As the fall has moved on, mariner has focused more time on the internal affairs of home and garden. It is a relief not to follow closely each day’s news and thereby carry the weight of misguided voters and politicians, regardless of polarity and party.
He has completed repotting the frost-sensitive bulbs and plants; he has made a small bench to hold flower pots in his office; he has cleared the vegetable gardens for next year; next are the trellises and rabbit-guards necessary for the survival of small vulnerable shrubs. As winter sets in he has maintenance to do on tractors, lawnmowers and in-house projects like repairing a door and some basement windows.
Then there is the family gathering at Christmas; it is a week of immeasurable cacophony and family joy. The world ends at the front door.
But his mood is a lot like someone who is aware of impending doom. It is a feeling of despair that has dried of activity and lay like an ash at the back of the mind. Daily life continues with projects and distractions but there is a faint sense in the background that the outside world isn’t going to be kind.
So mariner will continue focusing on distractions like how to make a smart television do what mariner wants it to do – it can’t; mariner needs a tower for digital broadcasting; streaming is not convenient and is intensely iterative. In January the seed catalogs will arrive virtually every day for a month. Will this be the year mariner builds a small, traditional greenhouse? The backyard needs to be graded; mariner hasn’t used a bobcat since he laid a road to the farm equipment shed – maybe 1995. The orchard will get a trimming in January, too. A year from now in 2022 mariner plans to make his first batch of apple cider.
A hospice can be fun if one knows how to work it. As a Christmas gift for him, mariner has suggested a hover board.