October 7 — The nights are chilly, really chilly, and each day on our way to wherever we are going we glance at the trees edging Rt 17 or Pucky Huddle and see that what was just yesterday …
October 7 — The nights are chilly, really chilly, and each day on our way to wherever we are going we glance at the trees edging Rt 17 or Pucky Huddle and see that what was just yesterday yellow-green now riots in orange-scarlets. Our byways are empty, the lines at ShopRite and DG are gone, and everything, every bit of Sullivan life now seems to move in its wonted off-season undulation, without stress or panic. It is simple: dappled skies over cow-covered farm fields and silvery waterfalls threshing in a forest. Finally!
Over at the Smallwood Civic Association (SWCA) things, too, are undulating a bit slower after a crackerjack season of fun n’ sun on the Beach and around the Hamlet. The SWCA Board advises that as weather permits, the tennis and pickleball courts will remain open through at least October 30th and then into the first two weeks of November. The SWCA is also planning autumn’s most spectacular event: the Third Annual Hallowe’en Walk, scheduled for Saturday, October 29th. On this date at 3:30 PM SWCA members will host treat tables around the lake as dozens to hundreds of “improperly-attired” ghosts and goblins parade around the shores of Mountain Lake. Following the walk, the renovated Mountain Lake Beach fire pit will be blazing for everyone to join in on festivities. More info to follow but start bespooking yourself now to make this the most ghoulish walk yet in the short history of the event. (If you would like to set up a candy/treat table, please contact Jose Nunez, SWCA Volunteer Coordinator, at email@example.com. Sponsorships benefitting the Playground Fund are also available for businesses, families and individuals.)
This past week I had two important visitors in my home: my brother Bob Loney and his wife Elaine Loney from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Have you, dear Smallwoodian or Mongaupian, seen Nova Scotia yet? It is all things, all at once: civilized, feral, taciturn and loquacious, English and French and Celtic, urbane and rural. Bob and I grew up as the sons of Marion and Bill Loney, two of the sweetest people who have graced this earth and who, because of the advent of the Second World War, got grade four and grade six educations. Bob and Elaine are accomplished, understated people, full of almost inexplicable kindnesses, shining with knowledge and polish. While our parents were alive, Bob and I encountered each other as children, each to each. How wonderful now, in full late bloom, like October roses, to meet and look into each other’s eyes, adults, equals, still growing and blooming, full of the expectation of good times and yes even bad times to come. Most everyone in every family believes “one day” we will finally grow up, and achieve our best selves. For nine days, just now, our little family hiked up and down Sullivan County, ate out, ate in, planted daffodils in the earth and drove screws into hard pine. Each day was perfect. Friends, our times are dark and shadowy. Look to your friends and your family and let us continue the process of finally growing up, helping each other, knowing whatever comes, we can surmount it.
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