Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The late American author and journalist Hal Borland was quoted in the October 2012 edition of tasteforlife magazine, a quote that I thought was well suited to the last day of this month: "October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen." As we say goodbye to another October today, I look at the fallen leaves, the few that still cling to the trees (such as those stubborn oaks) and the wider horizon now made visible. The landscape is changing once again, this time to its quieter palette, one that is readying itself for the winter. There was a time when I looked at the end of October with sadness, for I knew that the silent season to come was going to be too cold, too snowy, too long for my tastes. But, this year, I'm looking at it with a new view, perhaps seeing that wider horizon to which Mr. Borland referred. After a busy summer and an oddly even busier autumn, like the landscape, I'm readying myself for a quieter time. In the winter, I can steal a guiltless nap, read good books and stoke my fire with new energy for the more hectic springtime. Farewell, October. Thank you for the blaze of color you provided and for the gift of the wider horizon I see today.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Larry and I attended a costume party last weekend. It'd been ages since we'd last attended a party where the expectation was to come in costume. And what fun it was! When we arrived, we were greeted by a fairy godmother with hair that sparkled with little lights. We encountered Count Dracula, a sorceress, a graduate, a leopard, a clown and a baker. As we moved throughout the house, we met Elvis, Batman, a witch, an old woman, a pirate, a nun and even the Pope! We knew that Larry was going to be making a mad dash home from Madison just in time to arrive at the party a few minutes late, so our costumes had to be as simple as possible. We arrived dressed in black sweaters and black pants. On each of our sweaters was clipped a large button. Larry's button said, "Me" and mine said "My Shadow." Those were our "creative" costumes! But, it didn't matter, for the party was fun no matter how one was dressed or who you decided to be that evening. Everything was decorated to perfection for the season and the holiday, and the food was beyond description for its taste and variety. Our host was gracious and welcoming, and everyone in attendance offered pleasant conversation. What a fun way to put the "boo" in Baraboo, just in time for Halloween!
Monday, October 29, 2012
When Larry and I were out walking in our neighborhood one recent evening, we both turned into kids for just a bit. As we approached block after block of crisp, fallen leaves on the sidewalks, we just had to walk through them, our feet making a swish-swish sound as we did so. Hearing that familiar fall sound took me back to when I was five years old. I would walk from my elementary school to my grandparents' house where Mom and I were staying for the fall until we could join my dad whose work caused him to have to travel nine months of the year. I loved the sound of fall leaves back then and I love it to this day. Ah, the sights -- and the sounds -- of autumn!
Sunday, October 28, 2012
A recent walk at Devil's Lake State Park revealed breathtaking autumn color in the early evening sun. Shining against the east bluff, the sun lit up the pinkish rocks and the vegetation in all its brightness. The scene reminded me of old 35mm color slides that turn color so that everything looks red and pink. That day at Devil's Lake, the rocks were pinker than normal and the reds and russets stood out over all other colors. Others out taking a walk had brought their cameras and, one by one, they asked Larry and me to take pictures of them with beautiful fall color in the background. Digital cameras fortunately prevented me from taking a sour picture. Larry, the better photographer between the two of us, took the camera when a foursome requested a shot of them underneath a brilliantly red maple. I tended to only catch a portion of the tree, while Larry, with his artistic eye and still hand, captured the foursome and the entire beautiful tree. It was an evening cast in a rosy shade for everyone who had the good fortune of being there.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
As I returned to the office after lunch on one of our recent balmy afternoons, I lingered outside a moment, strolling through the garden outside of our hospital. As I looked up, admiring the vivid, sun-soaked colors of the surrounding trees, I saw something I hadn't seen before -- a dirigible floating by. I had to strain as I looked into the sun, shading my eyes with my hand, but I eventually was able to read the name of the national insurance company emblazoned on the side of it, a company often advertised on television. I stood still for a moment, On one of our recent balmy afternoons watching the dirigible float across the sky, wondering what it would be like to be up there, taking in the spectacular countryside all decked out in its autumn best. Despite my busyness, for the remainder of the afternoon, my thoughts periodically floated along, just like the dirigible, celebrating the lovely fall day.
