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Life in the north country is harsh. So is life in the sort-of-north country. It’s all relative, right? I’m not in Siberia, the wilds of Canada, or even the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but it’s real fall in my part of the world and that means preparation for winter.

Yesterday I had to turn on the furnace. The morning glories outside my door are shriveled. The lilac bushes lost all of their leaves in the horrendous wind we had yesterday.

But the maples are turning their brilliant shades of red and orange. Apples are in season–yummo to the Honey Crisp–and mulled wine and cider, as well as hot cocoa, are once again reasonable, even practical, drinks.

Fall also has a plethora of yummy comfort foods. Goulash. Chili. Stews. Soups. Roasts. Pies. Cider dougnuts.

What’s not to like?

The spread of my ass, thighs, arms, and chin as a result. My body has gone into evolutionary mode. Survival of the fittest, baby, and that means insulation to make it through the nasty weather my senses can feel coming our way. I suppose there’s something to that. I wouldn’t be so bone cold if I had more insulation. I would also be busy with self loathing as well as place loathing. Because I loathe my home state from somewhere in November to late March. That’s four months. That’s 1/3 of the year. 1/3 of my life.

I’ve vowed to get out more. To buy snowshoes and take the dogs for walks even when the temps drop below 50. I also vowed not to gain weight this fall. I hope the snowshoe plan is more successful. Maybe it can even help with working off the weight my body is pushing me to pack on.

Hmmm. I smell the goulash in the crockpot downstairs. Time to go carb up before I head out to watch some football this afternoon. At least my ass will be warm.