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ONE MORE OUTDOOR SHOWER for the road…and before the plumber comes to turn off the water to the outside spigots. I tear myself away with regret from three glorious November weeks (who woulda thunk?) spent at my Long Island cottage, an attempt to make up to myself for the weeks I missed in August, when the place was rented out, and October, when I had a load of commitments in the city.

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I spent my last day in the country wrapping shrubs in burlap, Christo-like, to protect them from ravenous deer. When I ran out of twine, I resorted to my sewing kit, my gift wrapping drawer, my office supply cabinet (those black binder clips work great, as do clothespins).

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I spent hours raking leaves off the lawn, which I’ve come to consider a Zen pursuit —  ephemeral, never finished.

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And then I took that last outdoor shower, a few deep breaths of country air, and some photographs to remember it by.

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