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A short autumn

My personal marker for the end of summer is when the tomatoes freeze. If I can still pick fresh tomatoes off the vine, it’s still summer. This year, they made it until October 19, only ten days ago. The leaves aren’t all off the red maple in front of the house, I haven’t raked, and the heat isn’t on.

Yesterday, though, autumn seems to have decided to cease. It was cold and blustery, and the winds lasted through the night. And I apparently must do some pruning behind the bedroom; the clatter of branches on the window woke me repeatedly.

My usual morning routine involves reading my email, a few cartoons, the news. And checking the weather, but that may have to stop. I’m not sure I’m ready for forecasts like this so early in the morning:

“Bands of heavy snow will be across the region into mid morning. A band of heavy snow will be from near Grand Valley…southeast across Ridgway…to just north of Clearfield. The snow will extend eastward to just north of Snow Shoe. The combination of strong winds and temperatures around freezing…will result in difficult travel conditions across the higher elevations. Avoid travel until late morning if possible.”

Friends have already been slammed with unexpected early snows. It’s especially rough when the trees still have leaves, because they hold the snow, get heavy, then break. And they always manage to take a powerline, or your garage, with them.

This morning’s consolation: last night’s fresh whole wheat bread, toasted, with butter and honey, fuel for a cold morning. I came home a bit early yesterday, and made a huge pot of split-pea soup and a loaf of bread, the kind of cooking that doesn’t usually fit well into my late-from-work evenings.

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