Friday, October 26, 2012
I love living in a clean house, but I'm not real crazy about housecleaning. Larry and I share the duties faithfully every week, but there's one task that doesn't quite make the weekly cut: dusting. Fortunately, we live with a pared-down decor -- albeit minimalist, but comfortable for us. Dusting should only take minutes in our home, not hours, because we don't have many things -- by design -- to collect dust. When I finally took it upon myself to deep-clean one recent Saturday, I was shocked to see just how much dust there was lurking in places I hadn't previously noticed. Thankfully, no one had visited us with the urge to conduct a white-glove test. Now, all's clean, tidy, sparse and dust-free (for now).
Thursday, October 25, 2012
I was busy in my office at work one recent afternoon when I heard a tiny girl approaching my doorway singing a song. She walked by, singing all the way, not knowing that I was listening intently and chuckling. We all know children ask "Why?" a lot and even respond to our answers with another round of "Why?", but this little girl had turned that eternal question of children into a song, her very own composition -- with only one note and only one word in the lyrics -- "Why?". She merrily walked down the hallway, singing her one-note song in her high, little voice, "Why? Why? Why? Why?" and didn't even seem to expect an answer. For her, there appeared to simply be joy in singing her song. So, when I get caught up in the "whys" of my life, I just might have to take a cue from that little girl and turn it into my very own song. One note will do.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I can tell it's fall, simply by the song. The birds are back serenading in the arbor vitae in the garden leading to the door I use for entering and exiting the hospital where I work. Last year, I noticed the birds (perhaps sparrows) chirping like crazy from the secluded safety of the arbor vitae. First, I'd hear them in the evening as I left work, but one recent morning, I arrived extra-early at the office and was welcomed by chirp-chirping from the evergreens as I walked by. No matter how stressed I might think I am or how difficult I might perceive the day to have gone, there is nothing like the serenading of the birds as I walk by to alter my mood. What a great way to bookend my workday than to be sung to by an absolutely delightful chorus!
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
In Wisconsin, it's tradition to go "out for fish" on Friday nights. Larry and I witnessed some avian diners at Devil's Lake recently who had gone "out for fish," as well. Our first encounter was with a Great Blue Heron. Normally, herons look tall with their long, skinny legs and almost as skinny necks. We stood silent and still, watching the heron fold into itself like an accordion, first its neck curling like a hose, its head ultimately tucked into its body. Then, its legs would fold until it was crouched against the water's edge. All of a sudden, at lightning speed, all of the folded sections of the heron would rapidly unfold and its head would plunge into the water, coming back out with a fish in its mouth. The process was repeated over and over until Larry and I decided it was time to let the heron eat without our watchful eyes. As we ventured back along the south shore path, we encountered a bald eagle flying away from the lake with a fish in its mouth. We were blessed to witness such amazing and majestic sights of beautiful birds going "out for fish."
Monday, October 22, 2012
I tend to be an impatient sort who focuses on waiting for something to happen, rather than living for right now. I should imagine that most of us fall prey to the same thing. But, a recent tweet from someone yanked my thoughts into another perspective. Quoting Eckhardt Tolle from Practicing The Power of Now, the tweet stated, "Give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting...snap out of it. Come into the present moment. Just be and enjoy being." I had been waiting for something recently and dedicating a lot of my thoughts to it. Reading that tweet from the wise Eckhardt Tolle was such a gift. It reminded me that the present moment is what I have and that if I gave up my waiting (and ruminating), I could spend that precious time just being and enjoying it. So ever since that tweet, whenever my mind turns into a waiting room, I simply -- intentionally, though not always so easily -- close the door to it and turn my thoughts to the present.