We've watched the canna lilies today. They started out as green and alive as they were yesterday morning, with a touch of purple on the leaves being the only sign of last night's frost. Now, in the late afternoon, the leaves are shriveled and blackened. The red blossoms are going that way, too. The purple amaranth also shows similar wilting. And the beans are withered, though the blossoms that were newly set still show a hint of pinkish purple.

Beets are like money in the bank.

First frost is usually a time of regret. A mad scramble to grab while the getting is good followed by a a few days of longing for just a few more harvests of tomatoes, beans, and squash. But we got lucky this year. I'm still pinching myself over the blessing of harvesting vine-ripened tomatoes during the third week of October. Cyril had a fresh picked tomato on a sandwich just a few nights ago. We picked all the peppers thinking that frost was impending a few weeks ago. When the frost still held off, we got a new flush of peppers. We harvested them all, small or tiny, before last night's freeze. We even gobbled up the two baby cucumbers that were still growing among the potted vines. And we brought in our only pumpkin.

Not all the way ripe, but we treasure it because it is ours. 

We had it good this year with the harvest. And thanks to the row cover that Ross and the boys built, we should continue to harvest beets for a time even into the cold months. But we had it bad with ticks and fleas as the warm weather stretched on into late October. So in classic "attitude of gratitude" style, we acknowledge that we are thankful that the frost has finally come. We were in fact awaiting it even as we cheered its staving off. Some of our garden plants were awaiting it too, for now the brussels sprouts, grapes, and hard apples are sweetened by the frost, ready for the picking.

The sun shines today on plants that are either dead or dying or rejoicing in their own deliciousness. Perhaps it is not just plants that find themselves in such extremes. May each of us rejoice in what has been good to get this year, safe in the knowledge that the cycles of our lives continue.