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Falling Into Autumn

My brain is hardwired to the smells from my childhood. At this time of the year it is the smell of burning leaves. As early as I can remember, growing up in the Midwest and later in Pennsylvania, the smell of burning leaves told my brain that winter was coming. As the first pile of leaves was raked together and then slowly smoldered into flame, the smell permeated the neighborhood. It was the signal to break out the corduroy pants and sweater vests. Fall was always my favorite season — the closing in, the shutting down, the preparing for winter, never cold enough to be uncomfortable, but it was the warning sign that freezing weather lay ahead.

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