Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Well…. It is officially fall Y’all. Luckily, I was at the beach when I had to say goodbye to my favorite season, summer. It did not feel like fall as the beach temperatures were in the upper 80’s… heavenly for this summer-loving SOLO gal!

“With the changing seasons comes new beginnings…”

Fall means FOOTBALL and TAILGATING to me. My kids are master tailgaters! We get season tickets and a parking pass to UNC football games and hope for 3:30 games – best for tailgating. Last week against Duke, we lucked up with a 3:30 game. I left the beach and arrived in Chapel Hill by 10:00am. Of course the tailgate tent was already set up and jamming with music, beer, TV – ESPN Game Day (with satellite DISH), generator, beer, food, grill, cooler, beer, food, Corn Holes, beer, chairs, and food. Not to mention the flag pole with the Carolina and American flags proudly blowing in the wind. And did I mention beer and food? My daughter has a wonderful spread of food complete with homemade Tar Heel cookies. Meanwhile, my son-in-law fires up the grill and lunch is on the way. Gosh, I love the smell of grilling. And the people behind us were smoking a pig!

“A Champion is simply someone who did NOT give up when they wanted to.” Tom Landry (My Momma always loved Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys)

Tailgating in that beautiful sea of Carolina blue in the Skipper Bowles’ lot is the best way to spend a Saturday. Other tailgaters come around to see what the score is on the game we might be watching on TV, visit a bit, and admire our setup. Especially the corn hole boards my son-in-law made, complete with beer holders, a bottle cap opener, and lights around the hole in case we ever get a night game! Honestly, there is nothing else that could be added to our tailgate – my daughter and son-in-law have thought of everything. Even a turf carpet. Well, I did tell my daughter that I saw fresh flowers and mums at one of the other tailgates – she said I could provide those! Maybe next game. I did venture over to the RV tailgating lot. WHOA, what a setup those fans have.

Tailgate breakdown takes about 15 minutes. My daughter and son-in-law have this down to a science. Then off on our trek to the stadium (gotta get our steps in). Luckily, last Saturday was a beautiful day. Not so lucky was the result of the game. Our seats are really good this year – 45-yard line. We are on the home side and therefore not suffering from the sun blazing in our eyes. However, I bet that sun will feel good in a couple of weeks when the temperatures drop! I love Carolina football games. The chants of TAR (on one side) … HEELS (on the other), third down bell gongs, the 4th quarter waves, and hearing the announcer say “First down… Tar HEELS!” Heard that a lot Saturday, just not enough. Yes, we lost. There were so many highs and lows to the game, but overall, it was such a fun, beautiful day. One spent with my favorite people. This could be a long season for my Heels… but I do have faith!

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.”  Vince Lombardi

Sundays often find my son and his friends in Charlotte tailgating for the Carolina Panther games. They don’t actually go IN the game – tickets are too $$$. But they do enjoy a good Panther tailgate!

By the way, “Lovely Leslie” is doing VERY well in the weekly football contest of the Clemmons Courier! Remember I won the Football Bowl contest back in January? Well, there have been 4 weeks of the football contest this season. I came in 2nd (due to tiebreaker) once, and last week I WON (again on a tiebreaker!)!  Yes I won my 4th CAP of CAPS (still waiting on a Carolina blue hat) plus $20 (maybe I should donate my winnings to my son for Panther tickets)! I only missed 1 game. ONE GAME! WOOHOO! I entered this one while in NYC, very quickly making my picks. And yes, I did pick Duke to win their game over Baylor, only because I did not want them to lose right before playing us. Hmmm… that strategy did not work out like I had hoped.

“Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.”  Lou Holtz (anyone who knows me knows I love Lou Holtz!)

So what else happens in the Fall?

Pumpkins. I LOVE pumpkin. Anything pumpkin. Pumpkin smoothies, ice cream, bread, but especially pumpkin pie – my favorite (and my son-in-law’s too). I put pumpkin in my smoothies and in my oatmeal for breakfast. Right out of the can. Heavenly. And good for you! Did you know that pumpkin is a superfood? Just one cup provides 100% of needed Vitamin A, plus antioxidants and other important vitamins.

Fall also changes my running. Remember how I love summer because there is no decision on what to wear – tank top and shorts. (You can’t go less – well, I can’t go less.) With fall, I have to think. Short sleeves? Long sleeves? Shorts? Capris? Jacket? Gloves? Ear thingies? Too many decisions. Plus the days are shorter – the sun rises later and sets earlier. But I do enjoy fall on my back porch. I can wrap up in a blanket and enjoy my time out there!

“It’s a new season. A perfect opportunity to do something NEW, something BOLD, something BEAUTIFUL.”

Oh… and of course fall is my birthday season! (BIG one this year!) And Halloween, Thanksgiving, AND October 28th starts the new Christmas Movies on the Hallmark Channel! Y’all, life in the fall is good. Maybe not as good as summer, but still good.

“Life starts over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”  The Great Gatsby    F. Scott Fitzgerald

So enjoy fall. Make an effort to spend time this fall with those you love and cherish, because as we all know, tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

See you next week!




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