By mid-October, we were ready for Fall to feel like it was setting in, but the temperatures were still comfortable, so we continued to enjoy lots of outside time, pushing off the pumpkin spice vibes for a couple more weeks.
We marked the middle of October by hanging out all afternoon for a teen homeschooling gathering in the lovely backyard of a friend, where we just started to see the tinge of Fall colors speckling the trees.
On the 16th, Flo and Matt came up for a visit and to catch up on laundry… Matt headed back early for work and Flo decided to hangout overnight. Since they had come in one car, on the 17th, we drove down to College Park to return Flo (and her clean laundry) to UMD, with a pitstop at MOM’s Market.
That same day, Darren, once again, released some pent-up energy (no doubt a result of work-at-home life) on our poor front yard shrubs. He left nothing but tiny nubs, revealing over a decade worth of tidbits that had been lost to The Shrub that continually threatened to overtake the walkway. Hopefully, the nubs will rise again, but if not, at least we won’t have to trip over the sprawling prickly bush every time we park at the top left side of the driveway. In the meantime, I will try to appreciate the minimalist look of our front yard landscaping.
On the 18th, I received my first ever summons for jury duty…. which does not jive at all with our holiday plans. But, I dutifully responded and will call-in when required, so as to not shirk my civic duty, even if the timing of it is a little ba-humbug.
There was little time to lament my scheduling woes before I got a text from Joe on the 19th, with his first hockey dental drama…. a broken/cracked front tooth! After the requisite motherly scolding for not wearing his mouthguard during practice, he informed me that the coach told him to go see “a guy,” presumably a dentist, to get it fixed. He managed to do this the next day without incident, thus limiting the jagged tooth look to one day. This was good, because besides looking goofy, it was hurting him.
Also, on the 19th, we received our Berkey water filter, which has been on the list for a while, but was continually out of stock, and then we just forgot. There are no immediate plans for off-grid life, but it’s nice to have a way to filter water that doesn’t require electricity and is portable… so, that’s cool.
FLO ON THE GO – MUSIC
That evening, Zofia and I headed down to New Spire Arts in Frederick to see Flo perform a little show there. Parking was a pain, but I felt victorious when I finally found a spot… and I enjoyed hanging out with Flo and her friends for a couple hours.
October inspired some decluttering efforts… old stuffed animals from Zofia’s room, bikes that were too tiny and taking up precious garage real estate, as well as, Darren’s filing cabinet overflow… the usual management of stuff needed for good household maintenance.
CHECKING IN WITH GRANDMA
We popped up to see my mom/Grandma a couple times, as she adjusts to the solitary life, once again, without Tom, who passed away in September. She has her own decluttering efforts underway, as well as plenty of local social connections to keep life seeming fairly balanced, so that’s good.
STAYING CONNECTED WITH TECHNOLOGY
Interspersed through the days of work, chores & homeschooling, we had several colorful video exchanges with Grandma, Flo & Joe, and we watched Joe’s games on Hockey TV. I still marvel at the technology! We’re entertained by the lively sports announcers. It’s funny when they call Joe a “native of Connecticut.” He hasn’t lived there since he was a year old! LOL
On the 25th, I was feeling the need to get pictures with pumpkins to denote the shift in season, so Zofia and I headed over to Smithsburg for a gourd time! LOL She was a good sport and found a few vegan treats amongst the homemade goodies.
On the 28th, I got a delivery from Franklin Sustainable Farms and set to work destemming a case of kale, which I proceeded to use in everything for the next week, including a good-sized bowl of kale chips, a veggie stew, kale salad, steamed kale & mushrooms, and more kale salad!
TV & VISITORS
The 29th was eventful. Zofia used her own money to help buy a new TV for the basement that she’d been wanting for a gaming/hangout spot. Not long after getting the TV set up, Jessica and Lincoln arrived from Florida to spend a few days visiting with us for the Petite Immersion Experience.
They ventured out to some parks in WV the next day, accompanied by Zofia, for some extra Fall frolicking. They also tried out the Earth Based Cafe in Martinsburg, which everyone seemed to enjoy.
On Halloween, we hosted a fun teen gathering for our homeschool group. The HalloTEEN hangout, which was intended to be primarily outdoors to be as covid safe as possible, was a success and seems to have fallen on one of the final days of relatively comfortable temperatures for hanging out outside in the evening. We were thankful for that good timing and the good time apparently had by the teens!
WORLD VEGAN DAY
On November 1st, we took a stroll around a local park, which offered plenty of silly photo ops. Then there was a pitstop at Antiox for some plant-based fare. Later, we had MORE kale, just to be EXTRA vegan for World Vegan Day!
On Tuesday, the 2nd, her final evening in Hagerstown, Jessica headed to the Maryland Theatre to see the play, Rent. Unfortunately, her original “date” for the show had an untimely medical mishap, so Flo, who had been out for the day to say hello, decided to extend her stay a few more hours and go in Karen’s stead. I received good reviews of the experience and we wish Karen a speedy recovery!
Jessica and Lincoln departed the next morning, heading off to see family in Pennsylvania. We’re grateful they made the effort to visit. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out, having deep conversations, watching our kids navigate the teens together and just staying connected!
PRELUDE TO THE HOLIDAYS
Now, as we head into November, I’m definitely feeling Fall vibes and looking forward to the holiday season! Bring it on!