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Lynn James: Looking for normalcy in none of the same places — and cherishing that fall is here at last

I’m having a hard time writing these days. Seems like I get started putting my observations and thoughts down, then never finish. Writing about what’s going on today is depressing. Guess that’s why I stop before the piece is complete or good enough (in my eyes) to share with others.

So I’m going to ignore all the stressful things out there in the world and concentrate on the positive – for my own sanity. Maybe for yours as well.

Fall is here at last

Those observations begin with fall – it’s here!  The signs are in the changing colors of the trees, the cooler breeze, and the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even Christmas decorations and nick-nacks in the stores.

Fall has always been my favorite season, and I’m trying to hold on to that feeling, especially this year. I’ll have to work at it, but it’s a feeling worth fighting for. A bite of Frisch’s pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert one evening or Bob Evan’s pumpkin bread with my tea on a Saturday morning will help me feel good about this season. A spicy pumpkin latte on the way to work in the morning could become my new autumn habit. Any suggestions on whose is best?

Sweatshirts and hoodies are making their first appearances since spring in all the fall colors and designs, including the Bengals garb. I wonder if Andy Dalton was having a good laugh at the Bengals’ opening act. Or if he wishes he were still here. Zach and Joe were stunned about ending their first “non-loss” in a tie. Unimaginable for them. Baby steps, Joe Burrow, baby steps. Then look what happened with fans in the stands… Burrow’s first win as a Bengal! 

For those who don’t watch football games, some are looking for more reasons to spend time outside whether it’s helping a neighbor with their yard (with or without their permission) or welcoming a new family to the street in the house everyone watched get rehabbed over the summer. Some are wondering how much the couple paid for it and what they could get for their own house. Too bad they didn’t clean out or fix up theirs when they had extra time on their hands during the “Stay at Home” order.

The kids are riding their bikes more since swimming is out of season. Up and down the streets they go. Reminds me of bygone carefree days of the past. How refreshing! The fun they are having is reassurance about what life should be about – spending time with each other doing ordinary, low-cost activities. 

I can’t wait to see the costumes this year on Halloween’s trick or treat night which by its very nature is an outdoor activity. Let’s pray for a dry evening so kids can enjoy it to the fullest extent. 

I hope I can continue finding preoccupations this Fall as I keep recycling all the political mail I get each day. Muting the television during campaign ads seems to be working for now too. But waking up one morning to the news that our president has come down with coronavirus – not what I ever expected or wanted to hear about either candidate.

Gratefully, I was able to forget about it over the weekend since I skip the news for those two restful days. Thank goodness it happened on a Friday. Our stock market was glad too.

It’s nice to insulate our worlds from the craziness all around, even if just for a short period of time. Brings back a piece of normalcy which brings back peace of mind. For a little while, I can remember what that feels like.

Lynn James is a lifelong resident of Northern Kentucky and has lived in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties. She enjoys living and observing real life with real people.

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