. Saturday the driveway was damp but clear. “Why did I get a sore shoulder from chipping when we could have just waited?” Eric wondered.

It was wonderful to go out in a light jacket, but I was also ashamed of my yard. My parents were there (after being stranded at O’Hare after American Airlines cancelled their connecting flight and rescheduled them for a flight the next night, Christmas Eve, which would have had them waiting for thirty hours at the airport, and offered no hotel or food vouchers, just a vague apology. We got them two of the last train tickets out of Chicago and they spent most of the thirty hours with us instead) and they quite naturally wondered why the yard was covered in bronze beech leaves when the neighboring yards were relatively clear. We made excuses about the late leaf fall and the early snow, but I was still embarrassed. I’m waiting for it to snow again so I don’t have to see the yard. I could have spent some of Saturday raking (or maybe rescuing the leeks), but we had a lot of goofing off to do and not much time to do it in. The garden would wait.

Mom was amazed by my lemon tree, which has at last yielded two mostly-yellow lemons. I’m waiting for them to ripen fully. Then I’m going to make lemonade, or lemon ice cream, or lemon meringue pie, or maybe eat them straight, and finally hack down the tree to get rid of the scale. (Incidentally, we made a lemon meringue pie with real lemons for Christmas dinner, and Dad, who has never had anything but store-bought before, commented that it was so much more lemony than any other pie he’d tasted. I was quite proud.) I’m a little sad that my annoyance over the scale is intruding on my enjoyment of the fruit, but it’s probably best this way.

She was also interested to see that one of my pomegranate plants had a single flower bud on it. She has several plants but hasn’t seen any of them flower. It hadn’t quite opened by the time she left. I’ll have to take a picture and send it to her.

Since it hasn’t snowed yet, I’m contemplating fixing up the compost box when I get home today, or maybe on New Year’s Day since I’ll be off and there will be daylight (though it’s coming back now!). I’ve been dumping my compost onto the raised bed as a temporary compost pile. I think I’ll probably keep doing that. It’s winter; therefore it is not time for gardening. I can’t say that part of my brain is switched off, but my desire to get things done is pretty dormant. The garden will wait.

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