One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Thanksgiving and Stuff

Wow.  So, it’s been a little while, I guess.   Let’s see, why the gap?   Well, it is Autumn, so I could say there’s not all that much going on, garden-wise.  But that’s not entirely true.

We’ve had a few chilly patches, but still no hard frost here, so an assortment of annuals are continuing to bloom here and there.  There’s a nice stand of zinnias in a garden around the corner that’s still putting on a nice show.

In fact, just in the last day or so I see while driving past there’s a white gladiola thumbing its pretty nose at the very idea of November.

Some snapdragons in the driveway garden downstairs look like they might think about blooming sometime in the next week or so, if things go their way.   So while the outdoor season’s winding down, there’s still plenty to see.   Perhaps some of my absence here is a sign that I’ve been kind of busy at the office lately and with the shorter days, not finding time to see as much of that outdoor business.

But there’s plenty going on right inside the Nest, too.   For instance, this african violet in the bathroom window has been blooming merrily since the first week of August, and with a whole new wave of flower buds appearing, there’s no sign of it stopping anytime soon.  What fun!

I’ve had my mind on other things lately, I suppose, too.    I’m an awful tease, though, aren’t I, since I’m not going to say anything more about that just yet.   Perhaps it’s fair to say for now – without meaning any real mystery – that I’m working out finishing a few things I’ve started and I’ll tell you more later if it seems important.   Oh, and there’s been a sinus infection stalking me and bringing me down.   That’s been plenty fun, too.

Oh but you shouldn’t think it’s been all serious and sniffles lately, either.  In fact, it’s been a pretty delightful fall in some ways, like when I traveled to Connecticut about a week ago to Mom and Dad’s to take in a local production of A Chorus Line.

Now, if you think FAME was formative in the Midnight Gardener’s life, that’s only secondary to A Chorus Line, which has had a sort of grip on my soul since 1977 when my high school marching band performed selections from this now-legendary (then already award-winning) Broadway show.  I’d grown up with a few other show soundtracks, but this one I sought out on my own at the library and made a recording of, to help me know something about the music we were playing.   And it was like I burned the notes, the lyrics, even a few new ideas onto my brain, as I listened over and over again.

For laughs, here’s the band kid in question, to the left.  Remember, I was very young then.

I wore through a vinyl recording, a couple of home-made cassettes and recently purchased the soundtrack on CD.   Listening to this one is like spending time with an old friend.   But somehow, in thirty or more years, I never got around to actually seeing the show.  I’ve heard people speak of it, certainly, and from the soundtrack had a pretty good idea of the synopsis of the show…but that’s never the same as seeing a play come to life.   So when Mom mentioned they were doing it at the Warner Theatre this fall, I was excited at the possibility of going…and then even moreso when she said my ticket would be an early birthday gift!

The Warner Theatre is a treat in itself, one of those wonderful art deco theatres that’s been lovingly restored, with constellations and such on the grand star-studded ceiling and they have a pretty fantastic schedule of concerts, shows and other events going on there.  It’s a terrific local resource; Mom’s joked about the part-time job she’s recently taken as being her means of supporting the show ticket addiction.

Sue and Joe joined Mom, Dad and I and we had a great time; we even got schmoozed by the theatre fundraisers at a wine and cheese reception before the show.   The production was pretty fantastic, perhaps remarkable for a cast, crew and orchestra who were all volunteers (kind of poignant to consider that as their characters in the play reflected on the complexities and challenges of making a living as a performer, actually); their dedication and talent made the show great.  (Like FAME, it also makes me wish I’d studied dance at least a little…)  As for the play itself, well, there’s a reason it’s won awards and I’d only be fawning to go on at length about that.  But isn’t it amazing how an old friend can be so very new?

“Love.   Love is never gone.  As we travel on, love’s what we’ll remember.”