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Larry and I were taking one of our many walks at Devil's Lake State Park one recent Saturday when we came upon a like-new woman's glove that had fallen to the sidewalk. Being the Sherlock Holmes that I am (ha), I deduced that the glove had been dropped by one of the two women walking several paces ahead of us. They were at such a distance that I couldn't very well yell to them, so I started to walk faster. Larry urged me to go ahead and catch up with them and he'd eventually catch up to me. So I ran after the two women. I hadn't run like that in a long time, but I caught up with them and, indeed my dear Watson, the glove did belong to one of them. I then retraced my steps back to Larry and we finished our walk together in happy silence. I couldn't help but be grateful -- really, really grateful -- for that experience of running after those two women, for two years ago, I had an extensive neurosurgery to remove a large benign tumor that had blocked off 95% of a portion of my thoracic spine, smashing my spinal cord into the shape of a smile and rendering me spontaneously paralyzed from about the chest down. With the help of a great medical team, I was healed and I learned how to walk again (it's funny how one can forget how to do something you've done for so long). Two years ago, I was still working at putting one foot in front of the other, mastering the heel-to-toe maneuver of walking. I couldn't even fathom being able to run again, but run I did recently, with a glove in my hand after two strangers, all the while with an incredibly grateful heart. As I say, I take daily walks -- because I can.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
My friend John is a laugher, a hugger, a joyful being who is fully engaged in life and always up to new opportunity. I've learned that he's also a great planner and organizer. When John retired, he decided to create his own retirement plan. No, not the financial kind, although I'm sure John had already addressed that issue. This retirement plan was a plan as to how he would fill the 40 hours per week that had been devoted to his work. His plan was quite meticulous, focusing on all of his desires (what we'd likely call a bucket list today). He wanted to learn basic Spanish, exercise every day, spend more time with family and friends, increase his volunteer hours, among other things. John has been retired for several years. Recently, he reviewed his retirement plan with me and all of the things he had hoped to accomplish during that time. It certainly looks to me as if he is fulfilling his retirement dream, perhaps in large part because he had given attention to planning for it and had committed it to paper. For those of us thinking about what retirement may mean to us someday, developing such a plan would seem to be part of the preparation for a fulfilling next chapter in life.
Friday, October 19, 2012
My late mom's favorite author, Gladys Taber, wrote so eloquently. Reading the "Fall" chapter from Stillmeadow Sampler made me think of something I heard our health system CEO say in remarks to our hospital staff recently. He talked with us about the four traits of good leaders: They have integrity, they work well with others, they hold themselves accountable, and they are lifelong learners. In Stillmeadow Sampler, published in 1959, Gladys Taber commented on the education of our children, hoping that "today's children may benefit as much as possible from the shining glory of acquired knowledge." Fast forward 53 years: Our two-year campus affiliated with the University of Wisconsin is developing a four-year liberal arts bachelor degree that will indeed bring a new era of shining glory of acquired knowledge to the residents of our community and region. Whether it is through formal education, such as what will be offered at our campus, or through other, more independent educational pursuits, there is something exhilarating about learning something new, acquiring that new knowledge that will shape our perspectives and ways of thinking, expose us to new ideas and broaden our horizons of understanding. I'm a firm believer in lifelong learning.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Due to my work, I have many opportunities to hear people's stories. They generously share them, sometimes when they are the most vulnerable and at other times in what feel like ordinary moments. Although the stories may take place in ordinary moments, the stories themselves are far from it. They are powerful, insightful and brimming with the highs and lows of life itself. I have come to realize that each person with whom I interact has the profound ability to teach me something that will positively affect my life going forward. I truly believe in the power of story, for in sharing with others the tales of our lives, we sort out the details in our own minds and, at the same time, we impart wisdom (usually inadvertently) to others. Sharing our stories takes an element of courage and a certain level of trust of the listener. I am grateful to those who share their stories with me, for I am the one who is blessed.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
I had the pleasure of hearing a speaker recently who not only motivated his audience, he inspired them to think about their lives and to do something tangible that will make a difference. John O'Leary suffered burns over his entire body as a child, was not expected to live, yet not only lives, he thrives. Today, the happily married father of four from St. Louis shares his message of courage, patience and joy with audiences who walk away completely awestruck and ready to take on the world with gusto and gratitude. One of John's questions of the audience was "What more can I do?" The question was not asked out of hopelessness or exhaustion, but of hope and creativity. I would add, "If not now, when?" How am I being called to serve, to use my passions and talents in service to others? And when I hear the call, will I respond right now? For if not now, when?
