I am participating in Gratitude Week 2017 which is hosted by the very lovely Michelle at Michellegd.com. It is for one week and open to anyone.
One of the things in my life I am so consistently grateful for is bearing witness to the change in seasons. I have been graced to live in Haddonfield for 39 years and there has been no finer place on the planet to watch this beauty unfold.
I took this picture last week. I was struck by the contrast of the unseasonal warm weather and the stark November landscape. If the weatherman is right about this week, you better go looking for that sweater.
And I stumbled upon this poem awhile ago and I think it is perfect for this month.
BY LINDA PASTAN
are heading south, pulled
by a compass in the genes.
They are not fooled
by this odd November summer,
though we stand in our doorways
wearing cotton dresses.
We are watching them
as they swoop and gather—
the shadow of wings
falls over the heart.
When they rustle among
the empty branches, the trees
must think their lost leaves
have come back.
The birds are heading south,
instinct is the oldest story.
They fly over their doubles,
the mute weathervanes,
teaching all of us
with their tailfeathers
the true north.
I was all prepared to write a light hearted post on Halloween in Haddonfield. Such a fun time in our area. Children so excited to choose just the right costume and to be given permission to walk down Kings Highway after dark in that special costume.
I spent time this week on line reading about the spooky haunted houses in Haddonfield and the horror movies depicting Halloween in Haddonfield. I thought about Stephen Spielberg, as a child, living in the Haddons and listening to the eerie sound of the train passing in the middle of the night in Haddon Heights and writing Ghost Train.
I was going to start this post with the old Rocky and Bullwinkle…”Eenie, meeney, chilly beanie , the spirits are about to speak”. I was hoping to share my frustration that no one ever trick or treats at my house even though I have stooped to bribery and bought the full size candy bars
Then I received the post about the dead body found yesterday in Haddonfield. All day long my Email kept pinging with further developments about the cause of death and the identity of the person found dead. A young man; just 26 years old. His cause of death at this writing still unknown.
This news made me reflect on the deeper meaning of this holiday. In many countries October 31 and November 1 are set aside to honor the dead. Life is short and we all have lost people we love. A day set aside to honor our deceased loved ones is, I think, an excellent idea. Halloween is loads of fun but maybe we should put the heart back into the celebration and teach our children the value of remembering and honoring our deceased loved ones. What do you think? Do you have any ideas how we can do this?
“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.” George Eliot
Wishing you a weekend full of fond remembrances.
This week always causes me to suffer from a devastating feeling of melancholia. My son, Andrew, left our home for a holiday in New York on October 11, 2002. He was a vibrant, handsome young man. The next time I saw him, he was a shell of a person.
After eleven years, I have been able to smile again. But…
I hear the football games announced and the marching band play and I see Andrew waving from Haddonfield High’s football field on an autumn Friday night.
I hear Bruce Springsteen play and I see Andrew’s grin as he leaves for his last concert.
I walk in Crows Woods and remember walking our dog together. I see a Black Lab and my heart leaps.
The little midget Bull Dogs under the lights brings me to tears.
“Time it was and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences.
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph.
Preserve you memories they’re all that’s left to you.” Paul Simon
Go make some memorable moments this weekend,
Dom and I have lived in Haddonfield for 35 years, and we have had the very good fortune of meeting a large variety of people and becoming friends with many of them.
Unfortunately it seems that all good fortune comes with a price to pay. For us lately that price has become saying goodbye.
Tuesday we said goodbye to Pete Lundgren.
We first met Pete and Pauline at Elizabeth Haddon Elementary School, Since our children are very similar ages, we attended the elementary school fairs, Little League games, graduation and proms at the same time.
Pete and Pauline always gave us a big smile and a warm welcome. We were always happy to see them and catch up on each other’s lives.
Dom and Pete played tennis with a group of friends once a week for a couple of years. Dom always looked forward to Pete’s humor and camaraderie. I think the wings and the beer and the friendship, more than the tennis, were the real attraction on those Thursday nights.
Our children grew up and we would only occasionally run into Pete and Pauline. But some things never change. The big smile and warm welcome were the same. We were so happy to see each other and would promise to get together. But life gets busy and complicated and we never could get it together.
On Tuesday, we were welcomed by Pauline with the usual warmth and we felt sadness that Pete wasn’t there by her side.
Goodbye Pete – it was our very great pleasure to have known you and called you our friend.
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” Unknown
Last Saturday was crisp and clear. A perfect day for a walk to the Haddonfield Farmers Market with my friend, Nancy. This time of the year the produce is vibrant and abundant. Unfortunately, this always causes us to have a buying crises. How to choose just what we can carry – a lovely problem.
While at the market we ran into Maureen Eyles. Maureen is spearheading a picture book project. The book is to celebrate Elizabeth Haddon’s life. It is a collaboration between Haddonfield students and children’s book author DyAnne Di Salvo. You won’t want to miss buying a copy of this book to read and as a keepsake of Haddonfield’s 300th birthday. Maureen can be reached at MAUREEN@HADDONEVENTS.COM.
On the way out of the market we had the pleasure of speaking to Stuart Harting. Stu was explaining to us his vision to make Haddonfield the sculpture capital of South Jersey. His vision for our town was really inspiring. You should go to his web page, Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust, http://www.haddonfieldsculpture.org. for more information on how this organization is working to make our town even more uniquely beautiful.
Living in Haddonfield has given me many gifts. One of the very finest of these gifts is the pleasure of meeting people like Maureen and Stuart. People who are filled with inspiration and creativity and generously share their abilities with our community.
Take good care and enjoy the fall weather.