Coming Home

The week was spent in south Tacoma attending driving training. Much of the flat ground around Puget Sound is paved over. It is a landscape almost completely modified for cars. In spite of this, the natural world persists. There is no escape from the weather–billowing marine clouds, gray drizzle, the pleasant surprise of blue sky and a crisp temperature. And oak trees: native to the post-glacial prairies, Quercus garryana grows at the edges of parking lots and air fields. The leathery leaves are still green, but the acorns are dropping and crunching underfoot.

Relief to come back to my familiar territory of conifer-covered foothills. This morning’s daylight revealed snow on ridges. It feels cold. The garden has been nipped by frost. Time to finish the harvest.
As I picked ripening tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, I felt like I was saying goodbye. I cut the last of the zinnias, picked nasturtiums, mixed a handful of roses and perennials. Apples from a friend’s house sit in a box on the porch. Tonight I am cooking a stew of garden vegetables and herbs.

Another year’s garden winds down, but work on the house continues…

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