I felt foolish this morning, going out to water in the 45˚ F chill this morning. I felt even sillier being outside in a heavy coat in the middle of May, but that’s the weather we were dealt today. I considered putting it off, but the next two days are supposed to be even chillier than today. The low tonight is 36˚, which is way different than yesterday’s high of 93˚.

By the time I did several tasks, such as pot the bamboo, plant a lilac in the hole (a hole is a terrible thing to waste!), and pull a few weeds, it started to warm up, and by the time half the lawn was watered, I was able to ditch the coat. It was still cool, but pleasantly so.

It was an interesting morning with lots of visitors. A couple of hummingbirds stopped by to sip from a few larkspur flowers. When I lived out in the country with Jeff, I developed a dislike of hummingbirds because the species that lived there were very aggressive, and they often dive-bombed us. Unlike those hummingbirds, my little visitors were polite, drank their fill, and took off without once trying to attack me.

The bumble bees that visited also left me alone, even though we skimmed by one another on several occasions.

A couple of the feral cats in the neighborhood came to sun themselves on my lawn. (I’ve discovered the older of these two black cats stalking among my larkspurs. I sure hope it’s not after the toad that lives there!) I ran them off because I sure don’t want them getting too comfortable around here, though there’s not much I can do about it when I’m not outside. A neighbor who lives next to the crazy cat man (I don’t imagine he’s crazy except for feeding the myriad cats), is almost choking from the smell of cat urine. So not something I want to deal with. Still, the cats, while not actually polite, did take off running when they saw me.

And the people I bought the house pulled up to the curb to talk to me as I was watering out front. They couldn’t stay to explore, but they were impressed with the way the place is looking. And it is looking good. I’m not sure how much credit is due to me since it’s been a collaboration with me, the contractor, some workers, and nature all playing a part.

My final visitor was (drum roll please) . . . me! After I finished my morning’s tasks, it was too nice to go inside, so I wandered my paths, enjoying the scenery, including the newly bloomed roses.

Most of the places I’ve lived the past thirty years had great long-distance views — mountains, Grand Mesa, desert, or city lights, so one of the reasons I got into this whole gardening thing was that I wanted to create a view so I had something to look at other than neighbors’ houses.

Apparently, even though the yard is a perpetual work in progress, I have accomplished at least part of what I set out to do.


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.