Magic of the Everyday, Personal Life, Writing

A Long-Overdue Winter Update

Fall has nearly slipped away, and winter is creeping in. Even here, frost limns the grasses many too-chilly mornings. Tropical plants need “frost cloth” laid over them to protect against the cold. I’m glad I have only 2 sensitive plants to coddle this way. (I am a lazy gardener in this respect. Even in Ohio, I didn’t like to swaddle roses, etc, in winter protections. A bit of mulched leaves? Sure. But no more than that. Live or die, baby–it’s a tough garden I run.)

The farmers’ markets, so paltry in summer’s unrelenting heat and humidity, are stocked full to bursting with greens, carrots, turnips, hardier seedling plants (for the same types of plants), and oddities (to me) like boiled green peanuts, turmeric root, and citrus.

Yes, citrus. oh yum! We purchased an 1/8th bushel of oranges and juiced some yesterday. Oh my! This is what OJ should really taste like!

I was spoiled as a child. I visited my snowbird grandma at Christmas time, right as the citrus was coming to harvest. We’d drive to the grove and buy fresh oranges, packing the car full on the return trip to Ohio. Later, my aunt bought a trailer in Florida that held a number of mature citrus trees. There were too many to eat, so we squoze (yes, this is what we called it, because, well, we are a weird family) LOTS of oranges and tangerines into delicious juice. Because of that, I’ve never been a fan of purchased OJ. It tastes off, somehow. Always has. The newest “not from concentrate” varieties are much better, but still, something is…lacking.

So  now my tastebuds are in citrus heaven again. Ah! So nice.

We made cookies over the weekend, as well. I have to admit that making holiday cookies on a sunny, blue-sky day of 68 degrees isn’t what I’m used to, but I rather like it. I also like walking in the afternoons, when the shining sun is so warm that short sleeves are the clothing of choice (instead of woolen sweaters).

Dasher the puppy is also a fan of sunbeams, as you might expect from a boxer-mix. His favorite afternoon napping spot is out in the lanai, on a rug directly in the sunbeam’s longest path. Lucky dog.

Speaking of naps, Dash has settled into them, giving me time to write consistently once more. Which is a good thing. The novel is very nearly done, and a couple short stories are bugging me to write them as soon as it is. And of course, there are books and stories to be read–in a sunbeam, by the dozing pup, as the warmth soaks into my bones and brings the nap-fuzzies…No! I will write during writing time. I will! But a sleeping dog is such a calming thing. //goes off into a warm-fuzzy-dog glow//

And so it goes. Writing. Reading. Walking a dog (hurray!). Friends and family. Cooking. Small joys that add up to a good life. All things to be grateful for, to be glad about during the season of thankfulness and gratitude.

I wish you many of the same.

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