Friday, October 30, 2009

Jam Cake

Back in the days when Ben and Sam were Choral Scholars, we had the exciting opportunity to house four choristers from the Sheffield Cathedral Choir when they came visit to Philadelphia in late October 2001.

Naturally, this trip had been planned for a long time, and naturally there was much discussion about cancelling it: should all these British students be flying across the Atlantic so recently after 9-11? The consensus was to shine a light in the darkness and let the show go on. So on a cold and frosty full-moon-lit night, eight years ago just about now, we welcomed our guests from Sheffield, England -- City On The Move (if you've seen The Full Monty).

As it happened, one of the boys was turning 14 during his brief stay at with us. So we set about to plan a little party. When I asked what kind of cake he would like, he answered without any hesitation: "A jam cake!" That delightful request just confirmed for me one of Anglophile Bill Bryson's clever remarks in Notes From A Small Island about Brits loving jam cakes (something you don't hear / see much of in the States):

"And the British are so easy to please. It is the most extraordinary thing. They actually like their pleasures small. That is why so many of their treats -- tea cakes, scones, crumpets, rock cakes, rich tea biscuits, fruit Shrewburys -- are so cautiously flavorful. They are the only people in the world who think of jam and currants as thrilling constituents of a pudding or cake" (79).

I wasn't exactly sure how to assemble a jam cake, but as you can see, it's not difficult: two layers of white cake (8 inch round or square), raspberry jam in between, white frosting and sprinkles on top, candles, flame, song.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLIVER!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Candy and Poison

Halloween Haiku
Such little steps
In love of candy
Knocking at my door!


by student,
Patrick McDonough
Community College
of Philadelphia
Fall 1997







Read Margaret Atwood's collection of very short stories, entitled Murder in the Dark, and you'll soon see that there's more to Halloween than Honeydukes. In "Making Poison," for example, it turns out that life is not all Tom, Betty, and Susan after all. I wonder if Dick and Jane would ever make poison, like the brother and sister in Atwood's story? Even Atwood wonders:

"Why did we make the poison in the first place? I can remember the glee with which we stirred and added, the sense of magic and accomplishment. Making poison is as much fun as making a cake. People like to make poison. If you don't understand this you will never understand anything" (Atwood 10).

FOR MORE ON MARGARET ATWOOD'S SPOOKY SHORT FICTION
READ TODAY'S NEW POST ON MY FORTNIGHTLY BLOG:


KITTI CARRIKER: A FORTNIGHTLY LITERARY BLOG OF CONNECTION & COINCIDENCE
www.kitticarriker.blogspot.com

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Autumn Light

" . . . the October
angle of the yellow light, the heart-mangling intensities of the season."


from The Corrections
(p 315)
by Jonathan Franzen
(b 1959)
Contemporary American
Novelist &
Essayist









"It was the middle of October. The summer heat had long departed, the trees were shedding their leaves fast, the sky had an appearance of coming wind and showers; the great stretch of moorland which could be seen best in winter when the oaks and elms were bare, was distinctly visible. The moor had broad shadows on it, also tracts of intense light; the bracken was changing from green to brown and yellow color -- brilliant color was everywhere. At this time of year the moors in many ways looked their best." *

from Polly: A New-Fashioned Girl (p 140)
by L. T. Meade
(pseudonym of Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith, 1854-1914)
Prolific Writer of Girls' Stories
Born in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland.

*I'd say true of most places! Certainly true of Philadelphia (see photo above).

As for any former controversy surrounding The Corrections, who cares about the brou-ha-ha with Oprah's Book Club? Just read this fabulous, comprehensive novel for all the beautiful and beautifully accurate descriptions of Philadelphia, if nothing else! Whenever I read Franzen -- same goes for Margaret Atwood & Margaret Drabble -- I feel I'm reading words that will be going down in history, words written by some of our greatest living authors.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Million Things

Off to School

A friend of mine was once asked by a co-worker, "What have you ever wanted that you never got?"

She couldn't think what to answer right then but later said to me, "Now I wish I could go back in time and say, 'A million things!'"

"A Million Things." Sound just like a chapter heading from an Amy Tan novel, doesn't it? Also reminds me of my favorite song from Mamma Mia! -- which we saw last night at Elliot Hall of Music -- "Slipping Through My Fingers," one of the most heart-breakingly lovely mother - daughter songs ever (and just as true and bittersweet for Moms of Sons).

You've gotta love it, if it doesn't make you feel too sad. You will definitely need a hanky! It chokes me up every time and fills me with nostalgia for . . . I don't know what . . . a million things, I guess:

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone there's that old melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny . . .

