Summer has finally left. I’m always reluctant to say goodbye to it, but there is snow in the mountains, last night was our first freeze down here in the valley, and the trees are giving up their leaves, so I guess that summer really has gone. It is not easy for me. Fall and winter have always been times of endurance and symbols of sadness. All Saints, Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas are times of joyful celebration, and I celebrate joyfully with all the rest, but by the end of January I find myself in great need of warm sunshine, blue skies and outdoor living. Thankfully, spring comes early to our valley. By the end of February there will be new growth showing in the garden, and with a certain eager anticipation I will await the too slow return of green leaves on trees. Winter, like New York City, is something to be tolerated in good humor, even enjoyed a bit, but I don’t have to love it.