Warm Novembers

The warm weather we’ve been having, while unseasonable, is not unprecedented. I remember another such November — I was young and becoming more in tune with my surroundings as I became more in tune in with myself. I walked miles and miles that November. I remember walking the five miles from my apartment to my parents’ house to celebrate Thanksgiving. It felt so good to be out unburdened by a coat or a sweater, it was if I were dancing all the way.

So much of my distant past is lost in the shadows of time, but I distinctly remember that walk, and how lighthearted I felt.

Here I am, decades later, enjoying that same sort of warm spell. This year, Thanksgiving won’t be as warm as the one I remember, but these recent days sure have been.

I feel almost as lighthearted as I did then — apparently, this weather has that effect on me — but I feel leaden footed without a hint of dance to my step. Of course, that is probably due as much to age as to the hours spent working in my yard earlier today.

I decided to dig up the lily bulbs I planted too shallowly, so I dug up the entire lily garden. To my surprise, I could only find about half the bulbs. Even the ones I clearly remember planting were missing. It’s possible I planted some deeper than I thought I did, especially since I did dump more dirt on top of the garden, but still, I should have found more of them. Well, I’ll have to wait until spring to see what happens, and if necessary, I can order a few more next fall to fill in empty areas.

After that, I planted a couple of dozen tulip bulbs, then I watered the lawn. Not exactly a day to remember decades from now, but a lovely day nonetheless.

I keep telling myself that this will be the last year I do this sort of planting, and that might be true, but I realized when I was out there earlier that the place where the shingles for my gazebo are being stored (they were actually dumped there, but saying they were stored makes it seem less haphazard) would make a perfect daffodil garden — a bright spot for the spring blooms, and yet out of the way for when their season has passed.

Even if the weather is back to normal or unseasonably chilly next year, I should be able to manage to plant one small garden.

Meantime, the next two days will be much like today, which will give me a chance to finish planting the tulip bulbs before the temperature begins dropping again.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

2 Responses to “Warm Novembers”

  1. Carol J. Garvin Says:

    This is a pleasant time of year in that all of nature begins to slow down, settling in for impending dormancy. Well, I suspect the squirrels are still busy collecting goodies to store in their winter larder. In fact, that may be why your supply of bulbs appears to be dwindling. Around here, the voles (they’re like underground shrews) burrow through the gardens and eat the bulbs from below, while mice and squirrels tend to neatly dig them up to devour or cart them away. I gave up on having tulips in our gardens when we first moved here because neighbours said the deer feasted on the leaves and blooms (and my few trial efforts proved them right). The nursery suggested the deer *usually* left the more toxic daffodils, narcissus and crocuses alone, so I planted large plots of them hoping they would naturalize and fill the beds with gorgeous drifts of springtime colour, only to have them slowly disappear to the rodents. Of the hundreds of bulbs I’ve planted over the years, only a handful of crocuses continue to reappear. The only ones that seem to flourish are the late winter snowdrops.

    To me, landscaping is a constantly evolving form of art. It seems I’m always planting, replanting, moving, and removing plants in an effort to maintain a pleasing combination of plants throughout the seasons.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I like your concept, that landscaping is a constantly evolving form of art. I’m hoping that eventually I find enough plants that will flower year after year so that if I get feeble, the garden areas can more or less take care of themselves. Until then, I’ll keep trying different plants and flowers.

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