It has finally happened. We’ve taken the inevitable turn into the next season. Those long late summer/early fall days have ended. We had a pretty amazing stretch of beautiful days. Remarkably, the lovely colors have been hanging on. The maples with the under planting of burning bushes at the Black Dog Cafe are particularly striking.

I’m trying to keep myself on an even keel. There is so much to be done before the weather really goes downhill. I have already hauled out the long underwear, sweaters and hats. In my perfect world all the garden beds would be cut back, composted and mulched. That hasn’t happened — big surprise!

The bulbs arrived. Whatever was I thinking? There are boxes of them all over my kitchen. Hope springs eternal. I’m giving myself a month to tuck them into their winter homes. I am forward thinking. I can picture them blooming come spring.

I bought 10 blueberry bushes at SBS. They were on sale for $10 each. How could I resist? I hope they do better than my existing ones. I let them get overrun by the heinous wild morning glory vine and lost interest about the time the birds wiped out most of the berries. I’m setting posts for netting right away for these new ones . . . ha, we’ll see!

Had a successful crop of sweet potatoes this year — thanks to Peter 
Goodale. I got some new septic tanks from him last year. They are four feet wide, 10 feet long and about three feet tall. I added wood to bring them up to waist level. Filled with a good layer of gravel for drainage, they have several feet of excellent soil, no voles can eat the roots and I do not have to bend over. This is old-age garden heaven.

Here it is — Veterans Day. Indulge me please . . . My dad enlisted in the United States Navy right after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He was 21 years old. He served on the destroyer the USS Hambleton. The ship was part of Operation Torch, the General Patton invasion of North Africa. Oddly, on Nov. 11, 1943 she was torpedoed and limped into Casablanca with Dad on board. She was refitted from a destroyer to a mine-sweeper.

Dad was transferred to the USS Gatling, another destroyer, which headed for the Pacific theatre. By August 28 of 1945 the Gatling was heading into Tokyo harbor. The Hambleton was the first to go into the harbor sweeping for mines. Dad told us that he watched the dignitaries through binoculars as the peace treaty was signed. Sixty-five years later a sizable group of young seamen left their ship in Lake Erie to attend Dad’s funeral. With all the usual pomp of flag-folding, salutes and the playing of Taps, they paid their respects to the old veteran. The U.S. military has laid many a vet to rest and it is always a moving tribute to the sacrifice of their comrades. Thanks, Dad!