Here on the Pacific west coast, autumn is coming to an end and winter will soon be upon us. So far the weather has been the complete opposite to what we experienced this time last year, green and mild, not frozen and white. That leaves me feeling pretty jolly for the most part.
We had a bit of a cold snap way back around Halloween, and recently there have been a number of serious fog events, but on the whole the climate on the islands this December is lovely; mild, with not much precipitation and a fair bit of warm sunshine accompanied by calm seas.
I’ve been poking around in the garden, which continues to provide a good selection of veggies, as well as a place to commune with nature and restore my equilibrium. There are potatoes, carrots, parsnips and swede, Jerusalem artichokes, Swiss chard, leeks, kale, beet greens and parsley, ready to harvest as required.
There are red and green cabbages, Italian cauliflowers and Brussels sprouts, although the Stellar’s jays and the willow grouse have been merrily gobbling up those tender green morsels.
In an attempt to save some sprouts to serve alongside the Christmas turkey, I have thrown an old bed sheet over the bushy green plants to keep the birds off.
The last leaves still cling to a few trees, but most have fallen to the ground. I raked some up for the chicken coop and spread some over the garden beds. The rest will slowly break down and help feed the good green earth.
It is about time to start pruning fruit trees and flowering shrubs, but at the moment I have other priorities. Christmas is coming! I admit I am having a difficult time getting into the spirit of things, and don’t seem to care, which is a blessing really.
To be honest, there has been a medical emergency in my immediate family, and I am focused on this at the moment. In order to protect the innocent, I am not going to go into the details, but I will say that the individual in question is in good hands, recovering from a near death experience, at the brand new hospital in the town nearest to where we live. Self-medevac in the tin skiff through dense fog last Monday morning. Great way to start the week and finish off the year!
We are blessed to live in a country where health care is available to all. I am feeling grateful for a certain politician from the past whose government first introduced the single-payer, universal health care system that is an institution in Canada. Tommy Douglas, you are a hero! Without this public health care system, my loved one would most likely have perished and my family would have been left with an astronomical medical bill; we would have been ruined in every way.
Meanwhile, this post, marking just over one year of blogging for me, is going to be short and sweet. I want to wish everyone, friends and family, new acquaintances and old, a very happy holiday season. Whatever your faith, your culture, your belief system, just take a moment to look at the people you care about and say, “I love you”. Life is short. Things can change in an instant.
Merry Christmas to all and peace on earth for 2018. Long may your guardian angel watch over you.