Dear-OctoberFall promotes quiet introspection. The frenzy of activity-filled summer “break” is now a distant memory and the “back-to-school” season is over (thankfully). Semester exams are two months away – the distant horizon, as it were. Now is the time to simply be.

I find myself gravitating between several spots:

morning coffeeSitting in my chair in the living room, wearing my comfy pants and an old hoodie, wrapped in my trusty comforter, and having a cup of coffee close at hand.

Relaxing on my front porch – now the mosquito hordes have abated – enjoying the crisp fall evenings punctuated by the sound of the neighbor kids playing make-believe in the yard next door. Really, they haven’t been that bad since they ran their brand-new four wheeler into our house on Christmas Day.

75_Auditorium-emptyMeditating in an empty auditorium during some down time. During the week, I take one planning period to specifically not do anything. Even now, I’m waiting for choir practice to start. I’m here several hours early just to take time to mentally relax. It also doesn’t hurt to have WiFi access, but still – I’m not doing anything but write.

nbcemeteryNevertheless, the most relaxing place I can think of is a cemetery. No, I’m not obsessed with death. No, it doesn’t creep me out. I think I can thank my sister for my love of cemeteries – she took me with her as she traced our family tree in rural Pennsylvania. An afternoon of hunting headstones and reading the 100+ year-old epitaphs became something of a ritual. There are several cemeteries in my town: the old Episcopalian cemetery that existed almost before the town, the modern “garden-style” cemetery that has banned headstones, and (my personal favorite) the 19th and 20th century cemetery now famous as the place where television show Sleepy Hollow filmed some burial scenes.

I don’t know where your quiet place is, or if you have one. Wherever it is, take the time to enjoy it.


Books are like Cats

Inspiration struck when The Reading Room shared this picture:

Books are like CatsAnd you know what? It’s true!Cat Books Read MeThey beg for attention.

Covered in Cat Hair and BooksThey cover everything.

lots of cats and booksOne is never enough.

I’m sure there are more ways . . . what do you think?

Gypsy Blood

Dear-OctoberThe calendar changed today. I suppose there’s nothing inherently special about turning the page of an arbitrary system set up hundreds of years ago. But the fact it’s October 1 means something to me.

You might remember I absolutely love the fall. Perhaps love is too strong; maybe it isn’t strong enough. Something about this time of year really gets me going (in a good way).

As I sit here with my caramel-flavored coffee and Boston Cream doughnut, I can’t help but think of things to come.

medieval doctor plague mask
Throwback Thursday!

Halloween Superstores offer “affordable” costumes and decorations. I never buy anything, but hold out hope that *this year* I’ll find an affordable black cape to complement my plague mask – or as mass commercialism calls it, a “Venetian Masquerade Mask.” Come on marketers – how can you not call it a plague mask? Do you know how many you’d sell?

Pumpkins – need I say more?

The weather becomes cooler and more runner-friendly. Normally I’d be winding down – or up, as the case may be – for a marathon. Unfortunately, I’m not able to afford one this year. That doesn’t mean I still can’t be excited!

Although I haven’t been able to get out hunting for the past few years, I enjoy listening to the tales my students and colleagues bring back from the field. They also bring me venison, so that’s a plus. I’ve earned a reputation for some of the best venison roast around (thanks, Dad!).

venison roast
Not mine, but similar.

Apple pie made from fresh, orchard-grown apples. Again, I don’t mean to brag – all right, in this case I do – but I make some of the best apple pie you’ll ever have. I make the dough from scratch and make my own filling with a secret blend of apples and spices. You can’t just throw any old apple in a pie, you know. Well, I suppose you can, but it won’t taste good. Sorry, that’s just how it is.

Martin LutherFall Festivals, Harvest Festivals, Corn Mazes – Yes! (Just say “NO!” to the fair!)

Reformation Day – come on now, you must have figured out I celebrate it!

And that’s just events in October; November offers a whole other month of wonderful fall bliss!

Happy Autumn, Everyone!

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