Sunday, October 28, 2007


I work in several different schools; the opportunities for irritation are endless. So, however, are the chances for joy. This is the truth of every job, I imagine. This is the truth of every day.

Another blog asked what we valued in books, or new authors, or something along those lines. It took me a moment, and then I realized what my hodge-podge collection held in common- humor. Well, truth of emotion and clarity of thought, but humor is the reason they get read over and over.

It's amazing how personal a sense of humor is. I adore Lula and Stephanie Plum, Calvin and Hobbes, the Blue Collar tour. Other humor leaves me cold.

Hospital folk usually share a very specific, very dry, very dark sense of humor. How else would they manage? I have laughed many times during the funeral of someone I've cared for, someone who's lived a long and good life. We laughed with the sheriff's deputy after we hit the deer. (It was my husband's birthday the next day; he had a perfect reason to go buy a new car.)

Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them--and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon--laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution--these can lift at a colossal humbug,--push it a little-- crowd it a little--weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.
- "The Chronicle of Young Satan," Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts--Mark Twain

So what makes you grin, chuckle, or laugh until you cry? Is it important? Do you seek out and make time for laughter, or do you let the everyday absurdities of life put a smile on your face?

Monday, October 1, 2007

October's Bright Blue Weather

by Helen Hunt Jackson

O sun and skies and clouds of June
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fringes tight,
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks
In idle, golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunt
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers hour by hour
October's bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.



Helen Hunt Jackson (1831-1885) was an American poet and novelist. She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, where her father was a professor in Amherst College, but she spent much of her life in California. She married a banker in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she lived for a few years. Her poems are very beautiful, and "September" and "October's Bright Blue Weather" are especially good pictures of these autumn months.

Did I mention I ADORE October? We are busy with hay rack rides and cook-outs at the in-laws river, Thursday night football games, constant homework, and the general antics of puppies, kittens, and rats, and children. My anniversary is tomorrow, nineteen years (I love you, Fred :)). My birthday is the 18th. Sometimes busy is good!

Is there an especially busy time in your life, or does October , the beginning of our holiday flurry, signal an increase in activity for everyone? Do you enjoy the ritual of it all, or simply look forward to the blissful quiet of January?