As I let the cat out a few minutes ago, I could glimpse the first cold raindrops beginning to spatter the shadowy sidewalk. We're in for a few wet days, highs only in the 40s, a November preview, and I'm glad I got so much yard work done yesterday. I planted three varieties of tulips in the Shed Patch and the Hill Country, snowdrops and bluebells in the new backyard beds. Then I raked leaves into the beds . . . a first pass at that chore, as the trees are still loaded with them, and piles more will come down in the rain. I carried the outside chairs and table into the basement; and without their friendly presence around the fire pit, the yard looks more remote. Now it's a place to watch through a window.
The front yard, of course, is still crowded with kale and chard, broccoli and arugula. Carrot and fennel greens flutter in the boxes; sage overflows the stone wall; zinnias and marigolds and dahlias bloom bravely. It's a busy place, an autumn kitchen garden. Last night, for dinner, I made Glamorgan sausages--which aren't meat at all but a Welsh speciality of leeks, cheddar, and bread crumbs, fried in patties--a salad of roasted Brussels sprouts, arugula, mint, cilantro, and marigolds; and apple crisp with cream. It felt like classic late-season fare, sturdy and bright on the plates, as a fire flickered in the wood stove and candles shone on the table . . . because, yes, I do light candles on every one of these dark nights. I love the formality of an evening meal: cloth napkins folded just so, flatware arranged, pretty dishes. I know it's fussy, but so be it. We all have our little fusses.
Today, editing. Whatever else gets done will be shoehorned around that. Then, tonight, my poetry group meets, and I'll show them a draft I'm not sure about. Maybe it's going somewhere, but maybe not. Meanwhile, the rain will fall and fall and fall.