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It's that time of year again: the season of all things pumpkin flavored.  I live in the northwest U.S., and so it's also the time of year of changing colors in the trees. There is a chill in the air, which makes the afternoon sun feel even better.  It's time to start breaking out my sweaters... I don't love winter, but I do love sweaters. (This love contradicts my dislike of wearing socks, but that's a different conversation.)

That means it's almost Halloween! Halloween around here is an often secularly observed, fun, time of year. It's a 'holiday' because we do it every year, we have parties and rituals for it, and there is an air of excitement around it.  I still have to work on Tuesday, but that doesn't make Halloween feel less to me.

It's also a time of reflection; while Halloween and it's associated observances have long and varied histories, it's generally accepted as a time to reflect on the dead - those in our families who h…

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