We Did It!

Halloween was amazing! I hauled all of the decorations outside, lit a trail of candles and jack-o-lanterns and got everything ready. Brad ran orange and purple across the house and brought out some black lights.

Apparently the twenty or so trick-or-treaters who were pampered last year told all of their friends. We got swamped with about 100 kids. I love watching the excitement when I tell little hands to take “as much as they can grab”. It’s a mutual high.

It also causes you to run out of candy in about thirty minutes.

Stressing that the night would be an epic fail, Brad took off for the store and I ran through every cupboard. I was NOT going to disappoint. Without missing a step I was quickly back outside with a huge bowl filled with stuff. Small bags of chips, powdered lemonade cups…

“Whoa, popcorn!”

“Kool-aid, awesome! Can I have some water?”

By the time Brad pulled back in I was down to my last three crackers and cheese, hoping that I wouldn’t have to resort to ramen. They ended up raving about the weird stuff more than the actual candy.

The cutest kid was being lead around in a wagon with crosses all around it and a sign that read: will bless for candy. The girl could only have been about three years old, dressed like mother Theresa. I also really liked a fat boy clown.

Everyone said that they dug our “pumpkins” like carving was a lost art. The way they burn into the night is really sharp. I love the flicker of a real flame way more than bulbs and illuminated inflatables.

Our last little bumblebee looked like she got off to a late start, after dark, running up our driveway while her dad stayed inside his car. Brad and I both dug into the bowl and filled up her empty pillowcase.

Duchess munched on some Dots. I gave her the green and yellow ones. She liked kissing the kids.

When you give your all and bring your light,
the devil has nothing to do with the night.


Road Trip

Brad has been leading me around when I become quiet and immobile. He took me out for sushi and even did some shopping for that artificial surge. We didn’t let the loss of income stop my weekend hopes of seeing The Rum Diary or getting the house ready for Halloween – we’re still living, as if trying to prove a greater point.

And yet, I slept late and found it hard to get out of bed, again this morning. It’s like starting over, over, and over.

He said, let’s grab the dogs and go up north. My heart started beating. One place I can still always go is Home. It was suddenly something to do.

While walking the grounds, I took photos. I purposely focused on the things that made sense. It felt really comforting.

The funniest thing, I thought, was when I looked into the backyard and saw this against the beautiful colors I sought after:

Christopher got the parts to a large tent and has been making a different, giant shape every so often. It’s just something he does, something Mom and Dad leave him alone about.

As quirky as it is, I found myself staring at it today, like there was something to gain from it. That eyesore of an obstacle, with its dimensions and hollow tubing in a place that is still beautiful even if it will never be the same.

Some of the greatest ‘Whys’ are the hardest ones to understand.

UPDATE: One of my friends commented, “Definitely a portal of some kind. Either that or your brother makes a truly awful tent.”


Fall photos of home part two: more from my afternoon visit to see the family.

I cut the lower branches from the pines so that I could ride the go-karts through them! That era was a blast. Now they’re convenient for walking through.

This stranger was a gift from my grandparents to my family. He has scared a visitor a time or two.

I love little gourds.

I Went Back Home

I woke up feeling sad, this morning. Brad is pretty good at picking up on that sort of thing as long as I'm lying around with a big frown, unwilling to respond to the world around me. He suggested we put the pups into the new car and head up to see my family. I smiled and grabbed my camera.

It's beautiful how the trees are, right now. A lot of them have shed completely, leaving the marks of dark brown branches against a sky getting colder. It's definitely the November look for Michigan. You can still see every color.

This is my road, a shot I've taken several times throughout the years and seasons.

This was a vine with blossoms winding through foilage on the ground.

A lot of our land is wooded.

This is the swing set my grandfather built. My dad put the swing up to make mowing easier. It hasn't been down in a while.

Our old burn barrel that used to smoulder every day with used paper goods.

The details of these photos at full size is incredible, to me. It's so comforting to look at these and see what I was feeling, reflected back in them.

Cheerful Holiday Tip

Free advice, everyone. Gather 'round.


When you're selecting candy to pass out to those determined, tired, cold children ringing the doorbell, don't be a downer. Don't be the guy who only had a bowl of smarties or generic jawbreakers. Offer a variety for fuck's sake. Get some actual goddamn chocolate in there and, if you must mix it up with filler, select a bag that has Milk Duds and Twizzlers – something that's still good. When you don't hand it all out and you just toss the shit because you wouldn't wanna eat it yourself, there's something wrong.

You can get a long-ass thing of Reeses, M&Ms, Kit Kat and everything else for a buck at Rite Aid right now; none of that bitching and moaning about the price of real candy.

Come on.

Shop smart and think of the kids.

Be awesome.

Autumn’s Time

Every leaf that you turn over
all the words you cannot keep
I promise I will take them with me
blown away and buried deep

just one show before declining
tumbling before I freeze
broken down but never rotting
fragments in the turning trees

blood of passion, golden sun
I will fall and come undone
I'll find all the hearts unwound
and guide them to the hardening ground…

so they may catch a second wind
and once again be homeward bound

A Feeling In the Atmosphere

In my dream, I saw the most exquisite place. An overgrown, wooded passage opened up to crystal blue paradise. Black, winding trees grew out from the water and they had a thin canopy of mossy green cotton that I could somehow see from above. An island with mountains in the distance, with whirling, foggy white clouds traveling around the outside…

I looked behind me and saw my actual neighbor. I was home in some way and it was perfection! Scenery, even the most breathtaking does not normally move me because it’s ‘just setting’ without other elements. This place: mesmerizing.

Then a giant ship appeared, straight out of a pirate movie. All brown and solid, like the sails themselves were made of wood. Nothing but wood and nails. It kept getting closer and my vibe began to go dark…I started to feel afraid and I thought,

“No. Not that. A ship is here, in my Paradise.”

It was gigantic. Titanic. Then it toppled over, crashing into the water, and that wasn’t good, either. Now I could hear voices in panic.

From on my side, looking at it, observing everything, I swung to my feet. It was falling in reverse – impossible to just rise up, sideways like that, without having fallen – but my hair, my clothes, everything – moved in the direction of standing up. Instantly, effortlessly, I was on my feet.

“It’s okay,” I said, directed to the startled cries, “I steer the ship.”