On Wednesday, when T. came home from school, she told me gleefully that the teacher said it would be very cold on Thursday and Friday. "Very cold" around here, of course, means 58 degrees. The first day the thermometer dipped into the low 60s this fall my students showed up to the morning classes in their winter parkas, rubbing their hands and exclaiming over the cold. I winced, because to me, real cold weather is what we used to get in upstate New York, and what I often miss, crazy though that might sound. But it rained all day Thursday, and today it's damp and cold. We turned our heat on two nights ago, and I put our flannel sheets on our bed--the same soft, cozy sheets with the leaf pattern we've had for over ten years. They're still going strong, the cloth worn to that perfect flannel feel. I have a picture in a photo album of L. at five or six months old in our bed in New York, lying on those same sheets, where he'd slept cozily next to us on what probably had been a VERY cold upstate, New York night, nothing like the nights here in North Carolina. Lame though it might sound, I'm looking forward to the weekend just to have the chance to sleep in with those sheets on the bed, instead of prying myself loose at 6:00 am, when it's dark and cold outside. We're having some friends over for a potluck dinner tonight--nothing fancy, just a chance to share food, let the kids play, and catch up. Summer seems suddenly, and irrevocably gone now, even though it's only been a little over two months since the pool closed. We seem firmly planted in the fall; the leaves have turned, we dug our fleece jackets out of the hall closet, and this weekend we'll box up the Halloween decorations. Later today I'm making this dish, and a huge pot of this, and if you weren't compelled to try it last year when I posted the recipe, try it this weekend! It's one of those soul-satisfying, hearty one-pot meals that will warm you to the bones. Stay warm, and Happy Weekend!