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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From My Window

Issue Date: August 23, 2018

Bring On Fall!



By Jane Thibodeau Martin,



**********

Yesterday my husband and I took a drive to check out the Rudolph, WI cheese factory. (It's awesome " if you are ever in the area stop in.) Haven't tried the cheese we got yet, but the factory was very interesting. They have homemade ice cream too, including one called "Exhausted Parent" that features coffee flavored ice cream swirled with bourbon and pieces of Madison-made dark chocolate chunks that was amazing. If you are an exhausted parent it would probably really hit the spot, but this well-rested grandma enjoyed it too.

On the way there through some lovely Wisconsin countryside, we saw a Maple tree along the road that has already started changing colors for fall " in other words, the tree is exactly like me, ready to jump the gun and bid summer goodbye.

My brother-in-law correctly told me to "stop wishing away HIS summer." But since we arrived back in Wisconsin in June, the weather has been hotter than I remember summers being here. I've been waiting for the hard working 16 year old air conditioner in our road-warrior travel trailer to fail. We've now been living with our dogs and cats in the trailer for nine weeks, and without that air conditioner, it would be pretty miserable in this heat during the day.

We have a nice pile of firewood ready for campfires, and will get the stone for the fire ring from the family farm "rock pile." We need to clear some fallen trees on the trail in the woods, but have to wait for cooler weather so the bugs aren't pestering us. I have no idea where my crock pot is " there are dozens of boxes of our belongings stacked in our barn, but I have the itch to locate it now so I can start making chili the minute we've seen the last of the 80 degree days. I already crave cool weather foods like cabbage rolls, stuffed green peppers and beef stew.

The Packer pre-season games are an unmistakable sign of impending fall. For me, love of the Packers is inherited. While I was away at college, I would put the games on the TV or radio because the unique sounds of the games buffered my homesickness while I studied in the dorm. I knew my parents would be cheering on the team and I felt closer to them hearing the delightfully biased and familiar sound of the local announcers. Now, I usually cook or bake while the game is on, since I am not at all good at sitting still. But I listen closely, and sprint to the TV when a critical play occurs " and dash back to my cutting board just as quickly when there is an injury, because I can't bear seeing players suffer when they get hurt.

In early fall, I like to go to the farmer's market or a local produce stand and buy fruit and vegetables to freeze and stash away " some remnant of my ancient ancestor's much more difficult preparations for the starvation moons of winter. And there is my equally satisfying review of the hay bales stacked in the barn, ready to sustain our two lucky pasture ornament horses. This year, I won't try to feed the birds until I can be sure the neighborhood bear is safely in hibernation.

But the very best part of autumn is the weather. A day when a sweatshirt is needed in the morning and evening is ideal, while the midday sun while I am stacking wood or clearing the garden makes me sweat just a little. Flower pots are cleaned out and stored, a corn shock propped up at the driveway gate and the summer toys are all put away.

It's time for the greatest show on earth in Wisconsin, our spectacular fall colors. Even a simple drive to church or the store is one beautiful vista after another. You can take in a mega-view from an elevation of acres of red, green, yellow and gold colors, or zoom in on one perfect half-red; half-yellow Maple leaf floating on a flat-calm pond. The show is free, it is everywhere, and it has a short lifespan, so get ready to get out and enjoy it.

I walk by our travel trailer and look up, silently pleading with our hard working air conditioner " just hang on a few more weeks, please " fall is almost here.



You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: Janiethibmartin@gmail.com.


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