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Fall is coming late to the northeast. Today the temperatures were still in the 70s but the fall color has finally arrived! I get to drive to work swallowed in color that would make Maxfield Parrish gasp. Before they widened Route 3, I was able to enjoy it on the highway. Widening the highway cost us a lot of trees and soothing landscape scenery. I can’t say that the widening has improved the drive time all that much, either!

The back roads I prefer to use are also “under improvement” so getting to work has been a daily challenge to find a route that is not stagnated to the point of total inertia. However, I have to say that the extra time to enjoy the scenery *is* appreciated!

The AM/PM break time walks at work were resumed yesterday. I got to get close to the color. My dawdling didn’t bother the others…they just kept on walkin’! I managed to catch up from time to time.

Last weekend was the 10th anniversary of my husband’s company. They flew me out to California (the new headquarters) for the celebration party which I thought was on Saturday. Um…no. Get up at oh-dark-thirty on Friday morning, spend the day in travel to the west coast, and then have 2 hours to nap and gussy up for a semi-formal party on a dinner cruise ship. I enjoyed myself hugely, but hubby and I were the first to crash. My east coast time was 2:30 AM by the time I finally made it between the sheets.

They may only have one season out there in O.C. (Ocean County), but they do manage to have spectacular sunsets!

This photo was taken in July 2003, a few months before Phil actually left to join the Army. He progressed to sergeant rapidly, and did well in adapting to military life.

Today’s mail bought a letter from his current commanding officer thanking me for my support of him in the Army and welcomed him into her division, referring to him as CORPORAL Philip Harasek.

Go Phil!

He arrived safely in Korea late Tuesday night. His tour of duty there is one year. It will be a LONG year for me and others in the states who miss him.

My son the Corporal. WOW!

This photo was taken in July 2003, a few months before Phil actually left to join the Army. He progressed to sergeant rapidly, and did well in adapting to military life.

Today’s mail bought a letter from his current commanding officer thanking me for my support of him in the Army and welcomed him into her division, referring to him as CORPORAL Philip Harasek.

Go Phil!

He arrived safely in Korea late Tuesday night. His tour of duty there is one year. It will be a LONG year for me and others in the states who miss him.

My son the Corporal. WOW!

With the new Wi-Fi detecting T-shirt from ThinkGeek to help me find a Wi-Fi hotspot, I really could! Nothing says “I’m Hip” like a T-shirt that can signal certain types of radiation nearby.

Get the details here.

Display the current wi-fi signal strength to yourself and everyone around you with this stylish Wi-Fi Detector Shirt. The glowing bars on the front of the shirt dynamically change as the surrounding wi-fi signal strength fluctuates.

Oh yeah. Gotta get me one of those!

I wonder if it comes in Braille?

Descriptive text culled from http://www.thinkgeek.com

Except when they don’t.

I love the colors of fall. The rich, crisp, neon-bright leaves in sunlight and sunset always light up my eyes and soul with delight. The sturdy chrysanthemums flower into frosted landscapes, lessening the loss of green grass. The brightest blues you can ever see are in the fall. I love the Technicolor of the season.

Winter offers a cleaner landscape. The pure art of tree limbs show their character and whimsy. They are barren of leaves, but now expose interesting personalities and strength. Frost sparkles in feather patterns across yards and windows, and crusts the surface of ponds and other standing water pools. Gorgeous crystalline structures mesmerize, fire lit by sun, moon, or neon lighting. And snow! The gorgeous textures of snow and the diamond-bright glitter after a snowfall never fails to delight! Numbed fingers and noses cannot detract from the sumptuous feast of eye candy that winter offers.

Then…at last… a spring. Where mists of green haze around bushes and lawns. I get excited at the new life reaching out. The colors are so rich, lush, and velvety-deep. The morning fog leaves silvery wisps of fantasy that wrap around crocus, daffodils, and snowdrops. Again I marvel at the eye-candy all around me.

As spring surges into summer, the cacophony of color riots around me. Thunderstorms with their lights shows, the spectacular sunsets, the incredible variety of texture and color amaze me over and over again.

The light in my husband’s eyes when I greet him in the evening after work; a lazy smile from Phil, or glowing smile beaming from Susan’s beautiful face; the smile of my grandson Liam as he catches sight of me; the happy tongue-sticking-out I get from little Aiden that tells me he knows me… These gifts to the heart are so precious to me that I can hardly bear to contemplate not seeing them.

But I *do* think about losing my sight from time to time. It would be horrid. I would most definitely hate it. I resent wearing corrective lenses but am grateful they allow me to continue seeing the love around me.

My current eye infection has affected my eyesight. My left eye is seriously worse out-of-whack because of it. I realized just how badly off this afternoon when I tried to read an eye chart for the doctor. No wonder focusing gets so tiring and painful!

I cover the affected eye with my hand for some relief, and also to be able to drive to and from work, home, and the doctors office. In trying to compensate, my right eye gets tired and has trouble coping with focusing. Light hurts even worse than usual. I squint.

I should rest my eye whenever possible. I can knit with my eyes closed*, most of the time because I choose patterns that allow me to do so. Years of practice also help.

*The current pattern, a sweater for Aunt Peggy, is all garter stitch. Elizabeth Zimmerman would approve .

Dick and Jane and Sally and Spot were all in my early reading primer books. “Look! See!” and that is all I can think of…storing up visual memories for a fearful future time when vision is a memory. It happens. I know people with macular degeneration. They are seriously pissed about it. They do fine, but they miss actually _seeing_ things.

I am a world class worrier about things like this. I have no known genetic markers for macular degeneration. I have lousy vision and astigmatism, yes. I have a history of herpes simplex virus (cold sores), too. It is only in the past couple of years that I have been having episodes where they appear not around my mouth, but on my eyelids. If they infect the cornea (a real possibility), blindness is a common result.

My worries are not completely improbable. Unfortunately.

Fortunately, my hearing remains. I love the texture, color, and emotion of sound. And my voice remains, but I am still a better reader than singer. I just noticed recently that the skills I use to read aloud and deliver scripture, read stories aloud, etc., are not always compatible with singing skills. The way words are delivered in song and in speaking are not the same. Interesting. Another area to explore and work on.

The doctor assures me that in 3-4 days my visual difficulties will be much improved… but if not, to please contact him.

I will.

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