By Edith Morgan
For the first time this winter, we have a bit of snow on the ground, with some ice beneath. Luckily, the schools are still out until after the New Year, and so the slippery sleet on the roads and sidewalks is not a danger to buses and cars – at least not for the school children, and also not for college students, who are on their winter break, too.
But for those of us who are at home much of the day when the weather gets nasty, the ice and snow are a worry. So we stay in, and wait …
The mail arrives and brings its usual load of “begging” letters, replete with address stickers, calendars, and all manner of appeals – all designed to pull money out of our pockets. I would have to spend a great deal of time checking out all these apparently worthy causes, with many having names so similar that it is easy to get fooled. So I have started to give directly and locally, to outfits I know, or to organizations that I know really well, and who have a track record of spending the funds I donate directly to their causes, without huge administrative costs and high-paid staffs.
But intermingled now with all this mail that I usually toss out, the gardening catalogs have begun to arrive!
And with the early coming of night still, just days after the winter solstice, these seed and plant catalogs give me a boost and let me look forward to the coming of spring. (I am told that the very mild winter so far has caused some plants to become confused and to begin sprouting in the middle of winter.)
The seed catalogs are a joy to behold: so many mouth-watering vegetables in full color – pages of bright red and even yellow tomatoes, in all sizes and of varied pedigrees!! And I can get them in various stages of development, too! Further on, peppers too come in so many shapes, sizes and colors – not just the familiar green, but yellow, orange, and all shades in between.
Not to be outdone, potatoes also take many shapes and colors now, and last but not least, onions and their many relatives fill more pages with their infinite variety.
Beans too have branched out, into the yellows and purples, but the lowly pea has stayed true to its nature and remained bright green, though of various sizes. Lettuce still is dominated by greens, but sports an infinite variety of leaf shapes.
I have not even gotten to the cucumbers, squashes, carrots, beets and other less frequently planted vegetables.
But just looking over this mouth-watering assortment is enough to take my mind off the weather outside and to realize that once again, the old saying that ”if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” is still true.
Maybe soon I can start to think about the flowers I want to raise in my back yard …
But for now, we can all watch the snow fall and dream of our gardens, as we would like them to be … soon.