The haze over Chicago was clearing a bit by the time we headed toward O’Hare yesterday, but the contrast between the Dan Ryan Expressway (a frequent location in Sara Paretsky’s novels) and the country roads of the Berkshires is breathtaking. I love cities, but coming home in the evening and driving along sleepy roads, not a light on anywhere all the way from the airport, breathing in damp, sweet air (as well as an occasional whiff of a country fragrance like skunk), made this a special homecoming. Our last ALA day was a rush of meetings about our new libraries book. I had a chance to sit in on my first ALA council meeting. “Democracy in action,” said my dear friend Nancy Kranich, who was filmed in a debate about the Patriot Act on Monday. The Council meeting reminded me of our annual Town Meeting without the crazy characters and policemen stationed at the door. I’m already thinking about San Antonio in January, and our first Frankfurt Book Fair display in October. But I also plan to do some gardening, the best way to wind down and reconnect with this place I love.