Monday, November 30, 2020

November Gratitude

 Are you finding gratitude hard to come by these days? Well, you are certainly not alone. The world has been troubling for some time now, and the news is often distressing. Still, I'm finding it best not to spend too much time wallowing in anxiety about everything. It's not that I'm trying to be Suzy Sunshine while real problems exist in the world. But it's important to have distraction so we don't go sinking too far down into the mire. Here in the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving in November, and many of us spent this normally family oriented holiday at home in our own household bubble. Again, it may have been hard to find gratitude when you're used to being surrounded by loved ones. 

As for myself, I am grateful for many things, despite being separated from family and friends. I have my husband here working from home, and a warm and cozy home it is. We are healthy and strong, with many ways to keep ourselves occupied here in the nest. Of course I'm grateful for the garden, which keeps me busy, entertained, and emotionally supported throughout the year. 

November was fairly pleasant early on, and many of my favorites were still blooming for me. At this point in the garden year, the chores consist of putting the garden to bed for the winter. Faded flowers are removed, the decorative touches are put away for the winter, and bulbs are planted. Luckily the weather cooperated while I finished up. 

There were even some fall colors to enjoy at the start of the month. I made a few last visits to my favorite parks, just to see what sights were still available. 

Of course here we are at month's end, and the weather has turned more wintery. It's snowing today, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the big fat flakes coming down. I hope it sticks! We've had some pretty cold nights, and only a few bedraggled roses and snapdragons remain in bloom. I've discarded all the pumpkins, and soon I'll decorate with Christmas greens, which will remain in place until March. 

Below you see what I call frost bouquets. Whenever a big freeze threatens, I gather what ever flowers still remain, just in case they get nipped. Sometimes the frost misses the last blooms after all, but it's still nice to have bouquets indoors. And that big ole praying mantis showed up while I was making Thanksgiving dinner. I have no idea where he suddenly appeared from, and what he could find to eat at that point. He stayed for a few days, now nowhere to be seen. The single roses seen are the die hards, bedraggled, but still trying to be pretty. 

It's harder to keep a garden blog interesting in the winter, but I'll do my best. We've been in hunker down mode throughout most of the pandemic, so winter won't be much different, although there won't be any garden to distract us. Winter gardening mostly consists of planning for next year. I'll draw a few pictures of how I want things to look, make a list of purchases, and plan out my color schemes and seed purchases. And I'll work on my gratitude. This is the second year running where I write down my daily gratitude at day's end. It helps. Sometimes the gratitude is simply a cozy bowl of soup, and sometimes it's more extensive. But even in these troubling times, there's always something to be thankful for. By the way, the colorful pot you see below has been a delight all through the cold weather. I did protect it overnight a few times, and finally brought it inside to spend the winter. Hopefully it will keep me smiling throughout the long, cold winter so it can return to the outdoors next year. And please let us all hope that we find it a whole lot easier to find gratitude next year!