Why does the smell of wood smoke and crunching leaves force me to smile almost gleefully? The woodpecker that keeps pounding away at my shake roof annoys my husband but I find his relentless attempt at storing natures' goodies rather amusing. Midnight downpours and morning fogs create a kind of Country Living atmosphere I find so comforting. I feel like I'm living in one of those L.L. Bean catalogs where the girls are standing casually in their warm brown sweaters looking out over the meadow as if trying to decide, "Should I make soup or plant more mums?". (I bet that wasn't the effect L.L. Bean was going for.) This time of year just inspires me to love, cherish family and look forward to my new projects. My father always thought this was a depressing time of year; one marked with the coming of death to all living things. Not me. I see it as life beginning to rest up for the big explosion come spring! This last month has brought such joy and surprise to my life. Soon I will begin a new journey thanks to my children. The coming months will be packed with excitement! I love this time of year.