WARM WINDS OF AUTUMN is the story of Frank Watson, a retired farmer who lived in a small town nestled in the cornfields of rural America. He spent his life farming the land that had been in the family for over a hundred years and reared two children with Ida, his wife for over forty years.
It has been two years since the death of his wife, and Frank Watson still struggles with the loss. Every morning, he meets with his friends at the local diner to talk and to exchange gossip, but inevitably must return to his farm that remains undisturbed since his wife’s death.
Then, Pepper Ledley came into his life. She was the new waitress in town nearly half his age and offered Frank something he had never before considered, a new beginning. However, it somehow didn’t seem right to Frank. How could he have these feelings when he still loved Ida?
After the town learns that Pepper is now pregnant, Frank is alienated and shunned by all for not marrying her. Minutes before his son is born, Frank forces the local pastor to leave the funeral that he is conducting and marry the two of them. They get there just in time, and Tony is born to married parents.
Life is good for Frank and his new family. Pepper stays at home to raise their son, while Frank takes on a job remodeling the house of the town’s new female doctor, Winifred Clayborn. Rumors spread as Frank spends every day at the doc’s house. Pepper is concerned, but Frank reassures her that there is nothing to worry about.
The doctor’s grandson, Spencer, is living with her and is forced to work with Frank. He is extremely defiant at first but soon softens as he learns to appreciate the results of hard work.
Then, suddenly, Pepper is hit by a car driven by the town drunk. For days, she remains in a coma. Since Frank refuses to leave her side, the hospital staff becomes concerned about his health. They convince him to go home for the night. Just after falling asleep, he gets a call from the hospital to learn that Pepper has awakened from her coma and hasn’t long to live. He rushes to her side and has just enough time to say a few words before she dies.
Frank is devastated and doesn’t leave the house for weeks. Everyone in town is worried. In an effort to check on him, his close friends go to his house one-by-one with no success. Then one morning, Spencer slips over in an effort to help a friend. He breaks into the house and finds Frank sitting in a chair. After a long talk, he convinces Frank to return to the diner and all of his friends.
Frank buys the diner and makes Spencer the manager. Hope for the future and the love of family and friends restores meaning and purpose to Frank’s life.