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers...

Slipping through my fingers all the time


P.S. Also, very quotidian: "I try to capture every minute / The feeling in it"

Schoolbag in Hand
Dad, Ben, Sam, Grandpa

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Love Your Body


















Giant Goddess! Nana Sophie [and Kitti, 2006]

Sophie is one of three "Nanas" created in 1974
for permanent outdoor display near the town hall in Hanover, Germany;
by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930 - 2002)

"Why, I say, should I ever have bitterly blamed [my body] for such trifles as I have blamed it for: for having too much flesh in this spot, too little muscle in that, for producing this wrinkle, that sag, that gray hair, or this texture? Dear body! My dear body! It has gone about its incessant business with very little thanks." ~Janet Burroway

One day last year my friend Diane came across this quotation in a magazine and sent it on to me, adding by way of conclusion: "I loved this, and felt very humble upon thinking about it." Yes, humbling is a good word for the healing realization that you cannot live against yourself.

For more on the topic of body image, please visit my book blog:

"Love Your Body"
KITTI'S BOOK LIST
Here are some excerpts from today's post, "Love Your Body":

Around the same time, I was reading Her Blood Is Gold: Celebrating the Power of Menstruation by Lara Owen. This is a book I've been meaning to read ever since Sam was born and finally got around to it last year -- that's how long a book can stay in the "hopeful" stack beside my bed -- haha! But see, there really is hope, if you don't mind waiting for over a decade. Anyway it's also very meaningful menopause reading, so the delay doesn't matter all that much and is, in fact, rather timely. Here's what Owen says about PMS & feeling depressed:

"My breasts are tender and so is my heart. Everything hurts more -- I watch a movie on the television and weep, I cry myself to sleep, I worry about the world. I feel colder than normal, and vulnerable in a raw and aching seemingly never - ending way. I have felt this feeling so many times in my life -- and yet here I am, warm and dry, with food in my kitchen, clothes on my back, in a better situation for survival than most people on this planet. Yet nonetheless . . . I am weak and anxious . . . I find myself in more self - doubt at this time. Am I making a great big mess of my life" (140 - 41).

During these low, unhappy times, she tries to reason with herself and move on with her life. Her period comes, and she "goes easy on herself," knowing that this is a temporary hormonal depression that will go away when the hormones shift gears once again. Menopause can also be a huge hormonal shift that causes these same feelings, but the problem is that menopause lasts a lot longer than PMS or a menstrual period.

I was so excited about this book that I had to keep updating my family (all boys except for me, oh well) about it, chapter by chapter. During one of these conversations, my son said, "Mom how many times do you have to say menstrual cycle; can't you just say it? I just laughed and said, "No, in fact, that's the whole point of the book." Of all the things that do bother me in this life, saying menstrual is not one of them. Luckily my husband joined me in this little consciousness raising exercise: "Mom is right," he said, "those are just words to describe a fact of life."

In The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler makes the same point about the word vagina: "What are we saying about our bodies if we can't say vagina?" (150). One of the women interviewed in the book reports that she "said VAGINA at least a dozen times a day for two months" until she was able at last "to reclaim it as a word" (159).

Ensler points out that if our culture could normalize and fully accept female sexuality, then there would be so much less violence toward women. Likewise, in Her Blood is Gold Owen says: "Ignoring or despising menstruation is one of the ways that misogyny manifests itself" (159). She suggests that instead of being turned off by a woman's period, men should "bow to it from every cell, with deep feeling" (130). Over and over, she says, just imagine how different the world would be if this were so. How long oh Lord, oh Goddess, oh Nana?

Okay, that's my sermon for the day.

Nana Caroline. Coming or going?
The Nanas look jubilant from all directions!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Harmony in Autumn

There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been.


from "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty"
by Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792 - 1822
English Romantic Poet

Monday, October 19, 2009

Think Pink!
Beauty in Strength











Fine Art By Pam Carriker

A Message From My Inspiring,
Talented Cousin Pam:
I Need Your Help!

In honor of my step mom I am offering fine art prints from my original piece, "Beauty in Strength." I will only be offering these limited edition prints through the end of October and the proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen foundation. If you purchase one for yourself or a friend, please accept my offer of 1/2 off the price of a second print of your choosing from my print shop. I will refund the difference through PayPal. What a great way to support a good cause and get something for yourself or a gift at the same time. Please help me to send a nice big check on November 1st!

