Halloween without Candy

I’m glad neighbors Shawn and Bob let us know ahead of time that Logan couldn’t have candy. My sympathy was with them, trying to keep it away from him at this time of year. Then I thought of being a seven-year-old on Halloween. Everyone at school would be longing for mountains of candy. How my heart ached for him! What could we do? I was about to throw away the packing that cushioned our new router when I remembered how much Logan enjoyed stomping on air bags. We gave him the bags on the porch as we finished our meal. Minor explosions followed as he jumped on them.

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The real present was a helium balloon. After I handed it to him, he jumped about with it, and the ribbon came off. If he had been outside, that would have been the end of it. We all laughed that it was hugging the ceiling.

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John said, “Come, let me pick you up, and you can grab it.”

It dangled there, just out of reach.

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Climb up on my shoulders,” John instructed.

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As they were retrieving the balloon, Logan’s mind was racing. He asked, “What would have happened if it had been outside?”

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We explained that it would have gone up in the sky. He asked, “Would it come back down at the same place?”

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It didn’t take much imagination to know what he was thinking. He’d go home, and on the way he’d let the balloon go. It would come back to him, and then he’d go in his house. John said it would keep rising, blown about by the wind, and eventually pop. I jumped in and said we should not do that, because it would be harmful if an animal tangled with the pieces.

John played one long game of checkers with Logan, and then he got up to go. “Thank you for the balloon,” he said as he opened the door.

I intended to watch him run across the street to see if the balloon made it. By the time I realized he was leaving and walked to the door, he was long gone.

Happy Halloween, Logan!

Five Hundred Years!

This is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing the 95 theses on the door of the church. We mark it as the beginning of the Protestant reformation. John read a lot about Luther this year. One fact new to him was that Luther wrote 20% of everything that was published at that time! The invention of the printing press enabled him to share his prolific writings all over Europe. No wonder we know a lot about him!

For almost a year, John and I have been wearing the sweatshirts sister Chris gave us. Today I finally took a photo of us together.

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Have a blessed Reformation Day!

Nice Niece Weekend

The weekend was nice; the nieces were priceless. Julie is my brother’s daughter, and Patty is a niece by choice. They worked together running a group home years ago.

Our one excursion was going to my favorite waterfall. I have any number of photos of the falls from my vantage point looking up the mountain. This time I took one from the other side of the highway where I’m looking down. The highway is a twisty one that winds around the mountain. The bridge is two lanes wide, with just enough room for one row of tourists to breathe while looking at the cascade. From looking at some brochures, I found the name to be Sunburst Falls. If you Google Sunburst Falls NC, you can see much more dramatic photos than I could give you. Julie and Patty made appropriate noises of approval before we piled in the car and continued onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. We discovered that the leaves were past peak up there.

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Another day the weather did what the weathermen said it would do – rain, heavy at times, all day. We stayed inside and talked the livelong day. At one point we were laughing uncontrollably. I won’t share the story, because no one could tell it like Julie. The basics were certainly met. We had shelter, food, and hilarity.

Sunday was the celebration of Reformation Day. It was the 500th anniversary of Luther’s nailing the 95 theses on the door of the church in Germany. Our church went all out with special music. During the service they presented Bach’s Cantata BWV 80 based on the hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God. The director of music also arranged that hymn for the hand bell choir. I was very impressed with all of it. Only members of the orchestra were paid. Soloists were regular members of the choir. John sang bass in the choir, and he was listed as Cantor John Mehrling because he did the service chants. Before the service, I made Julie, Patty, and John pose before two of the three banners in the sanctuary.

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We ate lunch not far from the church and dropped by the farmer’s market for Julie to scope out the place. She will be here with a group of her friends in a couple of weeks and was looking for things they might like to do. Julie and Patty headed East as John and I drove home in a snowstorm. I’ve seen snow falling on colored leaves only once or twice before in New York. It is an odd sight.

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It was a Setup

The new router came in the mail, and I put it aside until the house was clean! For once, I was rewarded for doing the right thing. I think that’s defined as doing what has to be done without too much complaining. In all fairness, I must say that John offered to help. It’s just that I couldn’t wait for it. Wonderful guests are coming Thursday evening, and my deadline for cleaning was Tuesday. The next two days will be spent in the kitchen so that I’ll be free to visit. John is one who needs adrenaline. If you aren’t one of those, you know a few. Urgency would not arise until the company hit the highway. I could see myself tripping over the vacuum on the way to the front door.

