Finally, some cooler weather is here.

Good-bye all you billions of bugs that have been picking on me this year. Welcome to the leaves changing and cool weather clothes coming back.

There might be a few more hot days but fall is here. I hope it’s longer than last year or the year before. It gives us time to do things before the “S” word flies (I don’t use that word until November).

I am right in the middle of the holiest time in the Jewish religion. We had our New Year celebration this last week and this week is the big one….Yom Kippur. It is the day of atonement where we ask forgiveness for things we screwed up last year. Normally we fast for 24 hours and then have a big Break the Fast. My dad always looked forward to this because the break the fast was the excuse to have my aunts break out their best in food. Sadly now, two of my aunts (plus two uncles and my own dad) are gone now but a whole new generation is coming up and this week we have my one remaining aunt and uncle hosting the Break the Fast and it should be a dilly.

I spoke to my aunt last week at dinner and she has been making blintzes all week (a blintz is a crepe with a filling, rolled up and then fried). To say they are good is an understatement.

My cousins make koogle (a noodle pudding) like their mom did, and my mom will make her famous fruit bowl (which is smart because it is basically foolproof). My dad always looked forward to whatever my aunts made for Break the Fast, and that makes the holiday a little sad.

My cousin Corey eats his way through Minnesota (his home state now) plus the Iowa State Fair. He posts many photos and stories on Facebook and the whole family is surprised he doesn’t weigh 500 pounds. It is something I look forward to each year as he eats his own body weight at the fairs and then we get to ask him all about it for the holidays.

My other cousin has taken the crown of Pickle Maker for the family. I savor the jar I get this time of year. I have become the Jam King. This year it will be different since my strokes, but I have a few left over that will go to good homes.

It should be a good week for foodage for me. I got to see the world’s best eater last week , my younger brother Larry. Whenever he comes to Omaha he has a list of restaurants he hits. Among them are Big Freds, Broncos and La Casa (the original). He literally could eat me under the table (not an easy task). I really like getting together with him and his family when they come to town. Next time will be Thanksgiving. They usually stop in York either on the way or leaving to go back home. I try to load him up with my nephew’s favorite salsa and homemade chips when they stop.

This week I will turn in (a week late) the recipes I’ve gathered for the Friends of the Library Cook Book we are putting together. Originally the hope was it would be ready for our Super Soup Sale the end of November, but it will be close. I like that we are working locally with York Printing. Tony North will do an excellent job with it. I still haven’t heard from some key people for recipes but I’ll do that this week.

I also sent letters to most of the past Kings and Queens of Yorkfest to help me with our Santa gig in December. So far I have 2 ½ slots filled, and I’m sure they will fill. The big issue is whether or not I have a complete Santa outfit I can wear. I think I do and I have some time to get it together.

I am a very loud Santa. I believe the mall Santas who just sit there are pathetic. He is a jolly guy and I plan to do that. I played Santa years ago at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo and the Hastings Museum. I have good stories about the zoo that are a little too vulgar for this column. But trust me, it is a “gas.”

Santa will have his hut on the grounds of the library and I will be there in December on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons for the Chamber. I am very excited that the nice hut our FFA put together for us will be in good use. I’ve mentioned it before -- I am not taking the place of our original (and best) Santa and Mrs. Claus, but it gives them time to do other parties. To Dan and Evie Barrett, you will always be the Clauses to me…and York.

I continue to get stronger each day….and thank you for asking. My crew at the Middle School has been great and it gives my mom peace of mind knowing her little Toddy is well taken care of. They all ask me if I need to sit down and have a drink all the time. So to Betty, Florence, Phyllis and Carol…thank you for your concern. My mother and I appreciate it.

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