Our door buzzer rang awhile ago, and I ran out to the porch to find a big box from my mom on top of our mailbox. Every autumn, Mom mails me and Mike a care package filled with silk leaves and mini pumpkins and gourds, things we can use for supper (this time, a vegetable soup starter and a cornbread mix), tuna (my favorite lunch), hot chocolate packets, bags of microwave popcorn, and peanut butter-filled candy for Mike. Today's had all the usual treats, plus a little cooking magazine and a pretty card and basket, but the highlight to me was what is in the picture above: On one of the magazine clipping pumpkin pictures she had taped around our mailing addresses on the top of the box, Mom had written "Vally." It is what she's always called me, and it makes me miss her today even more than I already do. It seems impossible, but I've only seen my family once so far this year--in May for my birthday--and that's just not enough. When I get this next month's work schedule, I'll have to figure out time to make a trip home.