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Summer is over
A Woman's View
Judi Tabler color mug

It’s official. Summer is over. Labor Day says it best.

I am glad.

The kids are back in school. Fall activities, and clubs have reconvened. Structure and routine are back. The change is welcome.

But, here’s the main reason I am rejoicing.

The garden is giving up the ghost.

The old boy has been a hard worker and has performed his task admirably.

However, his time has come.

He’s been a good garden but my appreciation level has slid on the rating meter from “hurrah” to the “ugh” level.

Here’s why I am almost giddy about the garden’s demise.

1. During gardening time, the kitchen floor looks like a dog threw up on it. The kitchen is always in the process of getting wiped up, swept, and re-organized. When I go to bed, I think the kitchen looks pretty good. But, in the morning, in the light, it looks like there was a party in the night among the tomatoes and the cukes. 

2. There are chiggers in the garden; not mosquitoes, chiggers! These arachnids or mites are nuts about Fred. If he covers up and sprays himself, they still set up housekeeping in his folds and creases and he scratches. 

3. Since I skin the tomatoes on the stove in boiling water, and then either freeze them or can them, there is always a mess on the stove and in the sink. It’s a ritual of summer to deal with garden produce, and I am a creature of habit. So, until we are wobbling on our walkers, we will plant and pick a garden every summer. You cannot put old mules in new harnesses. 

4. During the summer garden production schedule, the refrigerator looks like an atomic bomb hit it. Wedged into any little space, the rest of the grocery items must search for a room in the inn. Bags of tomatoes and cucumbers are pushed into every nook, and the cheese, milk, catsup, mayo, yogurt, etc., are standing on their heads or on their side, making room. I won’t confess to you what the glass shelves look like.

5. We use our garbage disposal very little because we have a septic system. Therefore, the vegetable peelings, tomato skins and such go into a big bowl. In the past, I dumped them in the garbage can. Stinnnnnky! So, now, a bowl catches the dregs. If it remains in the kitchen for very long, the fruit flies attack it. 

Fruit flies fly up the nose, did you know that?

Therefore, the bowl sits outside as far from the back door as I can place it. When it’s full it goes into a compost pile. Even the raccoons don’t touch it.

You have a question? Yes, you. 

“Why do we plant a garden, when there are farmers’ markets and fresh produce at the store?” you ask. 

Good question. 

Next question.

“Why don’t you convince Fred to plant a small garden next year?”

Good question. 


“Please, don’t stop planting the garden. We enjoy the fresh veggies so much, and please will you continue to maintain a large garden next year?”



Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at Visit her website