Boy, if you could have called in sick today (and live in Southern California), it was a perfect, overcast, cool morning and day for a trip to the Park.
After smoldering through 100+ degree days over the past weeks, the return of moisture is a welcome gift.
This is about as "fall" as we get here.
We are not in Indiana or Pennsylvania or Maine or Wisconsin, where the crisp chill sets in the air and the leaves turn colors.
I sure miss that, I must say.
Of course, the coming winter months are hard and the holidays can be even harder for people in tough financial straits.
Today I offer up a prayer for all of those across our country who are without work and struggling to get by.
If I could waive a wand like the Fairy Godmother or sprinkle some pixie dust or pop us all into a chalk pavement picture, I would definitely call for prosperity, peace, communities and an economy that functioned like they're supposed to.
I would seek a return to Main Street, U.S.A., where families earned enough to get by and people tended to help each other out a bit.
Turn of the Century America was no picnic, I know.
But we built things back then. And grew them.
We learned things, too.
People were tougher and smarter, overall.
They had to be.
Sadly, here at Jungle HQ my powers are limited to keystrokes and stale old stories.
That magic powder Trader Sam gave to me only seems to cause sneezing fits. It never works.
Without such gimmicks I am left to pray and hope for all of us.
Perhaps this little corner of the Internet sits like a candle on a windowsill, providing a spot of warmth for weary travelers.
Disneyland memories help lift us out of the mundane realities we face each day, if only for a moment or two.
It was always my approach while skippering my Jungle boat to try and brighten people's day, just a little, somehow. Without being sappy, fawning or fake (nothing worse than people who "try too hard" in this arena---it never works).
It wasn't always with a joke (Lord knows, you've all heard the jokes).
Sometimes just taking a moment to talk directly to a guest and find out a little about them was enough to crack the ice.
A wave or a wink or a smile to somebody in the back of the boat---to let them know I saw them back there---would often be rewarded with return waves and smiles.
I'm a sucker for kids.
To be honest, more often than not, my day was brightened more than I could ever hope to brighten anyone else's.
I loved to watch the wide eyes of the youngest victims on my boat.
To them, the Jungle was truly amazing!
Elephants, gorillas and crocodiles! Oh my!
Anyhow, thanks to you loyal readers for sticking with us here.
Sam and I are digging around the hut looking for new material most days.
Sometimes we find stuff.
Sometimes you poor folks get random drivel.
I have a Southern California feeling this fall weather won't last. I hear the weekend is supposed to warm back up into the 80s and 90s.
I've got to get back to HQ---seems our latest shipment of malaria kits were filled with placebo pills!
This is odd, as there hasn't been a documented case of placebo in the Jungle in over three months!