Come August, you feel it slipping away. The garden weeds are seeding out. The tomatoes ripen faster than you can figure what to do with them.  You force boxes of surplus zucchini on complete strangers. You realize the leeks simply are not going to turn the corner and will remain the diameter of Tinkertoy sticks. A handful of the hottest days of the year are yet to come but some afternoons the sunlight is dilute and fails to heat the air which in turn hits your nostrils with a remindful zing. This week I was on the front porch steps lacing up my running shoes in preparation for yet another four-mile slog when the giant maple across the street produced and eruption of blackbirds flying outward and apart. On some invisible cue the birds, cohered and streamed directly overhead with an ominous feathery hiss. It sounded like the air was colder up there. These were redwings and they chuckled in a way that reminded me of frogs in spring. Twin sounds bookending summer.

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin. The above paragraph is excerpted from Truck: A Love Story, reprinted here by permission of the author. For more about Mike go to

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