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From: Ann
Welcoming the Fall

October 2001

Brrr! This morning when I woke up, the thermometer said that it was thirty degrees outside. Wow, fall certainly came quickly to the Hudson Valley! It's hard to believe that yesterday I was wearing a short-sleeve shirt. I knew a change was in the air because all day long I watched the temperature slowly creep downward. By early evening, I was wearing a turtleneck sweater, had turned on the heat in the house for the first time since last spring, and officially welcomed my favorite season. (Please note: I say this about every season when it first begins!)

There's something about the crisp, bright, sunny days of autumn that energizes me. My dog, Sadie, feels it, too. The hot, humid days of summer tend to make her lethargic and pokey (me, too!), but once the weather changes, there's a definite spring in her step when we take our daily walk.

Now I'm going to have to get busy. My first job will be to finish harvesting the vegetables from my garden. The garden was very successful this year. I was happy to see that the cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, peas, carrots, beans, lettuce, and fall squash all thrived. (This sounds like a chapter from Little House on the Prairie! Actually, I plant very small amounts of each vegetable so I don't have a lot of surplus.)

If I have any hopes of staying warm this winter, the storm windows will have to go up right away. Since I live in an old house with lots of windows, this is a big job. It's also time to move all the porch furniture upstairs to the tower room. This is a neat room that was added to the back of the house around 1911. It's high up, and offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area. But since it also has absolutely no heat, I use it for storage in winter. It is, however, a nice place from which to watch a snowstorm.

As I write this, I'm looking out the window of my office. The leaves are still on most of the trees, but I can tell that it's only going to be another week or two before they explode into brilliant colors. And acorns from the oak trees are dropping like mad all over the ground, which apparently is the sign of a cold, snowy winter. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that's right, because I've got wood in the shed, boots and mittens in the hall closet, cocoa in the pantry, and a dog who loves to play in the snow!

Happy raking!
Love, Ann