It Came From the Compost, and Other Horrors

What came from the compost: a beautiful canteloupe. I sliced into it a few days ago, breathing in the delicate perfume of a freshly opened melon. Conventional wisdom has it that you can’t grow melons in the Upper County. Heck, tomatoes barely have time to get ripe. But every year, one or more canteloupe vines appear in the raised beds that I cover with homemade compost in the fall. The melons plug along, setting fruit and growing. My canteloupe this year grew to full size and ripened. I’m just now eating it. It’s not as sweet as melons grown in hotter climates, but it’s good. I also had a baby honeydew. The garden beds are ready for their application of compost.

#1. Saved a giant zucchini that hid under the leaves expanding to a hideous size. Almost inedible. I had other plans for it. Bwa ha ha!

#2. Carved a jack o’lantern last night, as I do most years to remember my dad whose birthday was on Halloween. Every year he spread newspapers on the kitchen floor and helped us cut open pumpkins, scoop out the innards, and carve the face. Dad was a kid too. So last night I crouched down next to my newspapers and hollowed out a Spud Ranch pumpkin. There are only two or three choices for faces, as far as I’m concerned: scary, goofy, frightened. As I worked, the cat came to investigate and helped himself to the gut pile. This ferocious predator will do anything for raw pumpkin.

#3. Field season is pretty much over, and I’m moving life indoors. No more gardening, no more long hikes on dirt in shirtsleeves. The snow level is almost down to the valley floor. Sigh.

#4. We vote by mail here, and the ballot sits on my desk. A record amount of money spent on campaigns this year (did I hear 2 billion on the presidential race alone??). Wondering why our form of democracy is so expensive and tedious. Millions of dollars could be spent on more practical things than buying politicians, in my humble opinion. So I will hold my nose, fill out the ballot, and hope for the best.

#5. My little house goes into winter with a piebald look. One gable end didn’t get its final coat of paint before the weather turned. So it’s gray, tan primer, and yellow. And the trim isn’t done. It’s always something with a house. At least the roof doesn’t leak!

I’m sure I could think up more horrors, but it’s not raining today and I’m going outside to play. Happy Almost-end-of-October!

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