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Monday, October 11, 2021

October Post # 2


                         Colorful October  

Do you remember jumping into a pile of leaves as a child?  I do.

 Here is a poem by Julie Perkins Cantrell, but I could not find a title.

Crunching, crinkling autumn leaves,
Spiraling, swirling in the breeze.
Rake them; pile them; stack them high.
Deep down under there, I hide.
Hear my laughter; see my smile.
Hold this memory for a while.

Soon all leaves will blow away.
But in your mind, I still will play.

Emily Dickinson did not want October to outdo her in finery, so she wrote this.

The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.


October brings out the jack-o'-lanterns.  Where did they come from?

In my research, I found a reference to an English lady in 1900 asking her horseman if he noticed any ghosts on the land in various places on her estate.  
Supposedly he scoffed and said, "Ghosties! Who's believing in them?  All I've ever seen about the place is Lantern Men.  I've seen them running around scores of times."

They were also called Hob-O'Lantern, Jack-O'Lantern, and Will-O'-the Wisp.  At that time, scientists called it ignis fatuus, which means foolish fire.  It was phosphorescence that gave a flashing light or spontaneous combustion of methane, the marsh gas.

Over time legends evolved.  One Irish story says a man called Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink.  Stingy Jack told the Devil that he should transform into a sixpence as he could change into anything.
The Devil did, and Stingy Jack popped the coin into his pocket, which contained a silver cross, and the Devil could not get out.   Stingy Jack made the Devil promise to leave Jack alone for one year, and Jack would let him out of his pocket.  The Devil promised.  Jack let him out of his pocket and did not hear from the Devil for a year.  

At the end of the year, Stingy Jack tricked the Devil again to spare him for ten years.  But after a year, Stingy Jack died.  He was denied entrance into Heaven, and the Devil yelled, "Go away.  Go back where you came from.  You tricked me and made me promise not to claim your soul."

"I can't go to earth.  It's too dark."

The Devil took a hot coal from hell and threw it at Stingy Jack.  Jack pulled up a turnip, carved out the inside, and put the glowing coal in.  Since that time, Jack has been roaming the earth at Halloween.
For some time, the Scottish children hollowed out large turnips, carved faces on them, put candles inside, and called them bogies.  Later Irish children used turnips or potatoes, and in parts of England, children carried what they called punkies made from large beets with candles inside.

When the Scotch and Irish people arrived in the United States, they began using pumpkins, so we have the Jack-O-Lantern. 

                                                                       *           *           *
Last Week's Riddle:
You have a delicious round birthday cake.  How many equal-sized pieces can you cut the cake into by making only three straight slices with a knife without moving any of the pieces?


Eight equal-sized slices in three cuts.

First, cut the cake straight down the middle splitting it into two pieces.
Then cut straight down the middle of those two pieces to make four equal pieces.
Then make a horizontal cut across the center of the cake to split those four pieces into eight.

New Riddle:

In front of you are three closed metal boxes.  One is labeled "Nuts," one is labeled "Bolts," and one is labeled "Nuts &bolts."  You know that every box is incorrectly marked, and you would like to rearrange the labels so that each parcel is correct.

By making only one selection from one box, how can you be sure to properly re-label each box?

Send me your answers to my email:
Also, send me your suggestions for books, poems or recipes, or whatever you want for the October blog
 This month is yours.   

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October Post #3

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