PLEASE CLICK HERE
TO ORDER NOW!
MANY THANKS!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Stop The Violence

Dear Friends,

Please click below to see and hear my good friend












Marietta Chapple

discuss her work as President of the Board at

Turning Point Domestic Violence Agency


(McHenry County, Illinois).

WATCH VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MARIETTA

WATCH VIDEO: CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

READ ARTICLE: A CAUSE WORTH COMMITTING TO

Marietta recently said to me, "This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I am amazed and humbled to be present and helpful and empathetic at this crucial moment in a woman's life where she chooses to say, enough, is enough."

WE SHALL OVERCOME: DESSA, KITTI & ETTA, IN CHICAGO

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dick, Jane & Bill (Bryson)

If you've had a look at "Kitti's Book List" this week, then you already know how crazy I am about Bill Bryson.

And if you took a look at my Fortnightly Literary Blog post yesterday, then you already know that from the word "Go" ("Ride" "See" "Come"), I was a true believer in My Little Red Story Book.

Thus you won't be surprised to hear that however much I liked Bryson before, I liked him even more when I realized that, like me, he too had been a sucker for the "better than real" world that existed on the pages of all the little reading books.

Like the outdated Tom, Betty & Susan books that I adored, Bryson's Dick, Jane & Sally books "were ten or fifteen years old" and "depicted a world that was already gone." Like me, Bryson found this world "enchanting" and loved the books so much that he found a way to take home a set (he found a stack of "spares in the cloakroom").

Bryson confesses to still looking at his old books from time to time, wondering, even now, if he will ever find this family, "so wonderfully, fascinatingly different from my own"(148). I thought maybe I was the only one who did that -- but, no! Bryson too! For more, see Bryson's memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid (145 - 148).

JUST LIKE MY BROTHER & ME!

Illustrations by Ruth Steed, from My Little Red Story Book, 1948

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Spirit Grieves

Still Hanging On, Right Outside My Window: One Last Rose

Summer, come back!

My friend Etta is right. Not everyone, she reminded me, is happy to see the summer go or thrilled at the onset of a chill bleak autumn. Not everyone "favors fall," with winter oh so soon to follow. Maybe you saw her comment:

"I must go on the record as someone who finds Fall gloomy, raining and full of mourning that Summer is gone. And worst of all, I am cold all the time, more even than in Winter. I believe though that it is a function of living further north than when growing up. I used to love Fall because most days were beautiful. Now Fall is just a harbinger of Winter."

Edna St. Vincent Millay, in her sonnet sequence entitled Fatal Interview, conveys this sense of autumnal loss, waste, and sorrow better than any poet I know. She is mournful but resigned. In Sonnet XLVI, she writes that the first frost will come. It may be unwelcome, it may be against our wishes, but it will come:

And that I knew, though not the day and hour.
Too season-wise am I, being country-bred,
To tilt at autumn or defy the frost:
Snuffing the chill even as my fathers did,
I say with them, "What's out tonight is lost."
I only hoped, with the mild hope of all
Who watch the leaf take shape upon the tree,
A fairer summer and a later fall
Than in these parts a man is apt to see.


"A fairer summer, and a later fall" -- is that so much to ask? Sometimes, yes. In Sonnet XXXV, Millay describes the sad results of the inevitable first frost. All you have to do is look out your window and there it is:

Clearly my ruined garden as it stood
Before the frost came on it I recall —
Stiff marigolds, and what a trunk of wood
The zinnia had, that was the first to fall;
These pale and oozy stalks, these hanging leaves
Nerveless and darkened, dripping in the sun,
Cannot gainsay me, though the spirit grieves
And wrings its hands at what the frost has done.


Sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay
American Poet (1892 – 1950)
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 1923

Sunday, October 11, 2009

St. Peter's School - A Celebration (2000 - 2005)

Ms Ahmadi with Sam and his friend Marco, in June 2004.

Want to see something incredibly fun and inspiring? Click here: ST. PETER'S SCHOOL - A CELEBRATION (2000 - 2005) and take a look at this fabulous video created during the years that Ben and Sam were at St. Peter's School, Philadelphia.

Move the cursor to the 5min 30sec mark for a quick view of Ben playing the piano (also 2min 21sec mark in the line dance & 2min 33sec wearing a frock coat in the Dickens Play). At 2min 38sec, you can see Gerry volunteering to stand on Ben's toothpick bridge, which DID NOT FAIL! YAY! Sam is visible at 1min 56sec, playing the recorder; and Morris dancing at 5min 02sec.

Ms Ahmadi with Sam in our Secret Garden, October 2003.

