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I’m coming to you live from last Sunday evening. It’s 5 p.m., and it’s just me out here in the wilds of Lake Tschida. The family headed in early, so after my daily nap (yup, I’m still addicted to it) I decided to head outside and do some chores.

The weather today fit the season and before I sat down to give you this report I checked all three of my outdoor thermometers. One said 43, another said 46 and another read 45 … so after some mind-bending math the temperature at 5:15 p.m. CDT was 44.6666666666666666666666 degrees. Therefore I had to find my fall wardrobe, which somehow got buried under my summer wardrobe, which actually covered my spring stuff that was over my winter stuff. I finally found some long nylon jogging pants, slipped a long-sleeved shirt over my T-shirt and topped it all off with a hoodie.

I didn’t realize that I was going to need gloves until I got outside and, of course, that was the most frustrating wardrobe malfunction I encountered. Without digressing too far I’ll say they weren’t much to look at and although I had to scrub my hands after their use they did keep my hands warm.

So my first chore was to cut up some firewood for our potbelly that I had set aside in June. This required a chainsaw and a trailer and someone without much more to do with his life. Both my loyal readers know that I actually enjoy this kind of work because it doesn’t require much thinking while doing — one just fires up the saw and dives in. It does help if you do a bit of thinking before you fire up your chainsaw. Little things like figuring out how to cut your stuff without cutting yourself really help move things along.

Anyway, I was out there doing my fairy work (work that no one notices unless it doesn’t get done) and once again wondering how come I’ve been so lucky. There I was, chainsaw in hand, thinking “boy it’s so quiet when I shut it off,” just me and the silence.

Of course our pontoon is the last one, out of 11 normally beached around the bay, that remains in the water. It’s hard to believe that we were enjoying a sun-filled cruise just last evening. The fair-weather lake people have pulled up their water toys and closed their cabins for winter, leaving just us hardliners out here until next spring.

I’ve never been known to look forward to fall because I dread what comes after that; you know, that season we are not supposed to mention until it takes over our lives. Anyway, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy fall, because like most locals I like a place where the season changes. Besides, over the years I’ve concluded that fall helps us acclimate for when that season not to be named arrives.

So here I am on day two of the 2018 fall season thinking there sure a lot of worse places in the world to be than here … safe travels … peace.

I would be remiss to end my missive here as my charming wife of 47 years will pass another age marker before this is published and although I’m not noted for remembering my own birthday I have been quite good at noting the date of hers. Of course this came about after forgetting the day a couple of times burned it into my memory. Happy birthday, Renee, … oh, then the other September family birthdays, Melissa, Rita and Tristan. Evidently January is a fairly fertile month in our lineage.

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Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, nonprofit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.

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