All Hallow's Eve

Halloween! Yes, it is. That means it is almost November. How did THAT happen so fast?

We are in those in-between years: no children at home, no costumes to worry about, no grandchildren to ooh and ahh over their costumes. We also don't have TV, so we won't be watching reruns of Friday the 13th Part 78.

A few years ago, we came up with a different Halloween tradition for these in-between years: we light a fire in the bowl in our front yard, and we sit outside around the fire, drinking beer and handing out candy. We know enough of the trick-or-treater's parents that we also hand out some beer. (Oh, don't be like that... they're walking!)

Since I don't have much of a sweet tooth, I think I like this kind of Halloween better than the candy kind.


The Power of a Story

I love a good movie or book. I love the stories that people have to tell, which is probably why I sometimes wind up with a customer sitting in my office for an hour or more....they're telling me their story because they can see I am interested.

Over the last couple of months, I've watched a few movies on Netflix, all of which I enjoyed: Amistad, Defiance, Paradise Road, The Key to the Kingdom, A Late Quartet and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, plus a few others with titles that escape me. (yes, it's an eclectic playlist, but what else would you expect from me?) I've talked with people and listened to their stories. My Mom had her stories to tell. Mom's older sister, my beloved Auntie, is coming near the end of her time. The end of her life is adding a new dimension to her children's stories.

Even though the stories are all very different from each other, they bring me to a common place of gratitude. Because unlike so many of the people I hear, and unlike characters in these movies, some of whom were based on real people, I have it made.

I have always been free.
I have never faced violence.
I have always had enough to eat and a roof over my head.
I have always had medical care when I needed it...and have seldom needed it.
I married a man who is easy to like, easy to love and easy to respect. It doesn't require some measure of struggle to find the good in him.
My children were born healthy, grew up without too many challenges and are living their own lives as adults. I never had to worry about how I would feed them or care for them. Like all mothers, I worried (and worry) about them, but there was never a real or immediate threat (after oldest son came home from deployment, of course).
I have never faced a natural disaster, or man-made disaster, either.
I can read.
I have never had trouble finding a job.
I am never bored.

This list could go on all day. How grateful I am that I live in a time of peace and plenty. How grateful I am that my ancestors, who did not live in times of peace and plenty, were strong enough to survive.

What I See--Alita

Oh, Alita! What can I say? We've known eachother for so many years! Alita and I became acquainted first because our husbands worked to...