Whitesburg KY
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Partly sunny

Preparing for this season’s first hard freeze

Points East

So here it is, at this writing, the 21st day of October and leaves on the woods across the way are still as green as the bushel of bell peppers that Loretta and I picked Saturday afternoon before the frost hit Sunday morning.

I have a feeling though, that they will be brown by the time you read this and that I will be in long johns from now until next May. I’ve learned, the hard way, that no matter when I switch from long underwear back to basic boxer briefs, I’m going to have the sneezing sniffles for three days or so. I figure it’s easier to sweat through Indian summer and warm spells in early spring than it is to endure a bad cold.

They’re pricey, but I’ve found that the two-piece stuff that skiers and snowmobilers wear under it all are one of the best inventions in fabrics to come along in the last few decades. They do cost over three times as much as regular old thermal knit, but they fit like another layer of skin and they are really lightweight.

And they don’t seem to wear out. I have some I’m still wearing that are at least four years old.

As ole Henry Ford said of the Model T, “They come in whatever color you want as long as it’s black.”

The brand I mostly wear is called Dunlap. At least I think it’s spelled that way. I probably have a dozen sets. At least I heard Loretta tell one of the kids the other day, “Do not get him anymore underwear or socks. An Amazon Kindle gift card would be perfect.” One assumes that Christmas shopping is also underway while certain daughters shop for my grandkids’ Halloween costumes.

And yes, they do come styled for both men and women. I get mine at sporting goods stores and, frankly, I do not understand why they are not on the racks in all clothing stores. I can tell you for sure that I gave all my old cotton thermies to Goodwill several years ago. Now if I can only find where my wife has squirreled them away, I’ll be in business. I figure my merino wool boot socks are in the same stash.

So there you have. Some sound advice for staying warm this winter.

In the meantime I’d been looking for some fall photographs Loretta and I shot a few years ago that I’m going to try selling to an outfit that produces calendars. When I finally found them on the computer I discovered they’d been shot in 2009. I’d been looking in 2011. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Somewhere I recently read that as we age, the years feel shorter because each one is progressively a smaller percentage of our total lives. All I know for sure is that just when I’ve gotten used to dating stuff 2013, it’s nearly time to start using 2014 and 2013 will be nothing more than another habit hard to break.

So, anyway, I found the photos and got a bit of a surprise. Our cameras have built-in computers that store a ton of data every time we shoot pictures. Such things as lens settings, shutter speed, focal length, the exact date and time of day the photo was shot and other information are available with two right clicks on the picture.

Although it didn’t say so, I knew the shot had been taken at Owsley Fork Lake in southern Madison County. I would not have been surprised if the camera had also known that. But the date was October 9, 2009, 5:27 p.m., and the hills were ablaze with color on what few blackgum, oak and maple leaves were left. One of us had taken a shot of a stand of poplars and another of walnuts without a leaf left on them.

However, the forest floor was washed in bright yellow, red and orange.

So here it is, two weeks deeper into October than our pictures of four years ago and the big walnut tree in my back yard is as green as it was in July.

But the weatherman is saying that a hard freeze is just around the corner. I have about 15 bushels of pears still hanging on a tree in the backyard orchard and I have to figure out something to do with them before Wednesday.

E-mail: ikeadams@aol.com .

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