Fall is on the way. These cool days and nights have been exhilarating. I like it.

It's been a strange year in the garden — especially with cucumbers. In normal years, the cucumbers produce a majority of their fruit early. and then when hot weather sets in the vines just crumple up and die. They basically are the first things to go.

Not so this year. Our cucumbers are producing by the armload. Every day Russell brings them in and we are overrun with them. Thankfully, many friends enjoy them so we send some home with all our visitors. Maybe I should set up a "cucumbers for sale" stand in the front yard.

Not only are the cukes abundant, they are getting large almost overnight. Even though they are large, they are very good and sweet. It's the most amazing thing for us, since we have never had cucumbers this late in the summer and into fall. But we'll just enjoy them while we can.

The signs to the Old Civil War Cemetery in Newtonia have finally fallen victim to the weather. So I offered to replace them. I talked to my friend Willy Jones, who is a woodworker, and he volunteered to make new signs. Willy does great carvings and makes fancy walking sticks for the hatchery bookstore. I'm sure he will make some good signs for Newtonia. Because they are subject to the weather, these signs will only last a certain number of years. But, in the meantime, people will more easily find the cemetery because of Willy's signs.

This is an example of cooperation. Willy is a friend of the hatchery and he is willing to be a friend of Newtonia by sharing his talents. When it comes down to it, a friend is a friend all the time — not just in certain cases.
I might add, that the damage to several headstones in this cemetery have not been repaired. We are waiting for advice on how to do it. Some of the damage to the stones was so severe that repair is not possible, and I don't know if these can be replaced. I'm sure what repairs that can be done will be extremely costly. But, I'm equally sure our group will do whatever we can.

I read an article recently about how the government shutdown was affecting our seaside ports. The poor author of that piece was wringing her hands that if the ports can't unload ships, we won't have all that cheap Chinese junk for Christmas. She wrote that this will "ruin Christmas." I guess she never learned that Christmas isn't about presents. Why not plan on giving love and hope and support and perhaps something made with your own hands for Christmas. It will be a richer experience if you do.

Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.