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We are held captive by the winds of fate, and have settled for the month of November in Wheaton, IL, our former home. When we arrived here (11/3 and 11/8 respectively), we planned to stay for a week, visit doctors, stock up on odds and ends not readily available in Peru and leave for points south. We began our stay at the home of our friend Peggy. She has the best yard anywhere.

Even in November when her army of tiny Japanese maples have lost their brilliant red leaves, there is lots to see. A few brussels sprouts and some hardy kale hang on despite the bouts of cold weather that have already passed. Arches and walkways lead to hidden nooks. The sun lights the plants and makes the leaves translucent. It is a pleasure to visit and walk through. Somehow I relax just being there.

Peggy’s garden gives me a respite from worrying about test results, delayed flights, travel insurance, waivers of change fees, plans already made that have to be changed. There’s also our lack of winter clothing beyond coats. My fingers are crossed that it doesn’t snow too soon. I remember the year we remodeled our kitchen, tearing everything out the day after Thanksgiving and piling all the debris at the side of the driveway in anticipation of the arrival of a dumpster. Two feet of snow fell the next day and it took us until February to get it cleaned up. This year the days after Thanksgiving are mild and sunny, but I know it will change soon enough.

After ten days with Peggy we rented an apartment for the rest of the month, and another for the first two weeks of December. Are we moving back to the US? That’s not our plan, but we are waiting to get Jonathan a clear bill of health. Here’s our latest home base:

We are on the second floor, right side. The photo on the right is the view from our front door. I’ll add a few pictures of the interior the next time it is presentable.

The days are growing shorter and shorter just when we hoped to be switching hemispheres where the days are growing longer. The last time I noticed how low the sun was on the horizon, it was in Norway above the Arctic Circle in June 2016, and the sun dipped low over the horizon but never set. This is the opposite. The sun is low over the horizon until 11 and after 2pm. We have been traveling for three years and I seem to have forgotten about the short days of late fall. By 3:30 pm the afternoon is on its way out, and the sun has set by 4:30. Still, we’ve had a couple of lovely sunsets on these late afternoons.

Here we are, making the best of a new place. There are lots of places to take a walk. The neighborhood streets yield surprises. There is a path that connects two neighborhoods where the road does not. In a corner of the cul-de-sac on one side, beside the walking path to the next street, someone has decorated their back yard with chandeliers. The glass drops are tiny wind chimes when the wind blows, prisms sparkling when the sun is out, quirky and charming.At first glance, you may not notice the decorations in the trees. Perhaps the sound makes you look again and you see all the chandeliers.

It’s another place that can cheer you up just by being there. Who knows what else we may find as we continue to explore.