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
My good friend Betty is just a couple months short of turning 90. She lives a quiet life these days with her two feline ladies, Kitsy and Claire. I had the pleasure of visiting Betty, Kitsy and Claire one recent afternoon as the late-day sun cascaded into the living room window. Kitsy, an elderly 18 years of age, slept during our entire visit. The more youthful, Claire, however, is always inquisitive of a guest and spent considerable time welcoming me. She has a lovely way of giving you little kitty kisses -- ever so lightly licking your fingertips, rubbing her head against your hand, and gently reaching out with a delicate front paw to touch your lap to see if it's worthy of sitting on. Kitsy came into Betty's life as a stray many years ago. Claire was adopted from the shelter, but needed immediate attention to remove one of her eyes. They are both gray, sleek and quiet ladies and they are wonderful, beloved companions and family for Betty. It was a joy to visit these three special ladies on a lovely autumn afternoon.
Monday, October 15, 2012
It was a blue sort of day recently. I ate blueberries for breakfast, wore blue to work, admired the return of the blue sky after the previous evening's storms, and was drawn to the blue lake at Devil's Lake State Park. While Larry and I enjoyed our evening walk, we saw our familiar friend, the lone Great Blue Heron, standing erect and watchful in the inlet. It was the closest we had ever been to it and its blueness was magnificent. As we walked the final stretch, I looked to the south and saw a tree filled with bluebirds -- darting blue streaks in and out of the tree! A few years ago, we had a large number of bluebirds find their way to the St. Clare Healing Garden. They stayed over for a few days, eating berries in the ornamental trees, before they moved on for the winter. It's no wonder that we refer to the "bluebird of happiness," for what I saw at Devil's Lake that evening made me very, very happy indeed.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
It's as if the St. Clare Healing Garden has been ablaze with zinnias this growing season. Huge swaths of these cheery flowers were planted at the garden's entrances in hot pink, rosy red, brilliant orange, a hint of sunshiny yellow and a random, stray white one tossed into the mix. Early one recent morning, I was reading from Stillmeadow Sampler by Gladys Taber when I came upon a page where the author commented on zinnias: "And now zinnias are in their dazzling colors. They seem to be afire." It was with great relief to have had such a riot of color from our bold and beautiful zinnias for months and months, especially given the desolate, drought-stressed summer. The zinnias will soon fade, replaced by the brilliant colors of fall mums and the more subtle, though equally magnificent, ornamental kale. But, for a summer that was more brown than green, I thank our zinnias for giving us much-appreciated color.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
I don't see a lot of television, but I happened to catch a commercial recently that drew my full attention. The camera panned down a burly, tattooed hand to fingernails being painted with bright polish. As the camera pulled away, a little girl dressed in a fairy princess costume was painting her dad's fingernails in her very feminine, little-girl bedroom. Dad and daughter admired her work, both blowing on the polish to dry. The commercial was an appeal to fathers to be fully present to their children. I loved that commercial. Something so sweet particularly stood out in this season of not-very-sweet political commercials. It was all about what's truly important -- being with the people we love, creating memories in the simplest and perhaps silliest of activities, finding joy just by being together.
Friday, October 12, 2012
It had sprinkled on and off all day long. Yet, at the end of that workday, the raindrops were so sporadic that Larry and I decided to take a walk at Devil's Lake. It was a quiet, gentle evening with few people around, and those who were there were pretty much people we knew from our community. The sky was quiet, too. Gray clouds folded over each other, moving across the sky. The sun managed to peek out now and again, but pretty much failed at its attempts. The wind that had been so brisk throughout the day had died down and it was nearly balmy on our walk. But, then, the sky started to darken. We arrived back at our car just in time for big raindrops to splat on the windshield. Soon, jagged streaks of lightning flashed from left to right across the cadet blue sky, one flash after another after another. We drove into the lightning on our way home, each streak getting more and more dramatic. One flew by with such intensity that it made Larry flinch behind the steering wheel. These were indeed amazing sky lights.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