What I did was dangerous. My brain hardly functions after 6 pm, but I put off the router installation until John went to choir rehearsal. The fewer people wanting to be connected, the better. As is the norm now, the instructions were pictures on a card, a small card. I was to plug in the new device for power, hook it up to the modem, and download an app on the phone. Really? Was this written by someone with purple/orange hair? Without WiFi, my phone would not download anything, but it would put its load down. While still connected to the internet, I got the app before beginning to unplug things. Despite my reading everything six times, the process went smoothly.

Connecting one computer to the internet was the tip of the iceberg. Without a trumpet fanfare, I was able to hook up two phones, two tablets, a desktop computer, and a laptop. The only thing left hanging was the printer. It has taken a printer vacation – it’s offline. I quit when John came home. Here’s hoping brilliance will strike when we unplug everything to rearrange the wires behind the desk. Thank heavens this turned out to be a good set-up process and did not set me up for disaster!

Meanwhile, during the day, autumn is progressing nicely.

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“Where Am I?”

A white van stopped beside us as we walked down the road. The driver asked, “Where am I?”

John replied, “You’re on Qualla Road. Are you lost?”

“Just need to know where I am. Where am I?”

I judged the man to be in his 60s or 70s and hoped he wasn’t suffering from dementia. He pulled up a camera for us to see and mumbled something about back roads. John explained that he was in Jonathan Creek and that I-40 was to the right and Waynesville to the left.

He said, “Now I know where I am. Thank you.”

He drove on down the hill, but instead of going to the highway, he turned into Sorrell’s a few feet earlier. I wondered if he wasn’t satisfied with our directions, needed gas, or really knew where he was and went in for breakfast.

It should be etched on my face. People need to know that when they ask me a question, I want to know their life histories. “Where am I?” and “Back roads” don’t cut it.

Losing Track of a Child

I read about a three-year-old who was accidentally left in a corn maze (should it be corn maize?) overnight. I got this a-maize-ing news from other bloggers, not our local newspaper. The details and excuses have probably been rehashed many times. I’m here to write about my experience. I lost my son. I lost track of my son for hours. It happened just last night.

Here is a photo of him at age 3 with his sisters.

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Last night I heard him go in the bathroom when I headed for my computer. Running water was my clue that he was taking a bath. I took my last quick peek of the evening to see what blogs and email had been posted at the end of the day. As usual, I was not aware of time passing. I was there two or three hours before stumbling to bed. During the night, I woke and wondered if he had drowned in the tub, but I wasn’t alert enough to check. It was with relief that I heard my husband walking in and out of the bathroom this morning. He would surely have noticed a dead body floating in the tub.

Here is the most recent picture I took of him with his Aunt Barbara and Uncle Thom. He turned 38 just a week ago and is still in good health, despite my losing track of him last night.

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Deviated Day

Six days a week we follow the same format. We walk to the creek, chat while eating breakfast, shower, and veg in front of our computers. Today we turned things around. The weather turned cool overnight, and it was almost to the freezing point when we got up. There was no chance of perspiring while walking. We showered and drove to the Belly Truck in Waynesville. Neighbors Shawn and Bob’s daughter-in-law Ashley owns the business. We had lunch there once when Nathaniel was with us. Today we went for breakfast. Breakfast needs its own paragraph, see below. We ate beside the creek near the Rec Center, took a fairly brisk walk by the stream, and did our weekly grocery shopping at Ingles.

Ashley said she had a rough start because she didn’t have heat in the truck, as she thought she would have. The biscuits would not be ready for ten more minutes. We waited in our car, though I wish I’d thought of walking instead of sitting. Ashley bounded out of the truck and apologized for the wait as she handed us our food. I said I was sure it was worth waiting for. Golly! I didn’t know what I was talking about! John had bacon, egg and cheese on his biscuit. I had gravy on mine. It was absolutely divine. Although I didn’t grow up with them, biscuits and gravy are a Southern specialty. The gravy is made of crumbled sausage in a white sauce. Ashley’s biscuit was huge, and her gravy was perfect – steaming hot with a perfect kick of pepper. She also had melted cheese on the biscuit. I’m thrilled that we had this special breakfast before she closed for the season.

I didn’t think to take a picture of our food. The little red camera would have reminded me, but the phone was mute. It’s probably like me and can do only one101717 View from Ingles parking lot.jpg thing at a time. On the other hand, it did think of taking a shot of the mountains from the parking lot at the supermarket. Maybe it’s just old, slow, and forgetful. John often speaks of what a beautiful view there is from Ingles. He is surprised the land was not used for very expensive condos right there in town. I should have walked down a bit beyond the cars, but the Extreme Moose Tracks ice cream would not have been forgiving.

It was very satisfying to have a turned-around day that included a delicious breakfast and a walk by the stream.