On Monday we had our final yard day of the season. It is always a solemn occasion. Summer Mondays are filled with new plants either put in the ground or springing from it, bright, high green grass, which, after it is cut tickles the inside of our noses; and hot sun, beating down on our buggy as Pocket and I bark orders from inside.
There were no new plants, growth, nor angels disguised as butterflies zig-zagging in front of us. The sun was behind dark clouds blocking its warmth. Pocket and I stayed close together relying on our proximity for warmth as we watched our parents.
Mommy dug up the autumn flowers she had planted two months before. They were still pretty, but could not withstand one more below freezing night. They were put in biodegradable bags and then the trash where they will go to the landfill and perhaps, will become soil for new flowers in the future.
Daddy pulled out the solar lights that went around our gardens and up our driveway. They were a great aid showing us the way when we went out to pee on summer nights. Some of them were placed in a container for next year, and others were disposed of, their light no longer shining brightly. Someday this will be all our fates.
Mommy likes to wash off all the outdoor items before putting them away, so they look like new come spring. Daddy went in the shed to remove all the clutter to make room for the decorations. The shed is strange. It is a very small house with no heat, furniture or food. I don’t know why humans have to build a house for their tools. I’m glad they don’t for their dog.
Daddy found the bag of grass seed that had remained, despite hours of searching, hidden all year. He discovered more solar lights, only to discard them. Lights have lousy lives. Then he wrestled the Snow Joe snow blower that certainly blew, just not snow, and jammed it under the house, where everything that displeases my parents go, until someday they hire someone to take it away, or let it tip over the house.
Then there were the final rights of the season. First, my dad appeared from the shed with the snow shovels in his hand. It sent a shock through all of us. It was the final sign that winter is coming.
Second, my Dad put St. Anthony in the shed. The statue came from his mom’s house and having St. Anthony in the garden is a nice connection to the past. St. Anthony gets a special place for the winter.
Finally, it was time for Foley’s solar angel. Mommy promised Foley that she would be getting a new angel next year since her light was dimming. When Daddy was putting it away, he dropped it, and one of Foley’s wings broke off. It may have been the second week of November, but we still heard a mighty rumble of thunder coming from the skies. Foley was displeased. We will be able to determine how upset Foley is by how bad a case of diarrhea Daddy gets tomorrow.
Then he shut the door and locked spring, summer, and warm, sunny days away. A stiff, cold breeze blew through the yard.
When we got back inside our warm house, I snuggled with Pocket, and we began to plan next year’s garden.
We may have just signaled the onset of winter, but we are also one day closer to spring.