January 18, 2011

A Worm Glow in Winter

A while back I wrote about how much I’d like to have worm beds for composting and that I have a love/hate relationship with worms. I like the idea…not so much the slippery, wriggling reality. You might remember that we have a big, round composting ball that breaks down our kitchen scraps pretty quickly; I love that thing.
At the very end of last year, the week between Christmas and New Year, I got a horrible cold. It was the mother of all head colds and I was truly miserable. I came out of it glad to be part of the world again and thankful to have a husband who cooks, makes pharmacy runs, and buys trash magazines without complaint. (Because, really, you’ve got to have mindless reading when you’re sick, and People magazine fits the bill perfectly.) I learned I’m not a terribly cheery person when I don’t feel well – there may have been some whining going on and I looked like hell. I’m still newly-wed enough to be slightly appalled to have my husband see me like that, and old mature enough to know that “for better or worse” includes colds.  
The few times I was out of bed and downstairs in the kitchen I looked out the sliding glass door at my frost-covered composter and wondered if any of the worms who’d made it home during the warmer months were surviving the cold weather. I was sure they’d all frozen to death just as I was getting more comfortable with their sliminess.
Last week I finally made it out feed the bin and check on their welfare, peering in, for a long time, with a flashlight one night after work. (I’m sure the neighbors think I’m a crackpot; clothesline, compost bins, prayer flags over the garden beds – our suburban, golf course hugging neighborhood just doesn’t see much of that.) Not only were the worms alive and well, but the bin was warm. I can’t tell you how relieved and excited I was. Worms and heat. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

1 comment:

culdesacchronicles said...

Oh, my gosh. I can just see you out there, "peering in, for a long time, with a flashlight one night." What a picture I have in my mind.

I can't believe it was warm. That's really something. We used to have a compost pile in the back of our yard in Maryland. It's interesting that it was warm. The decomposition does create heat, but who knew how much?

I think you're actually beginning to form a little affection for those worms. :)