Reviews Are Coming Soon, For Now It’s About Pumpkins and Trees!


The Dude on the Right

It’s a weird thing to go through, the death of a parent, let alone two within a
year, but sometimes weird things lead to beautiful things, reflective things,
and things you might have never done before.  Beautiful were the trees and
stars (and my BFF – as always!), reflective were a batch of 6ish hour drives
between the old country of Lorain and the new country of Chicago, and something
I’ve never done before is carve a pumpkin.  I think.

So as I’m working my
way back to normalcy, being torn if I should really buy a new MacBook Pro and
contemplating getting back into reviewing mode this weekend with the release of
the movies "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" and/or "Changeling" or seeing "High
School Musical 3," these last few days I’m just working on getting back to
posting things, catching up on my TiVo, and hopefully getting a podcast done

But to keep this blog simple, let’s get to "Beautiful" and
"Reflective" first.

thought about trying to quantify how many times I’ve driven between Chicago and
Lorain (Lorain is in the state of Ohio for those of you who might not know) over
the years, but in simplest terms it has been at least five times a years for the
last 22 years, with that number increasing in the past few years.  I’d say
it’s a long drive, but really it’s only about five or six hours, depending on
potty breaks, and many a time I have used those hours as personal therapy for a
variety of reasons.  People ask why I don’t fly home, but in reality, how
much time am I really saving by flying?  You’re supposed to get to the
airport at least an hour and half before your flight, it’s about 45 minutes of
flying time, and if you factor in airport delays, sitting on the tarmac, having
to either get picked up at the airport or rent a car, and then the half hour
drive to the old homestead, in the end, I’ve always found driving to be the
prudent mode of travel, with the only wrinkle being when the Lake Michigan snow
machine rears its ugly head, dumping snow into the Indiana snowbelt.  The
odd things is that in all of those travels I never made that trip to Lorain
during the height of the change of seasons in the fall, when the trees were at
their brilliant colors and travel was a little lighter because the trip wasn’t
during a holiday season.  But as things worked out, as my mom’s health was
fading, I found myself, for a change, on the Indiana Toll Road and Ohio Turnpike
as the colors of the trees seemed to be peaking.  As stressful as the times
were, between the travel to Lorain knowing it would be for the passing of my
mom, to the quick trip back to Chicago after she died to button some things up
when the trees were brilliant (and I’m not advocating trying to take a picture
with your camera phone while you are driving, but hey, they were some colorful
trees), and then driving back to Ohio to bury my mom, during a cold Ohio night,
with the constellation Orion being utterly striking, rising over the eastern
horizon, so much so that I felt bad keeping it to myself and not waking my BFF
to see it, you know, sometimes beauty, wonder, and even pumping gas in the cold
air can ease a stressful mind, just when it needs it.

And then came pumpkins.

funeral had come and gone, but my nephew, niece, and family were still in town,
and everyone needed something to do.  I reverted back to normalcy for them
– seeing a movie, which sounds bizarre for some folks, but generally worked for
all of us at the various holiday times we would get together.  The crappy
part is that the movie choices during the weekend of my mom’s funeral were crap,
but thankfully my BFF was there to save the day.  Well, at first she laid
an egg, suggesting bowling, but who knew "bowlers" wouldn’t go bowling if they
didn’t have their own equipment, i.e. balls, bags, shoes, towels, etc., to bowl
with.  So when my BFF (and I) suggested going bowling instead of a movie,
that suggestions crashed quicker than the Hindenburg.  Then my BFF
suggested getting some pumpkins, carving them, and then maybe a dinner, and
wouldn’t you know it, as complicated as pumpkin picking can sometimes be
(especially when the original destination doesn’t have any more pumpkins in
their patch), somehow pumpkin carving is easier, thanks to those pumpkin carving
kits readily available at a Walgreens near you.

so, after a quick trip to a different, dying, pumpkin patch, various sizes of
pumpkins were secured, goop was scooped out of the innards, intricate carvings
were attempted as well as some not so intricate, and as my sister and I
reminisced about pumpkin carving, well, both of us realized that our family
never attempted it, and that there might have been a time, when we were maybe 8
to 12 years old, when we tried to carve pumpkins at our friend’s house down the
street, and if so, there is no way any of those carvings were as cool as those
done by our family, with stencils and appropriate cutting tools, done that
Saturday, the Saturday after my mom was buried, when our family didn’t go and
see a movie, but instead, carved pumpkins.

And it was cool.

Tomorrow should
be a podcast, this weekend should be a movie review or two, but for now it’s all
about getting back to some semblance of normalcy, even if normalcy is now
without being able to call your mom on a Saturday morning, at 9:15, when you
always do.  And then comes that day when you delete "Mom and Dad" from your
phone.  I guess that’s another story for another blog, but for now normalcy is the changing of the seasons and carving pumpkins, with family.


That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!!   L8R!!!