Fall and raking leaves always reminds me of my childhood and the fun we had at my house raking and playing in the leaves. I may have mentioned this before, but I lived in a big old house with lots of big old maple trees around the yard. Of course, as soon as it started getting cold, the leaves started falling, and falling and falling. and we raked and raked and raked. We kids always had fun raking leaves with my Dad and sometime my Mom because once the leaves were raked into a big pile in the front yard, we could jump in them from the porch railing which was at least 8 feet of the ground. Once we go tired of jumping and the leaves started breaking up and getting old, then we had a big bon fire and we could all rake leaves into the fire. In those days, you didn’t need a fire permit, they just expected you to have enough common sense not to burn on windy and dry days. Plus there were always plenty of people around, especially kids, since my house was the gathering place. Then, and maybe I mentioned this, it was time to play football in the front yard. We couldn’t play in the back, because that was where the garden was. At first, it was just my father against my brother and I, but as we grew older, other kids on the street joined in. Our last game would be at Thanksgiving after dinner and a break and anyone who wanted to, could play. Eventually, as my sister and 2nd brother and more friends came along, it got wilder and bigger. Then we added 3 more brothers, and we had to take the game to the field at the end of our dead end street. And of course, some of their friends came also. My father played until he was about 80. When my kids came alone, and we were able to go home for thanksgiving they all played also. You will be interested to know that a few times, we even made the papers. And it game is still going on every Thanksgiving, in the afternoon, with all the folks between around age 7 to age 70, who want to play, taking part. Since our Thanksgiving gathering usually involves about 50 people, our large family plus girl friends and boy friends, etc, there are usually at least 25 willing to play. We no longer meet at our old home, even though my mom still lives there, but we usually gather at a local room at a restaurant and then go to a family home and nearby field for football and desert. FAMILY IS SO IMPORTANT IN OUR LIVES, THE CELEBRATE THE GOOD THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO YOU, AND FORGIVE THE STUPID THINGS YOU DO, AND GIVE YOU COMPASION AND PRAYER WHEN THINGS GO WRONG. FRIENDS COME AND GO, BUT FAMILY (USUALLY) ARE THERE FOR YOU.