• Last modified 1018 days ago (Nov. 10, 2016)


Another Day in the County: It’s that time of year

© Another Day in the Country

As I drove out of town this morning on my way to exercise class, there was a traffic jam of starlings at the crossroads, four lines deep on both sides of the road.

They were sitting on the electric wires, close together, hanging tight, ignoring their comrades cavorting over empty milo fields.

Chattering spectators. It’s that time of year.

Chilly in the morning. Fog laying low over the brownish-tinged land, softening the edges of trees almost empty of leaves.

It’s that time of year.

Even though it is November, I’m not ready for a killing frost. Tomatoes and peppers are still turning out fruit. Marigolds in the garden have had a second chance at life.

I watch the forecast of temperatures dipping into the low 30s and I’m ready to spread coverlets over the tomato cages. I’m not willing for the season to be over. I’m trying to get as much fresh produce as I can from this little plot of ground. Yesterday I canned six pints of juice from the garden that I call “V-7,” since I could only find seven different vegetables to run through the juicer.

It’s that time of year.

I’m still putting away Halloween decorations and asking myself, “Why did you put all this stuff up?” Every year the number of kiddies ringing my doorbell gets smaller and smaller. This year there were only five.

“It’s silly to put on costumes,” I mumbled as I pulled a crumpled witch’s hat from a storage box; but I put it on anyhow.

It’s that time of year, I guess.

Maybe next year we’ll still dress up, but go out to eat instead of staying home waiting.

“Remember how it used to be?” a friend said to me. “We went to the houses of people we knew and to relatives,” he said, “It was quite the adventure.”

Now they have trunks full of candy on Main St. and children come with gallon buckets to gather loot.

I didn’t remember because we didn’t go trick or treating in my childhood family.

So, of course, my sister and I loved all that Halloween decorating and dressing up in costumes when we became adults. In fact, every single holiday that calls for something festive, whether it is flags or trees or scarecrows, count us in!

As I drive Highway 4, I’ve been watching hedge apples accumulating under the trees along the roadside. And every time I see those lovely bright green orbs I think to myself, “You’ve got to stop and get some of those, one of these times.”

It’s that time of year.

While I was in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago, my friend had a bowl of artificial fruit on her dining table that included fake hedge apples.

“Do you know what these are?” I asked her.

She didn’t. She just thought they were some kind of fruit that someone had created out of their imagination. Of course, I set her straight.

“Those are hedge apples,” I said. Then came the questions.

“Can you eat them?”

“What are they good for?”

I plied her with tales of hedge apples keeping mice and crickets out of your house.

Remembering that discussion, I finally stopped beside the road outside of Pilsen. I gathered up an armload of the greenest hedge apples I could find, and I’m sending three of them to North Carolina so my friend can see the real thing and see how beautiful they really are.

We’re all getting ready for winter. People are house painting.

It’s that time of year.

Kathy and Don just painted their house in Ramona and put up new shutters. It looks like a different place. The folk who bought the old Rosebank Church to live in, outside of Ramona, are painting the outside.

It’s a job to turn a church building into a house. They put up a fence, filled the yard with knick-knacks, and even had a skeleton sitting on a bench across from the graveyard for Halloween; looked pretty cool. Every time I drove by there was something new; but it still looked like a church. Then came the lavender paint, which took my breath away. But today I decided that color did the trick.

It’s that time of year on another day in the country. Changes all around us as we harvest and tuck in for the winter sure to come, and even with the little steeple that our Uncle Kenneth’s memorial fund helped buy, still standing on the roof, the old Rosebank Church finally looks like a home.

Last modified Nov. 10, 2016