One of the boys' favorite teachers was Sarah Ahmadi, whom Ben had for 4th grade in 1999 - 2000; and Sam in 2002 - 2003. Sam's 4th grade Lima Bean Sprouting Experiment was so successful that he brought the seedling home for replanting, trained it to grow against the wall on a trellis, and a few months later actually reaped a small harvest. Although by this time, Sam had moved on to 5th grade, Ms Ahmadi stopped by one day after school to admire his plant, sample the beans and pose for the above photo on our tiny back yard.

School Picture, Fall 2002 (Sam 4th grade; Ben 7th).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cate's Coffee Table

On Cate's coffee table (key provided above),
you will find the following books (in no particular order):

1. Love and Power: Awakening To Mastery, Lynn V. Andrews
2. The Bible - New Testament
3. The Urantia Book, The Urantia Foundation
4. The Eight Gates of Zen: Spiritual Training In An American Zen, John Daido Loori
5. Practical Meditation With Buddhist Principles, Venerable Thubten Lhundrup
6. Joy To The World: Christmas Messages From America's Preachers, ed. Olivia Cloud
7. Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne
8. The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady, Edith Holden
9. Growing Herbs, Yvonne Rees
10. The Country Garden: How To Transform Your Garden Into A Lovely Retreat, ed. Country Homes & Garden
11. Time Life Roses
12. There's A Spiritual Solution To Every Problem, Wayne W. Dyer
13. Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon, Garrison Keillor
14. The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis
15. Meditations From the Mat: Daily Reflections On the Path of Yoga, Rolf Gates
16. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
17. Reserved For the Cat: An Elemental Masters Novel, Mercedes Lackey
18. If Not For the Grace of God: Learning To Live Independent of Frustrations and Struggles, Joyce Meyer
19. The Portable Dragon: The Western Man's Guide to the I Ching, R. G. H. Siu
20. The I Ching (Trans. Wilhelm & Baynes; forward by C. G. Jung, first published 1924; 1950 by The Princeton Univ. Press)
21. The Complete Works of Lao Tzu, translated by Hua Ching Ni
22. Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery, Larry Millet
23. The American Yoga Association Beginner's Manual, Alice Christensen
24. Special Topics In Calamity Physics (a novel), Marisha Pessl
25. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times, Pema Chodron

As Cate points out: "It's a big coffee table." It would have to be!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cate's Books

Remember my friend Cate?

The one with the stylish cats (Twyla & Mimi) and the knitting blog:
yarnoverfalls.blogspot.com

She also reads. A lot.

She sent me the following summary of the current inventory scattered willy-nilly around her house:

Book of the Month: A Little History of the World,
author: E. H. Gombrich; illustrator: Clifford Harper

Knitting Books: Knit Now, Not Later

Books in Guest Room: Not for guests. Haha just kidding!

Books in Other Guest Room: Hmmm. Maybe too many?

Books on Night Stand: Careful -- Danger!

Books on Floor Next to Bed: Caution -- Knitting Needles (among other things); approach with care!

As Joan Didion says: "When I'm near the end of a book, I need to sleep in the same room with it."
Stacks Beside Bed, Toppled By Curious Cats Who Failed To Heed Cate's "Careful -- Danger" Warning! But, hey, just take a look at that great selection of reading material! Nighty-Night!

COMING SOON: BOOKS ON CATE'S COFFEE TABLE

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Small Things That
Make The Big Things Big










A Few Highlights
from the latest update to my reading list:

"Catching Up On Bryson"
KITTI'S BOOK LIST
www.kittislist.blogspot.com


" . . . you are alive. For the tiniest moment in the span of eternity you have the miraculous privilege to exist. . . . That you are able to sit here right now in this one never-to-be repeated moment, reading this book, eating bonbons . . . doing whatever you are doing--just EXISTING--is really wondrous beyond belief" (Notes From A Small Island, 120 - 21)

This observation by Bill Bryson captures perfectly the joie de vivre that enlivens every book he has written: from his earliest travelogues, to his comprehensive Short History of Nearly Everything; his recent hilarious memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, and everything in between.

As my brother David explains so succinctly: "Bryson really notices the small things that make the big things big."

"The miraculous privilege to exist . . . is really wondrous beyond belief." That's the thought I plan to call forth whenever I feel my spirit being vexed (see October 2, below) by the general lack of common decency or the stray ugliness that might be strewn across one's path in the course of any given day.

I resolve not to let anyone else spoil the miracle of my life!

For more on all of Bryson's great stuff,
see the latest update to my reading list:

"Catching Up On Bryson"
KITTI'S BOOK LIST
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Summer's Done!














