September 26th, 2017
The harvesting is done and the freezer is bulging with berries, rhubarb and herbs. It was time to turn my attention to preparing the yard for winter. I felt a sudden urgency when today’s forecast showed minus temperatures and a strong possibility of snow. True, the snow won’t last for long. Labrador West can always count on a couple more weeks of autumn-like weather. I decided to tackle the flower beds and raised garden bed first. The bonus of waiting until cooler temperatures is that the black flies have gone. I left my bug hat in the garage. I realized that Bailey could finally join me in the backyard without fear of being eaten alive. She happily wagged her tail as the two of us made our way to the lupine bed. Thankfully, I had cut down the stocks over a week ago which made weeding a lot easier. While I dug and pulled a number of different weeds, Bailey sat beside me. I could see she was enjoying herself. Bailey sniffed the air. She looked and listened to the activity in the neighbourhood and forest behind us.
Then, I heard the sliding glass door open. I continued to work. Bailey was no longer looking over my shoulder. I noticed her hot breath had disappeared. As I turned to see what had captured her interest, I discovered my teenage son with a camera in hand. I was a bit annoyed. Here I was on my hands and knees working like a dog while another dog supervised and no teenage sons in sight. Where had I gone wrong? I muttered something about loyalty and family duty. The only response that I got from my son was “Smile”. It turns out that he was studying and noticed Bailey looking over my shoulder as if to say, “You missed a weed.” He felt the moment needed to be captured on film. I couldn’t help but, smile. I knew it was the shea butter balm on my lips that had attracted Bailey. She was trying to get closer in case it warranted a lick. We took a break to be photographed before turning back to the job at hand. By the end of the afternoon, the beds were weed free and neatly edged. The work and fresh air had exhausted us. The only thing left to do was lie out on the couch with Bailey stretched out alongside it and rest.