Sharon Stone mug

As soon as I feel the chill from a crisp breeze and smell the beginning of leaves turning, it’s time that I make my first pot of chili of the season. My recipe, Nichols worth of chili, is an old family favorite that I have tweaked over the years. The pot simmering on the stovetop signifies that summer is ending and fall is quickly approaching.

 Just as chili brings in a new season, football at any level is typically playing on our TV and in my house, this past weekend was filled with college football. Being college sweethearts from MSU (Class of ’82 and Class of ’83), my husband and I planned our day around State’s game. Since the weather was perfect and Jeff managed to get the day off work, we hung our flatscreen TV outdoors on our patio. We enjoyed the entire game, from pre-game, the marching band, the snacks, the excitement we could see in the stands, to the half-time show and of course all of our touchdowns and our second win of the season.

 I love watching the marching bands. I was in marching band for four years in high school and played the clarinet. I love that so many of our local high school students are in their schools’ marching bands. They are going to remember these years for the rest of their lives. I give them all so much credit since I know how hard they work with playing in key in hot and cold weather, staying in step and remembering where their squad is supposed to be positioned. Non-marching band people have no idea how difficult it can be.

 With Saturday falling on the anniversary of 9/11, I so appreciated seeing our military members, first responders and health care workers being recognized on the fields. I loved seeing our military walking out onto the fields displaying huge American flags. I give kudos to the massive American flag displayed on the field over in Ann Arbor during Michigan’s game. From the cheers in the stands, it was apparent that it meant a lot to many people.

 High school and college football brings everyone together. Everyone is there for the same reason — to see their team win and playing the game under the lights on a Friday night brings so much excitement to every hometown. I look forward to reading Sports Editor David Troppens’ recaps of our local games. I’m even starting to remember some of the players’ names. So whether you’re tailgating at your favorite college campus or getting together with a group of friends and family members to cheer on your team, the bonding over a mutual interest is comforting and good for the soul.

 One last thanks goes to the couple attending the Miami game at the Hard Rock Stadium in Florida. They have been season ticket holders for years and the husband is a veteran of the U.S. military. They told news organizations that they always take an American flag with them to the game. Because of their tradition, there is one very lucky cat, which fell from the upper bowl of the stadium. They caught the cat with their American flag.

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