Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper and Phyllis spent the better part of the day meandering across Wisconsin in their return from promoting the keeper’s novel Margaret’s War before a very receptive crowd at the Manitowoc. Public Library. Driving across Wisconsin these early September days as the sun stirs up the green soup of summer is an experience to be savored. To note the busy routines of the citizenry as jobs get done and schools get going; and to recognize the changes of things in the vine-covered old barns and the great white plastic silage “worms” that are replacing the silos and reading the hand-painted signs announcing community summer celebrations—all of this and so much more produces an appreciation for Wisconsin and its people. The great growth cycle packages it all, and the maples and poplars get ready to tie it up with red and yellow ribbons. Damn, it is good to be alive!