Coming into late October -- 10/24/11

We're coming into late October now. Halloween is only a week away.

Until our modern age, this would be a busy time of year for the folk who lived around here, preparing for winter.. the harvest brought in, meat salted and preserved, canning and drying produce, filling root cellars... all of that pre-supermarket stuff.

Even in this modern age, there are a lot of chores that need to be done. We took down the canvas roof and screen sides from our back deck -- actually, we took them down extra early this year in preparation for Hurricane Irene. Garden tools need to be cleaned up and put away, wood needs to be split to feed our wood-burning insert in our living room fireplace. (Sometimes I think the hassles of winter are worth putting up with because of the enjoyment of sitting by a nice fire.)

I sometimes refer to our area as being suburban, but it really isn't. That is, there is no urban area to which we are the suburb. There is another entire county and two towns between the City of Providence and the town we live in. In fact, we have the largest population of the nine towns in our county. It's just that -- outside of some areas in our villages that date back to the 19th century or even back to colonial times, a majority of our residential areas have the look and feel of post World War II suburbs. Although our town is larger in population than the city I grew up in, it is spread out over a much larger area and definitely feels like a small town.

By the way, our county is the largest county in the state -- and it is also the smallest largest county in the country. That is, we live in the largest county in land area in Rhode Island, but we are smaller than the largest county in each of the other 49 states. (Of course many of those counties are larger than our entire state.)

The following photograph is especially for Jill -- it is to prove to her that we actually got the garage so organized that I was able to put my car in it last night.

Nancy has always insisted that her car absolutely had to be parked in the garage overnight. She did not want to have walk from the house to the car in the rain and she especially did not want to have to clear snow off her car in the winter. We do have a two car garage but -- as I think is typical -- a two car garage means room for one car plus a lot of stuff (lawn mowers, trash barrels, tools, etc.). I think my car got to spend its first winter in the garage but this year (mostly thanks to Nancy's skills at organizing and discarding) there was room for me to get my car into the garage last night. Photographic evidence.

That is my 1999 Toyota Corolla on the left side of the photo and Nancy's 1996 Toyota Camry on the right side. Yeah, we do not feel a need to run out and buy a new car every two or three years. (Also, I'm cheap.)

I split some firewood Saturday afternoon. Since I had spent almost three hours sorting books at the library (which included lots of lifting of boxes of books), my back was happy to finally lie down Saturday night. (Yes, there is a library book sale this coming weekend.)

And this was the view out front just before dawn this morning -- dawn is coming later and later. This picture was snapped about five or six minutes before seven and I believe dawn was at 7:08. Soon we will leave daylight savings time behind and Nancy won't have to leave for work before dawn -- but it means night will come in afternoon.

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