Wednesday was one of those perfect autumn days when I wanted nothing more than to be outdoors. It was a good thing because I had garden clean-up scheduled for that day.
The tomato plants were done producing and it was time to cut-down the vines. Actually, I didn’t realize how big they were until I started cutting them. I couldn’t just rip them out and pile them up, my garden area is too small for that. I have to cut everything up into smaller pieces and stuff them into the regulation trash-bags.
The front bushes got a trim, weeds were pulled and the rose bush was pruned. It’s not a very nice rose bush. I am definitely not a good rose gardener.
I gave the entire garden a good clean-up…..spent eight hours working outside .
I love this season of transition. I don’t mind the pulling up and ripping out to prepare for new growth next spring. I always look forward to that.
We can grow autumn and winter vegetables here but I choose not to. I like spending the cold months inside writing or working on crochet and sewing projects. I would like to plant some flowers though so, I think I’ll look around and see what I could put in the little bed in front. Something low maintenance. I don’t want to fuss with it too much.
I harvested my peanuts. Don’t laugh too hard. Don’t worry-I won’t quit my day job to become a peanut farmer. I doubt these will even be enough to make a decent peanut butter sandwich.
I used my “wearable” mosquito coil smoker. You can get these in most any home and garden center. They hold a lit mosquito coil. While they do work, by the end of the day I could not get the smell of the smoke out of my nose. It irritated my throat and I was coughing. I guess I’ll use OFF spray next time. I hate the sprays because I have to spray my entire body including spraying my hands and wiping my face, ears and neck with the spray. Our mosquitoes are ferocious. The smoker kept them at a distance. They didn’t even come near me. Too bad the smoke is so irritating.
I had to go down to the street and clean the weeds and leaves along the length of the our brick wall. Most people here clean the street in-front of their home. Those that don’t are frowned upon by the others in the neighborhood. It doesn’t matter that the leaves and such that you clean up don’t come from your trees. What matters is that you keep the road around your home clean.
The opposite side of the street doesn’t get cleaned anymore because my neighbor died last year. Her home is all but hidden by the bushes that I’m sure will swallow it give them a few more months. It never looked like that when she lived there. All those leaves constantly blow over to my side of the street and clog up the road next to the wall. Part of the little things that make up life here.
It’s funny though, every time I’m down there cleaning I remember her. Maybe the leaves blow over to remind me that she’s not here anymore. As soon as the sun was up she was outside cleaning up the leaves and around her home every single day.
Cleaning around the outside of your home helps you meet the neighbors. Many times when I’m puttering around outside I’ll have the opportunity to chat with someone who is hanging their laundry or slinging futons over their wall.
Old ladies carrying parasols and bulging reusable shopping bags, patched and worn, will walk slowly by and smile when I say a cheery-good morning, or afternoon.
I’ve gotten to know the neighborhood’s activity. It’s fairly quiet, predictable, routine.
So as I was enjoying the peace and quiet of our neighborhood I was startled by a voice calling my name for help!
“Mrs. N! help me! Please help me!”
I thought, good grief! What on earth is going on? I knew the voice, it was my neighbor. She had been outside cleaning up just like I was. She had tried to go into her home and found that the rolling genkan door would not open more than a crack. The door was open just enough for me to press my cheek against it and see what the trouble was. A walker had tipped over and was jammed against the frame of the door.
My poor neighbor was in a panic. After reassuring her I told her not to worry, I’d get the door open. I really didn’t know if I could but I would give it a good try.
I needed a tool…something to push, pull or yank the walker out of the way. She handed me a very short handled broom. Nope-that was not going to do it.
Idea! I told her to hang on…I ran to my house and grabbed an umbrella with a curved handle, ran back and crossed my fingers that my idea would work.
The hard part was trying to squeeze my face and arm into the door enough so that I could hook the walker and yank it out of the way. Two tries and that walker was moved enough so that I could roll the door open.
She was so happy she actually squealed and hugged me. Hugging is not a normal activity between neighbors in Japan. She hugged me several times. I was just happy that I could help her.
This is not the first time neighbors have come running to my door for help.
Have cats that need a rescue? Run to Mrs. N’s house. Get locked out of your house? No problem-Mrs. N can help. Natural disaster got you in a panic? Don’t stress… Mrs. N knows what to do.
I was talking about preparing for disaster in our ladies group and I asked Mrs. NS what she plans on doing in case of disaster. Without hesitation she said ….run to your house!!