Fall Happiness Has Arrived

For a man for all seasons…my season has come. I love fall! I walked campus this morning with a light sweater on…and it felt…right. We are back from our great Maine adventure and ready for what autumn brings us. Last week in Maine was really a prelude to the happy season. The unlimited natural beauty of Maine is unparalleled. It is inspirational for a lover of fall. The leaves on the trees were changing colors…almost before our eyes. Bodies of water enthrall me. I can sit and stare at the ocean for hours. I think that is why I enjoy the Ocean Point Inn so much, in East Boothbay.

Fall and winter…scratch me where I itch. I like the shorter days. I enjoy the cooler weather and the L.L. Bean sweaters and deerskin gloves. I began working at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale in the fall…October 10, 1978. I was 20 years old…but turned 21…14 days later. Southern Illinois University
opened up a new world of opportunity and possibilities for me and MJ…and later Aaron and Jonathon. I became a member of a community that welcomed me and appreciated me. I learned what it was like to work with colleagues from over 70 nations. I loved the diversity.

In a world of uncertainty…there is one thing that is certain…time passes like a weavers shuttle…and life is short. I anticipated retirement for many years and now I have been retired for almost 11 years. Spend as little time contemplating worry and strife as you possibly can. Think about the good things that have happened to you and do not dwell on the bad.

‘It occurred to Pooh and Piglet that they hadn’t heard from Eeyore for several days, so they put on their hats and coats and trotted across the Hundred Acre Wood to Eeyore’s stick house. Inside the house was Eeyore.’

‘Hello Eeyore,’ said Pooh.’

‘Hello Pooh. Hello Piglet,’ said Eeyore, in a Glum Sounding Voice.’

‘We just thought we’d check in on you,’ said Piglet, ‘because we hadn’t heard from you, and so we wanted to know if you were okay.’

‘Eeyore was silent for a moment. ‘Am I okay?’ he asked eventually. ‘Well I don’t know to be honest. Are any of us really okay? Thats what I ask myself. All I can tell you, Pooh and Piglet, is that right now Im feeling rather sad, and alone, and not much fun to be around at all. Which is why I haven’t bothered you. Because you wouldn’t want to waste your time hanging out with someone who is so Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All, would you now.’

‘Pooh looked at Piglet, and Piglet looked at Pooh, and they both sat down, on either side of Eeyore in his stick house.’

‘Eeyore looked at them in surprise. ‘What are you doing?’

‘We’re sitting here with you,’ said Pooh, ‘because we are your friends. And true friends don’t care if someone is feeling Sad, or Alone, or Not Much Fun To Be Around At All. True friends are there for you anyway. And so here we are.’

‘Oh,’ said Eeyore. ‘Oh.’ And the three of them sat there in silence, and while Pooh and Piglet said nothing at all; somehow, almost imperceptibly, Eeyore started to feel a very tiny little bit better.’

‘Because Pooh and Piglet were There.’

(A.A. Milne, E.H. Shepard)

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