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It’s hard to believe it is October–pushing ever closer to November! The leaves in Ohio are falling and the bare branches are popping through. Even though it is so beautiful this time of year, it makes me a little melancholy…my garden is done; even though I still have beans to pick. Basically nothing new is growing and the soil needs to be turned. I have been canning and freezing tomatoes and potatoes, peppers and more tomatoes! A bit of broccoli here and there, and did I mention, tomatoes?  In fact, I love my garden and am already thinking of how to rotate crops next year.

On Friday night we took our 4-year old granddaughter to a local Halloween event at a park near our house. It was a great evening; slightly cool, jacket weather. They were operating five or six hay wagons through the park where they had ghosts and Halloween lights strung in the trees. There were large blow-up creatures and houses with ghosts and goblins popping out.  We rode through once in the early dusk, and then again after dark.

Since Sierra (8) and Parker (7), our other two grand kids  moved to Florida two years ago, Emery really misses them. At this event, as we waited in line for one of the rides, she realized she was alone with no one to partner with her on the two-by-two activity. She looked back through the line and then whispered to me “I’m gonna ask that little girl.” and she pointed back to a girl about 7 or 8 years old. She bravely went back, tapped her shoulder and said, “Will you be my partner?” the little girl happily said yes.  She moved up through the line to get in with Emery. Her mom said they were with her two older sisters and they wanted nothing to do with this third one, so she was delighted that Emery wanted to be her partner!

We had a great time and later when we rode the hay wagon for the second time, Emery again found  two little friends, this time a boy about 7 and a girl about 8. We had to sit next to them on the hay ride and when we were done, Emery had to give a hug to her new friend!  The little girl  told me, “Emery is so sweet!”

Even though she knew she would probably never see them again, it was a nice gesture on both parts. Emery is not shy, as long as an adult is with her. But we have also taught her to be cautious when talking to strangers. My book, Stranger Danger, is still one of the top sellers on Amazon and continues to be read to kids everywhere. The message remains clear: Don’t talk to or go with strangers!

Gosh, remember when it was okay to do those things? I lived in a small town and could knock on anyone’s door for a glass of water or just to say hello. I sold Girl Scout Cookies up and down the streets, by myself!  My sister and I rode our bikes all over town and walked to school every day, on our own! How crazy the world has become.

Some things never change, and others never remain the same.  The seasons of the year may seem longer, shorter, hotter, cooler, wetter or dryer, but they continue to offer us a new day every 24-hours and a fresh start each time we get out of bed.  The next time you need a smile, find a new friend to buddy up to, and hold on to the ones you have in your life. There is nothing like the love of a really good friend or family.

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