Happy Halloween!

what a gorgeous day

I can't believe how beautiful a day it was today. Warm and sunny and all the color of fall. We took the dogs out for a walk today and Loki got to chase a huge groundhog. Of course, he also stuck his head down the groundhog's hole so we had to call him back but it was a day too wonderful to miss.

Just a random thought

I keep looking at the colors of the leaves and I wonder... "Is this their true color?" Without the chlorophyll, does the real color of the leaf finally show.. When it's done for the season and no longer has to carry out the business of keeping the tree nourished, can a leaf finally show it's "true color". I wonder if they wanted all summer to show off a glaring red or neon orange instead of a cool green. Maybe the leaves dancing around in the wind are dancing with joy at finally being untethered. Is that why the still green leaves seem to strain and reach at their colored counterparts, flitting around? Isn't green the color of envy? I can't help thinking how much like leaves we must be in the autumn of our lives. When we stop being busy saying and doing all the things we have to say and do in order to keep our families nourished.. food on the table and clothes in closets etc...can we finally let go of our fresh green mantles and say what we really think and do as we really feel. Is that when we show our "true colors"? Is it indicative of the end of our period of pliability that the leaves become crisp and crackling as they become beautifully glaring. I can't help but notice that I am, myself, joining the ranks of a population that speaks it's mind more and lets the grass grow long sometimes and hangs the gaudy drapes that the neighbors just hate. I am disinclined to tie my hair into a respectable fashion that resists the wind and not so concerned about wearing clothes that will stay neat. I find myself more and more inclined to think that purple must be the new black.

Sad stuff

Off in the morning to the funeral of a favorite uncle. He was an incredibly gifted artist. It's always so strange to lose a family member, especially a youngish one.


Paul Newman founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children stricken with cancer, AIDS and blood diseases. One afternoon he and his wife, Joanne Woodward, stopped by to have lunch with the kids.> A counselor at a nearby table, suspecting the young patients wouldn't know that Newman was a famous movie star, explained, 'That's the man who made this camp possible. Maybe you've seen his picture on his salad dressing bottle?'> Blank stares.> 'Well, you've probably seen his face on his lemonade carton.'> An eight-year-old girl perked up. 'How long was he missing?'

Just before I was deployed to Iraq , I sat my eight-year-old son down and broke the news to him. 'I'm going to be away for a long time,' I told him. 'I'm going to Iraq .'> 'Why?' he asked. 'Don't you know there's a war going on over there?

On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson asked my son the question. 'Dad, I know that babies come from mommies' tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?' he asked innocently.> After my son hemmed and hawed awhile, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust. 'You don't have to make something up, Dad. It's OK if you don't know the answer.'>

Out bicycling one day with my eight-year-old granddaughter, Carolyn, I got a little wistful. 'In ten years,' I said, 'you'll want to be with your friends and you won't go walking, biking, and swimming with me like you do now.> Carolyn shrugged. 'In ten years you'll be too old to do all those things anyway.

While I sat in the reception area of my doctor's office, a woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair into the room. As she went to the receptionist's desk, the man sat there, alone and silent. > Just as I was thinking I should make small talk with him, a little boy slipped off his mother's lap and walked over to the wheelchair. > Placing his hand on the man's, he said, 'I know how you feel. My mom makes me ride in the stroller too.

As I was nursing my baby, my cousin's six-year-old daughter, Krissy, came into the room. Never having seen anyone breast feed before, she was intrigued and full of all kinds of questions about what I was doing.> After mulling over my answers, she remarked, 'My mom has some of those, but I don't think she knows how to use them.

His wife's grave side service was just barely finished, when there was a massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance.> The little old man looked at the pastor and calmly said, 'Well, she's there

sappy mushy story

If you guys haven't read Robert Fughum's books "All I really need to know I learned in
Kindergarten" and, "It was on fire when I lay down on it" and, "Uh- Oh" etc.. you really should pick up a couple.. Some of the most wonderfully touching stories ever.

from All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum, Villand Books, 1988

This is kind of personal. It may get a little syrupy, so watch out. It started as a note to my wife. And then I thought that since some of you might have husbands or wives and might feel the same way, I'd pass it along. I don't own this story, anyway. Charles Boyer does. Remember Charles Boyer? Suave, dapper, handsome, graceful. Lover of the most famous and beautiful ladies of the silver screen. That was on camera and in the fan magazines. In real life it was different.

There was only one woman. For forty-four years. His wife, Patricia. Friends said it was a lifelong love affair. They were no less lovers and friends and companions after forty-four years than after the first year.

Then Patricia developed cancer of the liver. And though the doctors told Charles, he could not bear to tell her. And so he sat by her bedside to provide hope and cheer. Day and night for six months. He could not change the inevitable. Nobody could. And Patricia died in his arms. Two days later Charles Boyer was also dead. By his own hand. He said he did not want to live without her. He said, "Her love was life to me."

This was no movie. As I said, it's the real story - Charles Boyer's story .

It's not for me to pass judgment on how he handled his grief. But it is for me to say that I am touched and comforted in a strange way. Touched by the depth of love behind the apparent sham of Hollywood love life. Comforted to know that [two people] can love each other that much that long.

I don't know how I would handle my grief in similar circumstances. I pray I shall never have to stand in his shoes. (Here comes the personal part - no apologies.) But there are moments when I look across the room - amid the daily ordinariness of life - and see the person I call my wife and friend and companion. And I understand why Charles Boyer did what he did. It really is possible to love someone that much. I know. I'm certain of it.