Autumn has come upon us fairly quietly this year. We have actually had some rain, which was badly needed and much appreciated. But still there is the occasional warm balmy day with light breezes, very much enjoyed. We still eat lunch on the porch whenever possible since soon that will be suspended indefinitely. There have also been some glorious sunsets and sunrises. Did you ever stop to think that the best sunsets include some clouds in the sky? Clouds aren’t all bad…

The last few weeks our friends Milo and Larry have been doing some building projects for us: new barn doors, cellar steps, porch roof, and freshly painted verandah floor. They did a great job and the buildings really look good now. Best of all, the improvements have increased the use and safety of the buildings. Now if they would just come back and clean up my garden…..

The guest business has slowed way down. This last week we hosted our last dude, a gentleman from Kent, England, who was kind enough to teach me some interesting things about English agriculture (not to mention pronunciation!). Years ago hops was a common crop in the south of England. To prepare hops for processing into beer, the crop had to be dried. This was done in a large tower-like building, called an oast-house, with a conical roof topped with a device which allowed for ventilation while keeping the rain out. Nowadays these drying towers are seldom used for hops anymore, so rather than destroy them, people are converting them into housing units. Interesting and attractive homes can be made out of these towers, but I’m told they are hard to keep warm. Also, did you know that in England many houses are built in a row, actually hooked together? If one building is divided into two houses, they are called “semi-detached”. If a house stands alone it is “detached”.

It’s a good day when you can learn something new, useful and interesting.

So now that the guest business has slowed way down, we are also cleaning up, fixing up, resting up, and later on, gearing up for next year. This has been a great year. We have made some wonderful new friends and continued to enjoy friends made in previous years. So to each of you, enjoy the last balmy days of the year where you are and make plans to come see us again next year.