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It's one of the advantages to avoiding the use of air conditioning that when the cold finally starts coming around I am usually more than ready for it. Things got chilly a little earlier this year, and we didn't have the distinct return to hot weather that we usually have at least once in the weeks surrounding Halloween, but still, after the scorching, dry summer, we have welcomed the crisp fall weather. And there is a moment each fall, too, when I feel that my body has finally made the transition, when I no longer label fifty degrees as chilly, but a veritable heat wave, when even thirty degrees does not keep us from a neighborhood walk. Of course, that moment of transition might have more to do with the swapping out of short, thin clothing for longer, heavier duds and layers. And hats. Definitely hats.

The season change opens up a pretty obvious field of study. Charting and discussing the rotation and orbit of the earth is something that Calvin already has a pretty good grasp of just from discussion over the years, but this fall we have actually marked out specific time to discuss it more in depth. Fall is a good time for this because not only is the gradual change in seasons more obvious, as the cusp between daylight and dark now falls before bedtime (especially around the clock change), but in our ancient history studies we have come across numerous references to the change of the seasons, particularly in the fall, and often in myth. That is, after all, what Halloween was for many all those thousands of years ago. Last week we took a break from our march through history (which right now has us camping out in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas about three thousand years ago) to drop in on Stonehenge and the Celts. One of these years I just might try to find a turnip big enough to carve. How appropriate that next week, with the clocks turned back and the sun setting before dinner, we will be entering into the Greek Dark Ages.

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