today was a frenzy of cleaning up outside and packing away for winter. i finished up the flower beds, emptied the window boxes, and planted the mints to overwinter in the corner of the compost pile. i packed up gardening tools and exchanged them for scrapers and shovels. sitting one last time in the adirondack chair with tea in hand, i tipped my face skyward and smelled snow. as the clouds grew thicker, i collected a little of this and some of that from my garden cuttings and made a hasty arrangement for the door basket, just as the first flakes began to fall.