As he waited, he looked back over the garden and reflected on his year. He was not particularly proud of the winter he had brought with him. It was surely one for the record books that wouldn't be forgotten for quite some time. Cold, snowy, icy. Brrrr...
But he thought he had more than made up for it with a lovely spring, summer, and fall. Some people said it was one of the best spring seasons ever. He was proud of that.
And he hadn't really done much for the new winter, he would leave that to the young, energetic new year, Fifteen.
"Where is that Fifteen", he said to no one in particular. "He should be coming soon. He can't be late!"
He checked his watch again and looked again at the garden. He was leaving a bit of a mess for Fifteen. Most of the perennials were still standing and there were weeds in the vegetable garden.
While he waited he reached into his pocket and grabbed a pen and a notebook to make a couple of notes of what to tell Fifteen when he arrived.
He made note that Fifteen really should once and for all plant something in that back strip of bare ground on the edge of the vegetable garden. There really should be flowers there. And he must remind him that Carol really does want to clear out the bed by the sun room and plant less-than-hardy Southern plants there. He thought it a bit foolish, but if that's what she wanted to do, Fifteen ought to help her.
Oh, and Fifteen should definitely encourage Carol to make a decision about those big Viburnums. He personally wouldn't mind seeing them removed and replaced with PawPaw trees, or at least have Carol stop talking about doing that if she isn't going to do it.
As for the weather, Fifteen should do his own thing and certainly try to have a better Winter than he had, but follow his example for Spring, Summer, and Fall.
There was one more piece of advice he thought about writing down, but as he hesitated on the wording, he could hear Fifteen coming up the lane. Time had run out.
"Hello Fifteen", he hollered. "I'm so glad to see you, with all your energy. I've made a list for you of just a few things and I have one thing to tell you."
Just then, Fifteen, grabbed the list, gave Fourteen a hug and hopped into the garden. At that exact moment, the clock struck midnight, and Fourteen realized his time was up. He grabbed his bag and hopped away, leaving Fifteen in his place.
He never did have a chance to tell him one more thing, but it didn't really matter. He knew Fifteen would do just fine and it would be The Best Year Yet in the Garden.
Happy New Year, Fifteen!