Like it or not, fallen leaves are starting to appear in our yard.

Sort of like the questions that pile up on a columnist’s desk.

Questions like:

•Will the gasoline in my lawnmower really go bad over the winter? I read those stories every year, but I’ve never had a bit of trouble. It might take a few more tugs next spring, but my guess is it’ll start just fine.

•While I don’t want to start an immigration debate, does it really make sense for the United States to be such an unfriendly country to enter? Fly into an airport like Atlanta or Chicago as an international visitor and you are pretty much treated like dirt from the get-go. And a simple entry by car from Canada will easily take more than an hour. That’s waiting-in-line time. Actual contact with the officer took 40 seconds at most.

•Did we miss anything at the engine show? For the first time since 1975 — yikes! — Connie and I were on vacation during the enormous gathering at Jay County Fairgrounds. I’ll bet our attendance string matches some of the Tri-State diehards.

•Wouldn’t it be nice if the Halloween and Christmas — an even bigger yikes! — merchandise could stay in the back room a little longer? Time goes too quickly as it is. There’s no reason to rush the seasons.

•Isn’t it enjoyable, now and then, to talk with strangers? Connie and I found ourselves in Stratford, Ontario, several days ago, when we were missing the engine show. We’d stopped there on our way back to Indiana to see a play and to enjoy the town, a place we’ve visited for nearly 30 years. On a Saturday afternoon, sitting in the sidewalk space of a favorite pub while I enjoyed a Rickard’s Red and Connie had iced tea, we spotted a couple looking for a place to sit. We had a table for four with two vacant seats and invited them over. It was delightful. Twyla and Al are Stratford residents, while we were tourists. They quizzed us, we quizzed them, and all four of us were enriched by the experience.

•Much as I admire Public Broadcasting, isn’t it safe to say that the “pledge week” specials they run are annoying? OK, they can be entertaining as well. Aging Baby Boomers love to indulge in Motown or Peter, Paul and Mary or images from Woodstock. But just when you’re getting into the show, they hit you up for a pledge. There has to be a better way.

•Has there ever been a bigger slam-dunk than the county’s use of wind farm funds to leverage Community Crossings grant money from the state for paving projects? Drive the streets of Dunkirk or Pennville or Bryant or Salamonie and you’ll be driving on asphalt that’s going to be around for a long, long time.

•Did anyone really enjoy “tomato can week” in college football? The IU-Ball State match-up was at least competitive, and Purdue lost on a last second miracle field goal. But most of the games were dreadful. Earlham, my alma mater, has had such a wretched record in football that it’s reassessing the whole thing. Then again, the Quakers might be able to get on the schedule for Ohio State.

•Is there — mile for mile — a worse section of interstate highway than I-69 in Michigan? I thought the Indiana section was lousy, but Michigan is in a league all its own.

•Isn’t it cool that Jay County Public Library has booked Michael Koryta as an author/speaker in November? Ray Cooney steered me in his direction, and I haven’t been disappointed. His thrillers are intense — my wife found one more than she wanted to handle — but they’re always well-written and entertaining. And did I mention thrilling?

•Why is it that my September calendar is already filling up so rapidly? The meetings and commitments and obligations and events are piling up a lot like those leaves outside in the yard.