As always, the Feast of Tabernacles was wonderful and extremely rejuvenating.  We had such grand times!  The flight into Marquette was glorious; I’ve never seen the fall colors so vibrant.  On our very first night, we went for a walk to enjoy the harvest moon and were treated to an amazing display of the northern lights.  We waded in Lake Superior and watched the lights until they faded and we couldn’t feel our feet.  I’ve only seen the northern lights one other time, and both occasions felt dreamlike.  The beauty of the lights doesn’t seem as though it could belong to this reality.

Other highlights included climbing Sugarloaf Mountain and Marquette Mountain, hiking all over the Black Rocks at Presque Isle on several occasions, playing on several playgrounds, and discovering an excellent little Thai restaurant tucked away on Front Street.  We also made a trip to Champion, Michigan, which is one of the few places in the world where you can just pick up specular hematite from the ground.  Mining was (and still is) big in the Upper Peninsula, and Champion was known for its iron mines.  Specular hematite has iron in it, but not enough to be worth the effort of extracting it, so the miners just piled it in the slag heap.  One hundred years later, we stepped out of my uncle’s truck onto glittering hills of specular hematite.  Photographs don’t do it justice; it sparkles so much in full sun that it almost hurts the eyes.  We got piles of the stuff and then did all kinds of ridiculous things to get it home.

Getting back into the groove of regular life took a little effort, but I’m all caught up on the piles that accumulated while I was away from work.  We had a great philosophy meeting at Sunni Skies the other night to discuss some of Gandhi’s writings.  Ice cream and philosophy go together VERY well.

Geekery:

Hilarity:

Amazery:

I finished Grapes of Wrath and loved it, though not quite as much as I loved East of Eden.  The more I think about it, though, the more I think that that’s due to personal preference for Eden’s scope rather than any deficiency on the part of Grapes of Wrath.  Steinbeck is clearly a master.  I’m in considerable awe of his talent, and I want to hunt down everything he’s ever written.  I found Of Mice and Men in a little bookstore in Marquette and read it on the flight home.  Also brilliant, in the Steinbeckian, punch-to-the-gut sort of way.  Did the guy ever have a bad day?

Speaking of gentlemen of whom I am in awe, I read Miracles by C.S. Lewis; I am newly agog at his brilliantly ordered thought processes every time I read one of his books.  His abilities of ratiocination (and his ability to carry you along with him through his reasoning) are truly impressive, not to mention incredibly useful for one’s spiritual growth.

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