Skipping Stones


Hello there!

Has everyone settled into the new school year yet? Has anyone? It can be pretty tough; having to get up early every morning, doing homework every night. On the bright side, it’s another opportunity to tell old jokes to new friends.  For instance: Why was school easier for cave people? Because they had no history to learn!

 September marks the beginning of fall – or autumn; a term that sounds as pretty as it looks when leaves begin their seasonal color change, and the temperatures get a whole lot cooler. Labor Day is considered the last summer day off from school – as well as work, although those of us who live in the desert will be lucky to need a sweater by Halloween.  The next celebration after Labor Day is Eat an Extra Dessert Day, on the 4th. If we get around to it, we can all Fight Procrastination on the 6th. And we absolutely cannot forget National Grandparents Day (8th) for they provide the timeless messages that the younger ones pass along.

Other September celebrations include National Attendance Awareness and Backpack Safety Month. We can all think of this as we crawl to class wearing a ton of bricks (books) on our backs  ; -)

The 28th marks the 4th annual National Ghost Hunting Day! Do you have a favorite haunt? Reportedly the largest ghost hunt in the world, we are bound to spook up a ghost or two. We’ll let you know what we find in the Haunted Forest!

October is International Walk to school month, in addition to Positive Attitude Month.  If this seems like an impossible chore, consider, if you will, the most distinctive yet overlooked creatures on the planet - the Octopus. Older than even dinosaurs, these multi-armed marvels have been called the “closest things to alien intelligence on earth” In fact they’ve been known to unscrew the lid off a jar – from the inside! World Octopus Day is October 8th.

In celebration of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas in 1492, most schools and many businesses across the United States are closed on the second Monday of the month.

The week of Oct 9th is National Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 when the O’Leary family barn caught fire. No one knows just how it started, but for a town made almost entirely of wood at the time, and in the midst of a lengthy drought, 185 firefighters were no match for the strong dry winds that fanned the flames of what became a two-day long inferno in which 17 thousand  buildings were destroyed. Thankfully rain began to fall, at last, giving the firefighters much-needed assistance until the fire burned itself out. Although 100 thousand people were left homeless, the city did rebuild, and today the Chicago Fire Department has over 5 thousand employees. The location where the O’Leary barn once stood is now home to the Chicago Fire Academy.

And it just wouldn’t be October without a Knock Knock joke:

Knock Knock

Who’s there?


Hutch who?

Bless you.


Or a spooky short story:

One day a father and son moved into a new house at the end of a darkened road. They were told the home might be haunted, but they did not believe in such things.

One evening when the son asked the maid for some cookies and milk before bed, she happily obliged. At breakfast the following morning, the son told his father how nice the maid had been and was surprised by his response:

“Son, we don’t have a maid.”


As the last month of the fall season, November often brings a bracing chill and days of early darkness soothed only by the warmth of reflection, perhaps through Family Story Collecting (like the ones grandparents tell) or Memoir writing. We can indulge in Banana Pudding while sharing our favorites for National Picture book month.   

On the eleventh day of the eleventh month (and at the eleventh hour) in 1918, World War I officially ended. Since that day, America has honored the services of all veterans of the United States Armed Forces with a day of celebration called Veterans Day, always observed on November 11 (unless it falls on a weekend, in which case we all get two days to thank our veterans as either the Friday before or the Monday after the weekend is observed as a holiday by the government as well as many schools and businesses.)  A few states even have Veterans Day Parades! Does yours?

November 16th is National Button day – design a creative button (Lucy for President),

Happy fall and winter!