We're nearing the end of October, which means many things: Halloween (our kids are excited) is right around the corner, Fall colors are stunning as they have been appearing in all the trees' changing leaves, the awful U.S. election season is very nearly finally finished, and we've reached the halfway point in my wife's chemo treatment for the breast cancer that was diagnosed in August. We have a long road ahead but her doctors are optimistic, the tumors are apparently softening and shrinking, and the support we've been receiving from friends and family near and far has been wonderful.

Meanwhile, my practice room/office in our basement has been seeing a lot of me, and the stack of repertoire I am preparing for various events has grown - or it would have grown if I actually stacked my music instead of scattering it in a pretend organizational system all over the floor around my music stand.

I'll be performing a few times in the next several weeks on the K-WCMS series in Waterloo - playing rare piano quintets with the Toronto Serenade Ensemble and the lovely pianist Su Jeon on November 4; both Brahms Viola (ok, clarinet!) Sonatas and the Romance from B.J. Dale's Suite with the lovely pianist Heather Taves on December 7; and Beethoven's single String Quintet, Op.29, with the Penderecki String Quartet on December 16 as part of a program celebrating the composer's birthday. If anybody reading this happens to be anywhere nearby, I hope you'll join me for one or another of these intimate recitals.

Enough for now. I just wanted to post something that would move my older "Justin" story further down the page... :)