With the help of friends and neighbors, I got my house and yard ready for winter this weekend. I have a disability and cannot do all the work myself, but have great friends and am lucky to live on a wonderful block with wonderful neighbors who all pitched in to put up storm windows, take in the deck furniture, empty and clean flower pots, prune shrubs, cut back perennials, and spread mulch.
Today came the saddest chore, though: clearing out the vegetable garden. I started crying when I awoke this morning, and I'm still crying now. In 2009, Steve and I put in a raised bed for vegetables to make gardening easier for me. My husband loved that garden, and I never grew vegetables before I met him, so all that part of the gardening is deeply connected in my mind with Steve. In the weeks just after he died, I couldn't stand to be out there at all. It was just too painful. In the past week, I've been able to get some work done, bring in what remained of the edible things, put a few of the last marigolds in a vase to enjoy, and get the bed ready for winter. Tonight, I look out over the empty garden bed and my satisfaction at having the work completed is mixed with deep sadness for the end of the last garden Steve and I planted together.