It's the busy season

  Sand hill cranes on Sauvie Island, photo by Jennifer

Sand hill cranes on Sauvie Island, photo by Jennifer

It's hard to believe that we're more than halfway through October already. Thursday, the 18th, was Ray's birthday; he would have been 80. That feels impossible. He was so energetic and full of life, always looking toward his next adventure. Even as illness overtook him he fought to keep cycling, keep going, keep trying.

I had been dreading the day, but in the end it was not so bad. I bought two slices of his favorite cake at the market, put a candle on one, sang Happy Birthday to him—wherever he is—and ate both pieces of cake. Then I looked through some of the photo books I've made since his death, reliving those good memories. And there are so many! I feel very blessed.

The next family birthday is mine, in 15 days. I would prefer it not to be Election Day, especially this election, but I don't have a choice. It will make me happy if you VOTE and send me a blue tsunami. A week after that is Jennifer's birthday, closely followed by Thanksgiving, then, too soon, Christmas.

Fall has always been a busy time for our family, and a favorite season; beautiful in Oregon. To catch Fall's last gasp (rain sets in this week) Jennifer and I drove out to Sauvie Island yesterday and picked tomatoes at one of the many farms on the island. It was a gorgeous day, mid-70s, clear blue sky, and lots and lots of people shopping for pumpkins and enjoying the food stands and farm animals. I had spent the last two days painting the bathroom, and it was wonderful to be out in the open again, relishing the light breeze and the endless skies. We looked for Sand hill cranes where Jennifer had last seen them, without luck, but the drive and the scenery were soul soothing.

Before long the days will shorten and winter will settle in, a time for reading and knitting, and visiting with friends. I look forward to that cozy period and hope that with the election behind us we can all return to a less frenzied and troubled existence. In the meantime, I'll enjoy what's left of our beautiful Fall, and even, maybe, make a pumpkin pie.