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Happy Fallowe'en, 2014

I'm pretty sure that when we left for Maui less than a month ago, it still felt like summer in these parts. Then we were treated to 3 weeks of blistering hot and humid tropical weather. When we returned, half the trees on our street had already stripped themselves bare, and we needed to wear jackets and socks with our shoes again. I guess fall arrived sometime during our absence, and now it's mere days from Hallowe'en.

Usually, this is my favourite time of year. Back to school campaigns and all of the lovely memories that it conjures would inevitably lead to the Thanksgiving displays and then Hallowe'en. From that point, it's a mad rush toward Christmas and the gloriousness of that holiday season. On most Septembers and Octobers, I'm sipping my PSL's and enjoying the beautiful warm colours and crisp air of the season.

This year, however, the entire experience was somehow pre-empted, not only by our Maui trip, but by the sudden passing of our beloved granny in September. The time that would have been spent feeling nostalgic and romantic about the season and preparing for each occasion was instead used to mourn, to plan an impromptu Edmonton trip and funeral, and to take a blessed three week getaway to paradise. I now find myself back in the season, but nowhere near prepared for the trick-or-treating festivities set for Halloween or for November's arrival.

I feel a little bit lost.

Maybe it's the grief, or perhaps just the daunting reality that we've now buried two people who were very close to us, all in the same year. Death has a way of diluting the flavours and colours from life's other experiences, watering down the excitement of this season into a tepid gray puddle of meh.

But a pumpkin awaits displaying, and a little girl eagerly anticipates a fun afternoon of trick-or-treating. Holiday gifts need to be purchased, even though I continue to insist on a "no gifts, please" policy that nobody seems to heed.

So I trudge on, my head a bit muddled and my entire self a bit numb, hoping that I will soon be able to taste the deliciousness of the season again. Some days, when the clouds gather and conceal the light, I have to push that much harder to muster my enthusiasm. Other days, feeling the warmth of sunshine on my skin, it gets easier.

And all the while, I hold on to the hope that 2015 will be better.


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