Welcome! As this is being written, the temperature outside is 73. The daughter person and her significant other are in the backyard practicing for their first bow hunting seasons for whitetails. Not exactly Winter-like but more like September than then dog days of August. We tried the new soup recipe last night. It turned out well. Everyone seemed to like it. We're rapidly approaching one of my favorite times of year. Homemade soups, stews and bread, fresh Honeycrisp apples, warm sweaters on cool Autumn days, vibrant colors in the trees. I think one of the too often missed pleasures of country living is being closer to the seasonal changes than I ever could readily accomplish when I lived in the city or the suburbs. I've been reading, and re-reading Essays of E.B. White, also author of Charlotte's web and the "White" of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. His essay, "Letter from the East" is dated February, 1975. He compares trials and tribulations of that period with those of earlier times, and finds not much difference. Although he was writing from rural Maine, and we try to focus here on Minnesota, see if any of these concerns seem relevant to today's rural Minnesota: "Oil. Unemployment.Nuclear power plants. The spruce bud worm..... Land use and Zoning. The plight of the small hospital....The price of gas at the pump. The power of the Federal Government....Drug abuse." I'll tell you, reading his list I felt as at home as if I were watching the evening news. One the bright side, he also points out the promise embedded in Spring's packets of flower seeds and the chirping arrival of day-old chicks. I'm not sure whether I'm more in awe of White's talent as a writer or his outlook on life. I'm sure the two are closely linked. I think I'll work harder to find promises of better times and spend less effort bemoaning the doom and gloom that seems almost pervasive. I suggest you try White's Essays. I think you'll find them rewarding and worth the time it takes to read them.