Squeezing this in while it's still "Oc" and I'M STILL IN MIAMI (currently in an interminably long and slow-moving Rebooking Center line to see if I can indeed get a confirmed seat on a 2:35 pm flight with a layover in Tampa). 

I got back to the DR on October 11, just in time for Christmas!?

Yup. Lacking any fall holidays, and fall in general, Christmas lights start popping up on homes, like this one down the street from my temporary apartment, in early October.

However, while I've seen 2 or 3 bulk bags of Halloween candy at our local warehouse club store in past years, there's been a far more pronounced Halloween presence elsewhere, like the grocery store at which I typically shop, this year.

Roadside stands selling apples and grapes are a very Dominican marker of the holiday season.

I'm treated to this view of my neighbors' decked out apartment anytime I come or go (funny story: the green garland interwoven with the red on the banister has shamrocks on it!). 

Even commercial venues, like the bank I regularly drive by on my way to the botanical garden and (as pictured above) the airport, are in on the action.

This may be the picture that best represents the final 3 months of the year in the Dominican: Halloween at the snack bar in the terminal; Christmas in the adjacent windowed walkway to and from the jetbridge.

Whether you're counting the days until Christmas like the Dominicans or putting the final touches on your Halloween costume and waiting for turkeys to go on sale, tomorrow we come together as Lutherans in every place to celebrate Reformation Day - the origins and tenets of the faith that makes us one. God-willing, I'll have made it to my final destination by then to do so with the friends I'm staying with and the rest of the saints at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mt. Prospect, IL...

Until next time, blessings!