Let me begin this post with a very honest, humble and heart-filled thank you to all veterans and family members of veterans. THANK YOU for your unselfish service to our wonderful country. THANK YOU for your willingness to fight to defend our way of life; THANK YOU for your willingness to put the needs of all of us ahead of the personal needs of yourself and your loved ones; and THANK YOU for doing so with honor and dignity that is the envy of the entire world.
By now you should be well aware that I LOVE fall/autumn! Haime and I are eagerly awaiting another bout of much cooler, (actual fall-like), weather which has been forecast to blow in this evening. Our trees are starting to drop leaves and the autumn smells are becoming more evident. One of the things I do not like about this time of year is the time-change. Don't get me wrong, I am one of the "don't mess with mother-nature" types who believes that we should not "change" the time at all. However, if you are going to "change" it, revert back to the model that was in place a couple of years ago when the "fall back" change happened in early October rather than this one of early November. With the delay, we are not given the luxury of a gradual adjustment to our days getting "dark earlier." Whose bright idea was that anyway?
As Thanksgiving Day (one of our favorite holidays), gets closer, we are beginning to talk more frequently about our Blessings. Haime and I are well aware of how Blessed we are and are making a much more conscious effort to reflect on, and thank God for, all we have been given. Certainly our family tops that list. A couple of weeks ago a young cub scout came by selling "Trails End" popcorn for his pack's fundraiser. Haime and I were both reminded of our days supporting Chip and Reece in their cub/boy scout popcorn fundraising ventures. I know it sounds cliche' but, where the hell did the years go? The neighbor boy was in his uniform and we immediately noticed that he is representing the newest generation of scouts from the same pack that both Chip and Reece were in. It was such a bitter sweet memory. When our boys were that age, I was so caught up in trying to juggle family, work, various activities and commitments, that I now realize I probably missed a lot. I wish I had taken more time to just enjoy being with them rather than involving them in as many activities as I did. However, as we spend time with them now, we are both so proud of the wonderful men they have become, maybe we didn't do too bad as parents.
Wurstfest, (a salute to sausage), is winding down in New Braunfels. This year, I attended with a college friend, mom and my sister Karen. We had a great time listening to the German music, eating potato pancakes and applesauce, schnitzel, sausage, strudel, sour kraut, turkey legs and drinking a beer (or two). One thing we did not do was participate in the "Chicken Dance." Maybe we are just "too cool" (OK, clearly that's not it), to "flap" our bent arm wings and "peck" our beak fingers, but the appeal of joining in on the "Chicken Dance" has long gone.
Our weekend also included a new spectator sport: Pumpkin Chunkin. It was held at a favorite winery and it was certainly a hoot. I think it would have been more entertaining however, if we had consumed a great deal more wine first. Following the Pumpkin Chunkin, we ventured over to a beer garden to watch A&M Beat the Hell Outta Alabama! WHOOP!!! It was so much fun watching the game with dozens of Aggies from all over the state who all found their way to the same place just to watch the game. We enjoyed great company, an awesome game (when it wasn't a nail-biter); some good food and beer (and aspirin and antacids) and ultimately cheered (after lots of praying and breath holding), our Aggies victory.
Yep, the "Fall Love Fest" definitely continues.