The October List – 2020

1) Fall is a welcome change of scenery, yet I have never been a fan of the cold weather that accompanies this new season. I’ve taken less walks, due to time issues and also weather, but when I do go out, I’m rewarded with rusty colors and fewer landscaping sounds (lawnmowers, etc), which flooded my walks over the summer.

2) I don’t love Halloween – mostly because I don’t like scary things or strangers and I especially don’t like strangers dressed up as scary things. I’m no-so-secretly happy that the holiday was toned down this year and that the kids celebrated with intimate friend gatherings vs. trick-or-treating. I do enjoy seeing the Halloween decorations around the neighborhood, though.

3) I turned 48 this month. Which….yes, is still relatively young, especially if one is older looking back on 48, but I’ve never been 48 and I’m not loving it, to be honest. I’ve always looked and felt significantly younger than my peers, I think, and now all of a sudden I don’t and it feels unfair (I’m sure this is very eye-rolling to many readers, but this is my blog so I’m writing about me and speaking my truth).

I still, however, look forward to my birthday every year. It means I get some alone time and respite from day-to-day kid responsibilities, and a date night with my husband, which has only happened a handful of times since Covid.

4) I was gifted AirPods for my birthday – yipee! Life changing for gardening (how many times have I ripped headphones out of my ears while gardening!?), walks and on weekly 7:15am Zoom meetings (camera off) while I’m waking up kids and getting ready for work.

5) In the spirit of making more time to do necessary things, I scheduled a visit to Detroit Abloom to spend time with Tom and Nancy and the flowers. Dahlias were still crazy blooming, even this late in the season, and the backdrop of fall colors on the trees was stunning. Make time for beautiful people and beautiful things. Just do.

6) My own dahlias are hanging on as well. These are called Purple Rain, which I believe is Nancy’s own name for the flower, as it is perhaps a mutation of some sort. Anyway, the bulb that I have gives me pure white centers and purple tips on the back petals. The more common versions that I’ve seen at Detroit Abloom feature purple tips on each petal. I’m a bit partial to mine.

7) I always make soup in the fall, and butternut squash is one of my favorites. The girls will eat the caramelized squash cubes, so I set aside a bunch of those and also throw them in the soup as a topping. The last time I made it, I didn’t have celery and it actually tasted better, so I might omit that step next time.

8) The podcast I’m listening to now is Accused, which has up to seven seasons, I think. It’s true crime and done in true investigative journalism style, meaning storytelling isn’t salacious or gratuitous on details.

I have a love-hate relationship with unsolved crime and I was really hoping Season One (which I just finished) would have a more definite ending, but it was a great listen. The only thing that made me almost stop listening is the narrator’s pronunciation of “because” as “BUHcuz” and she says it a LOT.

9) Speaking of true crime, there has been a resurfaced buzz in Grosse Pointe of an unsolved crime from 2010 of the mysterious death of a woman who vanished after a church service (her body was found days later – was it accidental drowning, a suicide or murder?). The case is featured on Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries and a detailed re-investigation has also been featured in several editions of this month’s local paper, Grosse Pointe News.

10) I can’t say enough good things about “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. It has been a hot book since it came out in 2018 and I finally got my hands on a library copy. I was skeptical, as sometimes the popular books don’t live up to the hype, but this one was everything I love. Quirky and flawed characters, an outcast, a beautiful setting, a mystery and a satisfying ending.

I looked up the author and of course she is older, not that a young author could have written this, but…I don’t think it would have felt as deep. And she’s also a wildlife scientist, which one says “of course she is” after learning that fact.

11) This was a roller coaster month for my family, as my Auntie Melinda (on the right) discovered she had a large brain tumor after a fall and concussion from a blackout. Things escalated quickly – she had surgery about a week later – and now she is back home, but in a somewhat altered state. We are hoping that her memory comes back and her confusion goes away, but at the very least, she is alive and functioning. So much work ahead.

12) That said, I haven’t been sleeping well. Actually, I HAVE been sleeping well, I’ve just been waking up super early, not being able to get back to sleep, which from experience means that my mind and being are unsettled. I’ve also found that the best remedy for this is to just get up and start my day. Which is what I did this morning at 4:45 am, which enabled me to write (and hopefully finish) this blog entry before waking up the girls for school.

There’s a lot to be unsettled about right now. Auntie, of course. And the rise in Covid again, like a bad recurring dream. The ongoing balance between work and parenting and everything else. The election, which is giving me such anxiety for so many reasons.

I’m hoping November smooths things out and slows things down and I think it will. I hope that if you’ve been feeling a sense of unease that the end of 2020 brings peace and calm to you, too! Be well, friends.

2 thoughts on “The October List – 2020

  1. Great as usual. One correction. JoAnn Matouk disappeared on January 12, 2010, not 1994. 🥰 I also loved Where the Crawdads Sing!

    Sent from LAM’s iPad



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