Thursday, November 27, 2008

Shades of Fall

Today is Thanksgiving, which marks the unofficial end of fall. The calendar says another month, but the Christmas decorations come out tomorrow (at least at my house) and the forecast is calling for snow, so it's beginning to seem a lot like winter. But here are a few memories of fall:

I've blogged plenty about the Kicking Mules football team(s). Great kids, great season. Fall colors were spectacular, but short-lived. This is my Japanese Maple. In the summer, it has green, lacy leaves. This does not do it justice--it looked like a beautiful sunset.
Election day, as I've previously posted, was difficult although I got to spend it with my great nephew Logan. Of course, Logan thinks his cousin Craig is a super hero.

Craig spent a couple of hours reading to Logan all about dinosaurs and watching Land Before Time. After I tried to get Logan to take a nap (NOT on his agenda), Craig took the reins while I ran some errands, and here's what I got.

In addition to Thanksgiving, the end of November also brings about the annual Michigan-Ohio State football rivalry. Living on the border of the two states means we re-live the great Toledo War from way back when state boundaries were being drawn, although I think that there may be more blood shed during the current "border war" than there was in the 1800's (no shots fired). At work, we use the opportunity to wear our colors as a fundraiser. There is a raffle where tickets are purchased for specific goodies associated with each university. There is also an "I don't care" box for those who really don't care. Well, actually, the prizes for that box were better this year, so at least one co-worker parted with his usual team to go neutral. Now, lest you think this was a Michigan fan who was using it as an excuse to distance himself from this year's maize and blue mediocrity, it wasn't--it was a Butt-guy fan. (That's what Matt used to call the scarlet and gray guys when he was little. I still think it's funny.)

There is also a chili cook-off. Celebrity and corporate judges spend about 45 minutes sampling and rating the 12 entrants and declare 3 winners. Then employees are offered the chance to buy samples or full bowls. The money collected goes to a select charity, which is often the family of a co-worker in need. This year, with so many people in need. the money raised went to the NWO Food Bank, and a can collection supplemented. I have known Tony Packo for several years, and last year I mentioned the chili shindig to him. As you may know, chili is one of the Packo specialities, so Tony volunteered to be a judge. He came back again this year. I also asked my favorite Blonde Highlight if she'd like to try it this year. She was game, but had a timing conflict, so she arranged for Christina Williams from 13ABC News to help out. I brought in a little help for after the tasting, shown in the basket.

So, it's goodbye to fall. On to the holidays and basketball. And on this Thanksgiving day, I am thankful for all that I have in terms of friends, families and overall blessings.

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