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Hard Break from Autumn

Corn-rice casserole for the annual orchard potluck dinner.

A hard break from autumn accompanied last week’s snowfall.

Outdoors there is garden clean up, raking leaves, and another mowing to be done, however, we’ve turned mostly inside.

A main issue has been determining how to get exercise without an active garden and walks along the lake. Yesterday I cleaned and set up the NordicTrack ski machine. This morning I tried it. It will serve for a while and, in any case, seems more focused than walks along the lake and yard work.

As orchard season ended I took an eleven day hiatus from carb counting. The point was to see the impact formal training and weeks of habit had on daily food consumption. Some things were easy: eating only one slice of bread at a meal, portion control, and selecting snacks that had less than 15 carbs in them. What was harder was dealing with cravings. I was mostly, but not always able to do so. At the end my average weight remained unchanged at a 15 percent loss. Clothes still fit and if I exercise daily indoors, I may have to get pants a size smaller. I went back to carb counting this morning and return to the clinic for more tests in three weeks.

The time between harvest and year’s end has been for reflection and for making plans. After a struggle when I retired in 2009 our situation stabilized with adequate income to meet short term needs and engaging work in the community. I feel fortunate to be approaching my 68th birthday with an ability to think beyond it.

I expect to continue to write short posts, although a format change at On Our Own is overdue. Before changing the look of the blog I want to print out past years for the book shelf. Financial constraints held me back from making a paper archive every year so I’m behind.

There is other writing to do. I recently ran into a former editor at the Iowa City Press Citizen and we discussed freelancing. It would take a compelling reason for me to seek publication more than I get in letters to the editor of the Solon Economist or an occasional guest opinion in the Cedar Rapids Gazette. If anything, the next period will be one of working on an autobiographical work. Whether that has import beyond family and close friends seems doubtful. It’s what an educated person does or at least that’s the paradigm through which I view it. Our daughter might appreciate the effort of culling old papers and artifacts so there is less for her to deal with when we’re gone. I don’t plan to be gone anytime soon.

Perhaps a few more autumn days lie ahead. The forecast looks dry through the end of this week. I took a vacation day from the home, farm and auto supply store to clean up the garden. If all goes well we’ll be able to turn inside when winter arrives in earnest.

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