I love beautiful writing. Sometimes, I encounter it in unexpected places and about unexpected subjects. Such was the case when I sat down with the October 2012 edition of Whole Living Magazine. I always enjoy reading that magazine. When it arrives in the mailbox, my heart beats a little faster with anticipation because Whole Living is always chocked with useful, practical information about living well. In the latest edition, as I was taking in all that the magazine had to offer, I encountered an article about onions by Marisa Robertson-Textor that was so beautifully written that I had to re-read several times. I even read it aloud to myself. Just as onions add wonderful flavor to any dish, so was this article written with flavor. The writer noted the graceful beauty of onions and she did it with grace and beauty through the selection and weaving of her words. How often when I'm drying tears with the back of my sleeve as I slice onions do I think of them as "an inevitable heap of rounded, translucent sweetness"? Ms. Robertson-Textor has mastered the ability to tell a story, a real story that pulls you in about, of all things, onions. Thanks to her, I now know that they're part of the lily family. Thanks to her, I now see onions' concentrically circular design as amazing and beautiful and worth some additional attention when I slice into them. Thanks to her, I'll never look at an onion the same again.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Tomorrow will make one year since I started this "Time to Be" blog. On October 11, 2011, I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into, but I quickly learned by the end of that month that I wanted to write daily entries. What I've realized during this first-year journey is that everyone has a story to tell -- and they're truly fascinating and enlightening. We all live lives made up of millions of stories. I thank so many people for sharing theirs with me. I've also realized that life is made up of many details and when I write, I pay much keener attention to the details around me. I hear the birds that I might not have heard before. I see the chipmunk scamper, the tree bending in the wind, the sunset that can only be described as breathtaking. I smell the faint scent of flowering trees. In addition to heightening my senses and my observations, writing daily clarifies my thoughts, beliefs and values. I thank everyone who has been following this journey with me. Year #2 of blogging begins tomorrow!
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
I had a delightful conversation with a gentleman recently who is redefining his life after having lost a beloved spouse. He has changed his own life, losing weight, exercising regularly and embracing all that life gives him, despite the sadness he carries not being able to share it all with his life-mate. His is a sunny disposition. Our conversation got me to thinking about the sunny people in my life and how much they contribute to my everyday joy. They're the ones who smile, even when they don't feel like smiling. They're the ones who take a moment to share a pleasantry or happy story. They're the ones who go out of their way to ask about what's new in my life and actually listen to my reply. They're the ones who, even when life gives them lemons, truly make some sunny lemonade. I thank all of those caring and happy people who make even the rainiest day a sunny one for me.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Farm stands brimming with sun-ripened produce. Summer squash giving way to winter varieties. Despite difficulties caused by extreme weather, this year's harvest has been very satisfying. A slow start eventually yielded an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, beans and potatoes. Farmer's market vendors talk about this having been a big year for cabbage and broccoli. And the peppers have been as big as a large man's fist. One friend who is an avid gardener has had an extraordinary supply of eggplant. Larry and I have enjoyed every bite of our locally grown produce. Many thanks to all who have done the pickin', for these grateful veggie eaters are grinnin'.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
One of my favorite singers, Andy Williams, passed away recently. Oh, how I loved to hear him sing! From "Can't Get Used to Losing You" to "Music to Watch Girls Go By," I was a faithful fan of that silky-sounding crooner. His Christmas songs, from "Ave Maria" to "Let It Snow," were always impeccably done, his voice never wavering or cracking or hitting a sour note. His was truly a smooth voice out of what appeared to be a casual disposition. The PBS show that has run in recent years, featuring highlights of the Christmas episodes of his popular 1960s TV show, is still one of my all-time favorites. Hearing Andy sing with his equally smooth-sounding brothers was a highlight of those programs. Larry and I were dining at a local supper club on the Friday after Andy Williams' death when the pianist played "Moon River," Andy's signature song. It made me sigh that I never got my chance: Although he was old enough to be my dad, I have fantasized most of my life that I'd get an opportunity to sing on stage with Andy Williams. How I was going to do that, I have no clue, but if I'd ever been given the opportunity, I would have gladly harmonized with him and I think we would have made a grand duo (although Andy may not have thought so!). Now, I'll have to just resort to harmonizing with Andy Williams while watching him on You Tube. Farewell, Andy. I can't get used to losing you.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
My head has a way of cawing at me, just as crows cut through the peace and quiet at Devil's Lake State Park one recent evening. Their cries were jagged and piercing, similar to how I visualize my thoughts and head-chattering slicing jagged streaks through my still center. I will routinely begin my evening walks with my loud head-chatter cutting through the moments. Then, almost miraculously with each step, my mind starts to quiet down and it clears. Soon, I'm settled into my walk, turning it into a moving meditation, keenly aware of my surroundings and at peace with all that is. It's almost as if I need to clear the crows from my head in order to hear that bigger voice that admonishes me to slow my over-busy thoughts, replenish my spirit and renew my energy. The crows and their cawing may try to flood my head, but truly being in the moment -- quietly and intentionally -- gives me back my still center.
