Sunday, October 19, 2014

UMass football is the warm-up band for the Pride and Class of New England

Before we talk football, let's just make clear the REAL reason we attended the game at Gillette Stadium on Saturday afternoon:
We happen to be this trumpet player's biggest fans.
This is his Senior year!
We've been watching this guy in this group for four years.
 We skipped the homecoming football game at home to be at the last UMass game at Gillette this season.
 I can't say enough impressive things about the marching band at the University of Massachusetts. At 400 strong they truly are the pride and class of New England.
They put on an amazing show.
But hey!
The football team gave us something to cheer about, too!
 
Here's one of their half-time numbers:
This one was performed at the Penn State game last month.
They are mesmerizing.
 AND...
the football team WON their game against Eastern Michigan!
They're on a two-game winning streak.
Woo-hoo!
 The fans went crazy.
 And then we settled in for the fifth quarter.
We love a good college football game.
 And we love a good marching band even more.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Homecoming 2014

Another part of what makes October so great:
Homecoming weekend in our small town.
 (I don't know the kid in the truck who brought his tooth, but HELLO!)
This year's theme was Pixar movies.
Each class at the High School spent weeks designing a float for the Homecoming Parade.
The Eighth Graders were the Ambassadors.
It's a tradition that gets me revved up every year.

The Freshmen built a float with a Toy Story theme.
The sophomores created a Finding Nemo float.
 The Juniors had "Up."
 I especially loved all the balloons....
There's something just so happy about them.

 The Seniors had Monsters, Inc.

 And because our town is SMALL,
we run to the other side of the parade route and watch everyone as they march back into the school grounds.
 It's exciting stuff.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Play for the Cure

October is breast cancer awareness month. Both of the High School Girls soccer teams played games to raise awareness (and funds) for breast cancer.

They had special shirts made for the occasion, and have been wearing pink socks all month.
 That night neither of the teams emerged with a point in the win column
 But everyone felt the "win" when they were able to contribute a significant sum of money to the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.
 It's an impressive thing when high school students can look beyond themselves and be part of a greater cause.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thank you, Columbus.

Columbus Day is that holiday Monday in October that just cannot be ignored in Massachusetts. Even if it's cloudy. 
Mid October = PEAK foliage.
On Columbus Day, there's NO excuse for staying put.
You must drive. And LOOK all around you.
But, as the woman who said the prayer at church this week put it when she sent her words Heavenward, "Thank you, God, for this beautiful Fall Foliage. BUT. I would ask all the drivers: PLEASE. Keep your eyes on the road. AMEN."
Yes. AMEN. But DO look. Safely.
If you haven't visited our neck of the woods this time of year, put it on your bucket list. NOW. And call ahead for reservations. Or you might have to settle for the overflow guest accommodations in the basement. I'll be HAPPY to host a Fall foliage tour!
As we were running errands (ALL.DAY.), I would look out the window and gasp, and point, and find myself saying things like "Who gets to drive around in this colorful place doing mundane things?--Oh right.  WE DO."
And so we did.
Taxiing students, shopping for wedding apparel, repairing eye glasses, picking up contacts, visiting the barber shop and BEST of all, delivering our UMass student Enrique, back to his place in Amherst; with clean laundry, some honey crisp apples and a few tupperware containers of food.
He hadn't been home since this summer.
We love him!

 And we love his wheels.
We also love his taste in food...
He introduced us to some Syrian Falafel sandwiches.
Falafels are a traditional Middle Eastern food--they looked like mini donuts, but are deep fried balls of ground chick peas.  The man who ran the shop gave us the FULL verbal history of the Falafel, and insisted that the Syrian version is the best. He kept giving us samples with his signature cucumber yogurt dressing (with mint) that was DELICIOUS.  The Falafels were then wrapped in Syrian bread (YUM) with a choice of fresh ingredients inside.  DOUBLE YUM. If you haven't tried a Falafel, I am happy to heartily recommend the Syrian version.

 I am also happy to heartily recommend the drive home from Amherst. We stopped no less than six times to take pictures.




 And, as a reward for his patience, I took my traveling companion to Kimball's, where we purchased our LAST ice creams of the season. They always close up shop on Columbus Day. For that one tiny thing I am not so grateful, however, the whole Columbus Day package in this area is pretty fantastic.
Come SEE!!