|View across Ploppers Field on a snowy day|
"My how a year can fly by," he said to no one in particular. "I'm gobsmacked that it is time to go already, but I'm ready, none the less."
With that he looked at the notes he had carefully made out for Thirteen. He wanted to be sure that Thirteen didn't mess up the weather the way he had.
"I can't believe how I botched up the winter by providing almost no snow cover, then I accidentally turned off the rain in early May. It took me forever to figure out how to turn it back on in August. Not having rain sure messed up the garden and fooled some of the plants into early bloom, if it didn't outright kill them. I sure was sorry to see some plants die, but it wasn't my fault that the redbud fell over. That was just the wind."
Twelve paused momentarily in thought, and looked toward the gate to see if Thirteen had arrived. He gingerly moved through the snow closer to the gate. He wanted as much time with Thirteen as he could get so he could share all his notes on what to do and what not to do in the coming year.
"Oh, this snow. I sure outdid myself with this snow. It wasn't my fault that we also had all that wind at the same time, though the weathermen seemed awfully happy every time they got to say the word blizzard. Blizzard, blizzard, blizzard. I hope Thirteen knows that people around here like their snow in spits of one or two inches, not this dollop of eight inches all at once that I provided."
Just then he thought he heard a rustle and called out "Thirteen"? Then he checked his watch and realized he had a few minutes more to wait, so he wrote done some of the things he had done in the garden, in spite of getting the weather all wrong.
First, there was Carol's new sculpture, Tiger Tails. He liked it quite a lot. Then he counted out that he had planted six trees, three in Woodland Follies to replace the fallen redbud tree, which he noted again was not his fault. He also planted three apple trees at the end of the vegetable garden near the compost bins. Oh, and he made sure to write down that he had straightened out the Vegetable Garden Cathedral by putting in new raised beds edged with nice edging bricks. He was very proud of those raised beds.
Just as he was writing down that Thirteen should be sure to make sure the 1,000 crocus corms that Carol planted in the lawn were all blooming on Easter, he heard a crash as the gate opened.
There was Thirteen, all young and energetic.
"Come here, new year Thirteen. I don't have much time so I wrote a bunch of notes for you so you will get the weather right and so you know what I've done in the garden and what you need to do."
Then Twelve handed Thirteen the notes, wished him well, and hopped out of the garden toward a place called The Past.
Thirteen stood for a moment and looked at the handful of notes from Twelve, then set them down so he could take stock of the garden. Just then a big wind came up and blew the notes away. "Uh oh", he said, "I hope there wasn't anything too important in those notes. They are gone with the wind. Oh well. I think it is better to make it up as you go and not follow the past. At least it will be more fun that way."
Then Thirteen called out to the garden fairies and anyone else who was in earshot, "Happy New Year! Let's make this the best year yet in the garden. Let's have fun. Let's be happy and joyful and thankful. Let's spend lots of time in the garden. Happy New Year!"