I’ve always loved the fall. I love the weather, the colors, all of it. It’s my favorite season. It is usually one of my busiest seasons as well. I go to rehearsals after work. I go to Halloween parties. I hang out with friends. This year the rug has been pulled out from under me. I have none of those things. I miss rehearsals. I miss parties. And I really miss my friends. But when you look out the window and see all those beautiful colors it is very hard to be miserable.

A few weeks ago, we had a socially distanced family gathering at the cabin in the woods that my grandpa built. Normal Sundays involve going to my grandma’s for a delicious home-cooked meal that usually leaves me full until Monday evening. Sundays since March have been a little bit lacking. Sure we go up and see them and say hello, but it isn’t the same. Everybody isn’t there. When the opportunity for a Sunday family dinner came up, I knew I had no choice but to go. There is plenty of space on the land to keep your distance and eat.

It was an enjoyable afternoon. I thought to myself for a couple of hours that this is the most normal things have felt in my life since February. For three or four hours, I was relaxed. I was surrounded by people that I loved. It was a perfect crisp fall day and the colors around me were magnificent.

There is a silver lining to the pandemic. It put my social life on hold, forcing me to embrace the beauty of nature and the company of my family even mor . I’ve taken up hiking every weekend. I never realized how many great hiking spots exist in such a close radius to home. We live in an extremely beautiful area and I’m truly grateful that the world forced me to kind of disengage from everything else I was doing and focus on the real beauty in the world. And there is quite a bit of it.

Take last Friday evening, for example. I got home from work and was talking to my brother underneath the carport of our house. There was a beautiful sunset through the trees and for a minute or two we didn’t say anything to each other. We just stood there with the fire pit blazing, keeping us warm while the last light of day faded behind the trees in a brilliant orchestra of colors. And in that moment I’m glad I wasn’t busy. I didn’t have a meeting or a rehearsal to get to. I was just able to take a breath and absorb the beauty of this area that I’m fortunate enough to call home.

Corpus Christi news

Corpus Christi Parish’s Social Concerns Committee is holding a food drive.

The church’s food pantry shelves are always stocked and ready to serve the community when needed. If someone calls for help with food, they are never refused. The loyal volunteers always have food boxes and bags filled and ready for distribution. The committee is able to do this because of the generosity of parishioners and friends who are always there to answer the call when asked for monetary donations or donations of food. It is now that time of year when the church begins thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas food distribution. As in the past, donations of any non-perishable foods, with emphasis on items everyone wants on their table for a Thanksgiving feast, like boxed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, gravy, canned vegetables, pie fillings and pie crust mixes are being requested. Your donations may be left in the vestibules of the churches or dropped off at the rectory from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Parishioners and guests are invited to attend drive-up Masses at Holy Redeemer Church at 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and at 9 a.m. Sundays. Safely remain in your vehicle and tune into 89.3 FM on your car radio to listen to Mass. At the conclusion of Mass, you will be directed to receive Holy Communion under the canopy by the front doors, without entering the church.

The parish is continuing its Norwex cleaning product fundraiser. To order, visit www.corpuschristinepa.com, click on the Norwex link on the right side of the homepage, click on the link to shop, place products in your cart and checkout. To ensure the parish receives credit, click on “Add Party” and select Corpus Christi Church Party One. If you do not have access to a computer, call Lori at the rectory 570-654-2753 for a catalog.

Halloween at Valley Alliance Church

Valley Alliance Church in West Pittston will hold a Light the Night event from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. Be assured they are carefully monitoring safety regulations in the planning process for this event. A thematic trunk or treat for the little ones is being planned in addition to live entertainment and refreshments for all in attendance.

Library news

West Pittston Library will offer the following activities:

Day of the Dead — 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27. Craft along as you learn the cultural significance of all the elements of this special celebration. Register for your take home kit full of all the supplies needed.

BYOB Book Club — Bring Your Own Book Club will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29. Bring your own book and chair to the library’s side lawn for a casual chat. Kendra-Lee will lead the discussion on books she has read through the month. Read each month’s recommended reading or read something different, but bring a snack, drink and some book recommendations for a relaxing evening. Call the library to register. October’s books are “Death on the Nile” by Agatha Christie and “The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad” by Mike Birbiglia, plus some scary stories in the spirit of the holiday.

John Bubul writes about West Pittston every week for Greater Pittston Progress. To list an item, email jbubul@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.

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