Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves. ~ Eric Sevareid
My love affair with the midwest continues. Halloween was amazing. Like the Halloweens I remember from when I was a young child in the 1950s and early 60s. Even the adults get into it back here, dressing up in costumes to hand out their trick-or-treat candy. And I lost count of how many of them sit out on their porches and front stoops with big bowls of candy in their laps to give to the kids and "Ooooooooh!" and "Ahhhhhhh!" over all the little witches and Jedi knights and princesses and ladybugs. We gave out candy to hundreds of kids. I walked around my neighborhood with my son and his family and Dylan and Cooper got more candy going up and down a couple of streets than my kids used to get traipsing a mile or two in our area of Portland. Glowing jack-o-lanterns everywhere, ghosts in trees. Oh, it was wonderful! I am so thankful my grandsons get to experience their childhoods here. I've been using the term to describe it as living in Beaver Cleaver-ville. That's just the way it feels.
It is a drop-dead gorgeous day outside today. I wish I could figure out how to transfer my phone pictures to Blogger so I could share some of the Autumn splendor with you, even here in my neighborhood. My mom grew up in New Hampshire and moved out to Washington State right after WWII as a brand new 18-year-old bride. She was never able to return 'home' for 22 years...4 children and Life interrupted in those years. She used to get so wistful around Autumn, so homesick. The western Washington State autumns have their color, too, but once the rains set in around Halloween time and rarely let up until June -- honestly, I am not exaggerating -- the dreariness just....gets....to you. Since I'd never lived anywhere else as a child, what I knew was what I had. I couldn't begin to imagine the colors of the foliage, the crisp bite to the air, that she described. Well, now I know. And I have savored every day of it.
I had a very surreal moment last Friday. I was driving west on one of the more-traveled side streets around sunset time and there was a big bank of low-lying clouds snugged down against the horizon. They were the same height, the same distance, the same color Portland's West Hills would be at the same time of day with the sun setting behind them. And for a moment I felt so disoriented, like, "Am I here, or am I in Portland?!" And yet, in 8 months here now, life in Portland is beginning to be a little less-defined in my memory, a little fuzzy around the edges. Oh, I'm sure if I was to fly or travel back and stand in front of our house there I could still find my way around to wherever I needed to go without hesitation. But it's the daily life, the day-to-day things, where life is so centered and focused here in Michigan. Even many memories the grandboys have are being replaced. Tho Cooper did speak up the other day and say, "Grandma, the garbage men in Portland really loved us, didn't they?" Yes, Coop....they did. And I hope the boys never forget that, how kind Bob, Justin, and the "yard debris guy" were to them..
I have a throbbing headache, a touch of a flu bug today. I think I'll go curl up on the couch for a while and rest. I have homemade soup simmering in the crock pot and it smells so good. A perfect fall meal on a perfect fall day.