I’ve already told you that we adore Tal. However I’m also very impressed with her abilities because she managed to get Leo, who a few weeks ago would have sworn he hated getting pumpkins, to go and GET PUMPKINS with her. She was kind enough to send me the picture above on the right and it reminded me so much of the picture we had of toddler Leo picking out pumpkins.

Thanks to Leo and Tal we have pumpkins on our steps although the squirrels have broken into one despite the coating of hairspray. Thinking of the pumpkins made me recall that my sister Judi had written her last journal article on the role of pumpkins and casual leisure after her cancer surgery. I remember that the journal issue arrived not long before she died.

I hadn’t looked at it in years. It’s hard for me to believe but Judi died in 2009.

Reading it again I realized I’d forgotten how personal it was and how, well, how Judi it was. I shed a few tears as I read it, also remembering how wonderful Eileen was, traveling to South Carolina and caring for her. Life is so fucking complicated.

Honestly, apart from the emotional side of it, I was also struck by the term, ‘casual leisure,’ and although I didn’t know the term, I realize how integral that it is to our family as we move through our various challenges.

Casual leisure provides “…moments of pleasure in the midst of chronically busy or stressful lives, casual leisure may not only contribute to sustaining coping efforts in the short term, but to helping people to see themselves as capable of withstanding life’s challenges over time” (Hutchinson & Kleiber, 2005, p. 5).

Next time you see a pumpkin, think of my sister for a second and find your own casual leisure.