Hail, old October, bright and chill,
First freedman from the summer sun!
Spice high the bowl and drink your fill!
Thank heaven, at last the summer's done!

--Thomas Constable (1812 - 1881)


photo: Early October Sunrise, taken from my front porch

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hunter's Moon

AUTUMN MOON
Is there anyone
Who will not take up his brush
With this moon tonight?
-- Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738)


My college art teacher complained about my conventional, grade-school-ish efforts and said that I needed to stop being so simplistic. But guess what? I never stopped, because it's too much fun! Above is my simple copy from a favorite page in a little children's book that I used to enjoy with Ben and Sam.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Be Careful!

I do not know everything.
Avoid vexations to the spirit.
Be careful.
Strive to be happy.


As you can see, over there in the right hand column, I like to keep a running list of maxims and mottoes and assorted proverbs that have trickled into my life from various sources, been absorbed into my frame of reference, and echoed through my thoughts over the years, some from long ago, others more recently.

"Evidently I did not know everything," for example, is a line from Jean Paul Sartre's novel Nausea (1938). Such a simple sentence, yet an excellent reminder, whenever I'm starting to feel omniscient, that my understanding of any given situation or conflict is limited. I might think I know everything, but I don't.

Another favorite comes from Max Ehrmann's well-loved credo, the "Desiderata" (1928). He cautions the reader: "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit." Indeed, aggressive people can be vexatious, but so can other kinds of people and many other things as well. My personal exhortation is more general:

"Avoid vexations . . . to the spirit."

Not just vexatious people, but anything at all that vexes: listening to loud and aggressive television, driving down a busy road, standing in a long line, waiting "on hold" for customer service, taking a stressful trip, attending a bothersome event, writing a worrisome letter. If it's not crucial, if your heart's not really in it, if you can work around it, then seek out a less vexatious alternative. Not always possible, but worth a try. When vexed, I also try to remember Ehrmann's closing lines:

"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful.
Strive to be happy
."


More often than not, any printed version you come across these days will read: "Be CHEERFUL. Strive to be happy." But when I learned this poem back in the 70s, I memorized it as "Be CAREFUL. Strive to be happy." In the hit (#8 in 1971) musical rendition, narrator Les Crane goes with "CAREFUL."

In fact, there is a publishing dispute surrounding the dual word choice. Ehrmann's own intention is apparently unclear, and the current editorial consensus is that "cheerful" is more in keeping with the poem's optimistic outlook and positive tone. But I'm not so sure about that.

I think I like it better my way. Certainly it would be hard for me to change over now. Undoubtedly "be careful," is more useful advice for me than "Be cheerful." Plus there's always the possibility that Ehrmann really did mean "Be careful." Does cheerfulness go hand in hand with striving? I don't think so, not the way that striving goes with care.

I can agree that the poem is filled with good cheer. Kindly, Ehrmann says, don't be cynical, don't be distressed. Optimistically he says be gentle, be at peace. However, his message is also cautionary. Don't become "vain and bitter," he warns. Don't neglect to exercise "caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery."

Wisely he recommends, take care! Avoid . . . vexations to the spirit!

Desiderata
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Out of Reach














"Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air, the summer's out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets
The sun goes down alone . . . "
by Don Henley
from "The Boys of Summer"


First it's Back to School, which seems to come earlier each year. Summer kind of ends then, in mid-August. The pools all close; so hard to believe. Next comes Labor Day -- End of Summer Holiday, but it doesn't feel like the end. The Autumnal Equinox arrives, but it's going to take more than that to make us stop thinking Summer.

How about the last day of September? Surely turning the calendar to October is enough to convince anyone that Fall is really here. Even if temperatures shoot back into the 90s for a day or two, the summer is out of reach, and we all know it.

If you ask me, Summer is heaven for outdoor swimming, and Winter is great for Christmas. Spring is nice just for a change, but Autumn is always best. It seems that almost everyone I know favors Fall. Yet, even though I love this time of year and everything that goes with it, I almost have to agree with John Denver about the sadness of Summer's end:

"Reflections in the water like shadows in my mind
Speak to me of passing days and nights and passing time
The falling leaves are whispering, winter's on its way
I close my eyes remembering the warmth of yesterday
It seems a shame to see September swallowed by the wind
And more than that it's oh so sad to see the summer end
And though the changing colors are a lovely thing to see
If it were mine to make a change I think I'd let it be--
But I don't remember hearing anybody asking me."









Yes, it's true.
Today's the day: September has been swallowed by the wind.