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As he unwittingly becomes The Sage of Dogwood Mudhole, Franklin seeks out, meets, and becomes fast friends with other likeminded advocates of an older and happier—or sometimes newer and more satisfying—way of farming. Feasting on the wisdom found in old books, Franklin works diligently to restore his own fields and ponders love’s perfection while keeping vigil at Susan’s bedside as she undergoes open heart surgery. When danger is past for now, Franklin returns to felling trees around his house, eyed warily by sons a little too willing to relieve an old guy of the work, all for the love of his wife and her desire for HDTV.