Today, I am thankful for free mulch.
September. Time for our annual mulch run.
I gather the equipment - shovel, gloves, 40-gallon trash bags. Then, S, T and I jump into the truck and head for the mulch distribution center in Black Forest.
Upon arrival, we give the gate attendant a bag of assorted canned goods, "payment" for the mulch. The attendant points to the towering mound of fresh pine mulch (must be at least 25 feet high) and directs S to the access road.
S drives slowly through the lot, passing enormous piles of slash (potential mulch). After he carefully positions the tailgate against the mound, we assume our positions on the truck bed and begin filling the trash bags. I hold open the bags while S shovels and fills. T, of course, supervises from his comfortable seat in the truck.
About a half hour later, we've filled a dozen bags. Enough mulch, I think, to protect my gardens through the fall and winter. I'll give any surplus to a neighbor.
We drive towards the freeway along a quiet two-lane road. The sun is bowing out for the evening in glorious fashion, painting the western sky with rich hues of hot pink, coral and mango. I smile, pleased about the generous supply of mulch, the sunset, the prospect of working in the garden this weekend.
For this blessing, I am grateful.