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

Welcoming Fall

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,



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I'm not a fan, at all, of the summers here in Oklahoma. The heat is unrelenting and oppressive, and while I know it's unwise to wish your life away, but I can't help it. All I can think about in August in Oklahoma is the upcoming fall weather. (And my friends here are all well aware of how much I detest this hot weather.)

I used to love the summers so much in Wisconsin " and I didn't have this "fall anxiety," there. But yesterday I saw ads for Oktoberfest beer, and one for "Pumpkin Spice" coffees coming soon"..and I was filled with joy.

I have heard that some Wisconsinites had a "hot" summer and all I can say is".."Ummmm, you know not of what you speak." It's like the people here in Oklahoma complaining about "the hard winter." All the while, I am thinking "ha!" in my head. I try to be polite and not inform them just how wrong they are. (I usually fail"..have to be honest.)

My visions of a Wisconsin fall are colored with local apples " no, they may not be as polished and blemish-free as the ones from the grocery store, but they will taste three times as good. Apple is not my favorite pie, but who can resist when the apples are so fresh and so good. And I love buying "Indian corn," the bewildering variety of gourds, and the last of the summer vegetables".cabbages and beautiful green peppers, in their natural, unwaxed state. I can't resist making big batches of homemade vegetable soup, cabbage rolls, and stuffed green peppers. Put me in a Wisconsin farmer's market in fall, and I really need a semi trailer.

That first Saturday morning when a sweatshirt is a necessity is a joy " followed by a nice warm day, but an evening that cries out for a bonfire in the yard. And the first football games of a promising (or maybe not,) new season, and the hunters begin to prepare for their "showtime" time of year.

The chainsaws are hard at work in the woods, and the nasty bugs of summer are in retreat. And the woods are preparing for the greatest show on earth " Wisconsin northwoods in the glory of fall, which puts shame to the best rainbow I've ever seen. I always hear about Vermont's fall colors " but while they have the mountains, WE have the waterfalls " and I know which I think is best, and yes, I have seen both. (Those darn Vermonters like to brag on their cheddar cheese, too, and that's another claim I find totally bogus.)

The skies of Northern Wisconsin will be filled with flying migrants from Canada and even further north, so I stand in wonder while enormous flocks of geese wing their way unerringly to their wintering grounds. Even our dog looks skyward in wonder as the flocks follow one another, thousands and thousands strong.

I love walking through an October Wisconsin woods, kicking through the last of the beautiful leaves and noting the signs of winter preparation all around me. Bring on that cold Wisconsin winter. The joy of a beautiful Wisconsin fall will sustain me until spring.

My favorite photo of Wisconsin fall is of the pond on our retirement property a few years ago in full glorious color. The colors of the trees are mirrored in the surface of the still pond waters of "Hank Lake," and it sustains me through another day of temperature 100, heat index of 109. Fall anxiety is fully upon me.


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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