Friday, October 5, 2012
One weekend last month, I had a lot on the calendar, so I took my daily walks in the early morning hours instead of early evening. In so doing, I was exposed to the sound of early-morning bird music and the sight of the sky just waking up to a new day. There's something soothing about an evening walk after the day's labors are over, but a morning walk is like a trumpet heralding the start of new opportunities. I realized that if my schedule permitted, I might favor the morning walk over the evening. Yet, both bring satisfaction, especially at this time of year when crisp, sunny mornings give way to warmer mid-day temperatures and then cool evenings. We're not quite into the throes of fall yet and we can likely expect a few more warm days, but with each cool evening and cooler early morning, I realize that we're quickly departing that sliver of days during the year that Gladys Taber and Edwin Way Teale called "farewell summer."
Thursday, October 4, 2012
There have been several times on my evening walks lately when I've heard Canada Geese in the distance and then soon saw them flying overhead in their characteristic V. One recent Sunday evening, they flew over me, heading east. I was heading east, too. I felt as if I was on the move with them. Just as I lowered my eyes from the eastern sky, I nearly came face to face with three other beings on the move -- three white-tailed deer crossing my path. We all stopped and looked rather startled at each other. Then, the other three swiftly moved northward, their white tails bobbing as they romped away. I kept traveling east toward home. We are all really travelers in this life, aren't we?
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
My good friend Kitty and I ventured to Ski Hi Fruit Farm one recent Saturday to take in the joys of our favorite apple orchard. We were not alone. Patrons of all ages were inside the orchard's main building. Kitty and I joined others who were enjoying all things apple outside -- drinking cider, eating apples and munching on a cider donut or two. We selected a prime seat at one of the picnic tables in the bright Saturday sunshine, positioned so you could easily gaze at the spectacular Baraboo Bluffs, which were getting ready to turn fall colors. With the prevalence of phones with cameras, parents were taking photographs of their children all around us. Each was a picture perfect: Kids climbing on boulders, kids eating caramel apples, kids hugging other kids. It was carefree and fun -- just what you'd like a Saturday morning in autumn to be all about.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Move over, June. You may be a popular month for weddings, but I can see why my parents chose to get married in October, for it is truly a beautiful month. Today would have been their 64th wedding anniversary. My good friend Charlene told me that there are several October wedding anniversaries in her family, likely because it was a good time of year for the farming community. I hadn't thought about it in that way before, but I can see that it makes sense. When you work the land, you have to sort of wait for it to give you permission to do something other than work the land, if just for a day. Another friend and her husband came from families that farmed. She told me that they got married one morning long ago and then went back to work on the farm later that day. It was just the way things were done. My parents didn't farm, but they did love autumn. As I look at their wedding picture, the day must've been mild, for neither one of them nor their best man and matron of honor were wearing coats. October can be a bit of a fooler. When it's sunny and mild, you almost forget that winter's on its way. And then a hard frost comes, the vegetation looks darkened and limp. The produce had better have been picked because the wind kicks up cold and you know that Mother Nature has the upper hand. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.
Monday, October 1, 2012
One of my favorite things about this time of year is the heavenly sleeping that comes from bedroom windows open to let in the cool night air. After weeks and weeks of oppressive heat and being stuck in air conditioning in order to sleep at all, it's been refreshing to have the windows open again at night. I've found, however, that it gets a bit nippy when the temperatures plummet into the 40s and 50s, so Larry and I have been forced to start piling on the blankets. While Larry was away at a conference for a few nights, I found myself piling on even more blankets to the point where the covers were so heavy I could barely move. It made me recall three-dog nights, when it's so cold that you need three dogs around you in order to keep warm. Lately, mine have been three-blanket nights. I'm not complaining, though. The cold night air is the most effective remedy for any difficulties I might have sleeping. Hurray for October and three-blanket nights!