–Edward Kleban, Marvin Hamlisch

And speaking of Singular Sensations, I returned from the roadtrip to find that my Thanksgiving cactus (well, it’s a Christmas cactus really, but in yellow…and look when it’s blooming, so whatever…) had begun to blossom.

What a treat.   My pal Kathy gifted me this just a year ago, but sadly it dropped all its buds just before it was ready to flower.   I transplanted it during the winter and its grown well since then, and here it is, making the most of what sunlight November has to offer.

I’ve never seen nor heard of a yellow cactus such as this, so I’m loving seeing it in bloom…and cherishing it, too, since it appears the flowers are sort of short-lived.

Sometimes it seems like the years are delicate and temporary, too, huh?  Hard to believe that the calendar wheel could already have turned completely around and found us at Thanksgiving again.   It’s especially hard to wrap my mind around the idea, the way the pots on the porch keep on churning out marigolds and nasturtiums and daisies and such.   Hardly seems so late in the year at all, until I look at the date and realize I’ve let another year go by without doing that early Christmas shopping I always promise I’ll have done by September the following year.   Ha.

I’ve spent a lot of the last year trying to come from a place of gratitude and thankfulness, so I don’t find myself making quite the lengthy lists of things and people For Whom I Am Thankful as I may have been doing this time last year.   Suffice it say:  most things, many people.

Right at the top of the list is my Dear Family.   How lucky I am to spend the fun times with them that I do, to have them there in bad times and good.

And there’s this absolutely delightful cat, who is far better company than I can ever fully explain to you.   And so many friends, near and far.   Some I’ve not even met yet!!

My life sometimes seems like an embarrassment of riches, the things I complain about (when I am unable to distract myself from the idea of complaining altogether) petty and silly.  Of course there’s room for improvement.  That’s what makes each passing year interesting.  But as this Thanksgiving approaches, I find it’s relatively easy to balance my scales and find plenty to smile about.

I wish each one of you the same feeling of abundance…and I humbly thank you for adding to mine.

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Comments on: "Thanksgiving and Stuff" (9)

  1. What an impressive show of flowers for so late in the season!
    I’m thankful to consider you one of my friends I’ve yet to meet. For a longer and somewhat eclectic list, see my latest post.

    Badum is looking quite regal. He’s a lucky cat.

  2. We haven’t had a hard frost either. Unheard of! I love blooming cacti, we had one out in California whose bloom was like a foot long trumpet. It bloomed in wilted in 24 hours time. Bounty and gratitude indeed.

  3. As I visit your site for the umpteenth time, it strikes me that just about every post seems to be filled with gratitude. You share the world around you and your excitement in the proliferation of color. I think that’s the magnet that pulls so many here. It is a pastoral moment of thankfulness, no matter the time of year.

  4. What a wonderful post with a lot of good thoughts and beautiful (& sometimes funny) pictures. You’re “working out finishing a few things”, so I shouldn’t miss a post if I want to hear some exciting news from you (what i do). Sounds like you’re doing fine right now and I hope so.

  5. Very nice post, Greg! I missed the Chorus line boat, but how can a person not know most of the music by osmosis? I saw the movie, but never the play. Everyone I know who loved the play hated the movie, so I’m still keeping an open mind for the time I’ll eventually see the play.

    I saw my first patch of frost a week ago. It may be 45 degrees up on the hillsides, but dropping down in one of the valleys on the way to work there’s a low spot that collects all the cold from the hills around it and is the first place I ever see frost. Winter’s here.

    James, I’ve been wracking my brain. I can’t imagine my not having seen the ACL movie, but I do also recall hearing lots of dislike for it from fans of the stage production, so perhaps I never did see it. If so, it left little impression…

  6. Nice to have your words and pictures again.
    You were missed for a couple weeks :-)

  7. Oh I forget to say I hope you will have a happy thanksgiving.

  8. I “forgot” of course (arrgh my English)

  9. It’s a pleasure being here this evening. So relaxing. I love the yellow cactus.

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