Dickieville News Sept-Oct 2007

September is the traditional start to the school year, with Brie entering her Junior year and Will entering high school as a freshman. A little less traditional are Brie's driving lessons and student permit, which have the neighbors commenting, "oh, I thought I recognized Brie as I leapt out of the path of that car." It's also where things begin cooling down outside. In September, we had a cold snap that dropped the temperatures below freezing. This was right after our furnace broke down and the repairmen said he would order parts but it wasn't a problem 'cause it would be a while before we really needed it.
A pleasant enough start to the fall season; Dave and Kate at Nashoba Valley Winery for Dinner to celebrate Kate's 51st birthday
Tasha in the grass (mostly because she looks so cute in the photo)

Kate flew out to Las Vegas at the end of September for her Father's memorial service.  You can see Kate's remembrances here, or see the PowerPoint  slide show of Hap's life here (you need PowerPoint to see it).  Will wrote something for school about it.

I have a constant enemy in my life.  It is called cancer.  Cancer has taken away people I love in my life.  It is cruel.  It robbed me of my Grammy seven years ago.  When she died it felt like a big gaping black hole in my stomach.  Three years ago it stole my favorite Uncle away from me.  He had taught me to throw boomerangs.  He taught me about rocks.  We made jokes together.  He talked with me not at me.  It was not fair.  Now, my biggest enemy has taken my grandfather away from me.  I saw him in June.  We talked, we laughed, and I helped take care of him.  I was supposed to see him again.  We were supposed to laugh together again.  Now I cannot.  He is gone.  I loved him.  I will miss him.


And a joint celebration, Kate and Dave's 17th anniversary, Janet and Bill Garber (Kate's Mom and Stepdad) 30th anniversary, and Bill Garber's 90th birthday party at the Herb Lyceum, one of our favorite restaurants.  Bill and Janet were on the whirlwind multinational tour, stopping in Minnesota to visit family and attend a conference, our place to visit for a few days, on to England for touring and visiting John Watts (an old friend), back to our place, back to Minnesota to visit the rest of the family in Windham (you can see the Johnson Family Reunion in Minnesota back in 2003 here), and finally back home after a month of traveling.  Bill actually came down with Pneumonia on the way back from England but thanks to fast intervention by Kate he was on antibiotics and feeling better in the few days they were at our place.

And below, the last launch of the season.  Dave, Brie and Will try out the Estes Cosmos, a glider that launches on a "D" engine, and when the parachute back-charge blows, shoots the engine compartment out to parachute down while the main section glides to the ground.  This was nicknamed the "Sure to Crash And Burn" because, after putting it together, you are supposed to hand-throw the glider section to make sure it is balanced properly.  Which Dave did, where upon it immediately nose-dived into the ground and broke a wing off. He fixed it, but resolved to make the next test an actual launch because, having put several hours into it, he wanted to see it lift off at least once.  You can see a movie of the disastrous glider launch here or see the stills below.

Liftoff.... looking good!

A beautiful arc and upswing... but wait a minute, it's supposed to go straight up until the engine quits....

Ya, engine is out and it's coming down very fast....

And, about the time it hits the ground, the parachute charge blows, sending the engine compartment flying out the back end (good) and the main section that holds the engine compartment out the front of the glider (not good).  We got all the parts back, however, so maybe it can be repaired.

Above, Kate does an unusual Girl's Night Out with our neighbor, Sheira to celebrate Sheira's 50th birthday.

 Below, Brie and Dave do the Topeka Canyon trail to the top of... some mountain (ok, big hill) in Westford to enjoy the fall colors, the view, and to give the dogs a little exercise.

And below, the influx of wildlife. Attack of the ravens to the left, and a herd of turkeys to the right, both in our front yard. And Turkeys are too big to be birds, so it's not a flock. It's a HERD of Turkeys.
And Halloween; the annual pumpkin carving fun, below, Brie's Halloween outfit for a party at one of her friends; she was a "Fallen Angel"  (no real plans for trick or treating this year so there is no picture of Will in costume).  Dave, Kate and Brie also went to see Castle Of The Damned (which Brie played a part in last year), where we had to wait in line for an hour and a half (and we arrived just when it opened, at 7; by the time we left the line had to be three hours long).

And, last but not least, below, the first Katydids show of the season at the Conant Craft Fair (and Kate's fifth year there).  You can see examples of Kate's work at www.katydids-jewelry.com.