Scotland’s vote for independence: I didn’t wade into the Scotland-separating-from-Britain issue but saw many who got very caught up in the hype surrounding Thursday’s vote. A neighbor even changed his Facebook profile to a picture of Mel Gibson in Braveheart. However, from what I read, many Scots had viable concerns about the military and financial future of their country if they went on their own. The phrase I heard most often reading the final results was “sanity prevailed.” Again, it affected me not one way or the other — it’s their country — but I’m sure there was much soul-searching and serious consideration when the 85 percent of voters went to the polls. All should be respected for voting their convictions. (See In decisive vote, Scotland rejects independence, sticks with the U.K. by Griff Witte and Karla Adam in the Washington Post.)
Missing UVa student: The search for Hannah Graham continues in Charlottesville with officials asking for volunteers to help with the search this Saturday and Sunday (see Volunteers needed to search for missing UVa student, $50,000 reward for information). This one hits close to home because Hannah is a friend of SWAC Niece who is a first-year student at UVa. She and Hannah became friends two years ago when they and others now at UVa attended French Academy at Washington and Lee, a three-week immersion experience the bonded a group of high school teens who have remained friends (see 2012 Governor’s School French Academy leaves positive impression on students). Thursday night’s prayer vigil brought out thousands of students to UVa’s amphitheater, and students at Harrisonburg’s James Madison University (SWAC Son’s alma mater) also held a candlelight vigil in support of the UVa community. Hope is fading for a happy ending but many still pray they find her safe. #BringHannahHome
Americans killed in Afghanistan: It really irks me that media don’t do more to publicize when we lose active military members who are serving overseas. This week two American troops — a Paratrooper and a U.S. Marine — were killed in separate attacks as well as an American contractor. While newscasters address other issues endlessly, they have not brought these deaths to the attention of most of America. They have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and their families have lost a loved one (see U.S. Marine from Va. killed in Afghanistan, wife expecting baby in December and 2 Americans killed by suicide/homicide bomber in Afghanistan). Operation Enduring Freedom continues….
Fall is Monday: I’m ready. Bring on the colorful leaves, cool days and nights, fires in the wood stove, pumpkins, mums, and everything else that makes this a great time of the year. Chili bubbling on the stove, Brunswick stew in the crock pot, and good times with friends and bonfires and fall festivals. The Apple Butter Celebration is this weekend in Shenandoah National Park (see Skyland: 15th Annual Apple Butter Celebration Saturday in Shenandoah National Park). So much sadness around … the mountains are calling.