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September is almost over, and we’re having an early Indian Summer. That’s fair enough because August is the hottest month of the year – but not this year. There were mornings when we put the heat on for several hours — in August! I felt cheated. But now, autumn has been postponed. We’ve enjoyed pristine mornings, when the sun caresses the very tops of the trees and turns them bright green again, then hides behind the puffs of clouds and plays peek-a-boo, like a Victorian lady with her fan. After a bit, she gives up the game and slides down the trees to the very roots. These are shirt-sleeve days, and once again the campus is populated by students and faculty in shorts. October: back to normal. The lawn is blanketed in dead leaves, brown, yellow, even an occasional true red. The wind must have brought that from a distant maple tree. Every day our deck is littered with bits of black soil, for squirrels are busy burying their nuts in our pots of rose bushes and geraniums. Farmers are beginning to scatter the seeds for their winter wheat, then quickly plowing it under before the flocks of migrating birds can clean it all up. This is what makes Ansgar, the hero of my Sawdust House novel, regard farming as holy: an endless cycle of death, always with the promise of rebirth, renewal.