A little bit about a lot of things:

• A good night’s sleep seems to be a moving target these days.

I was always told that sleep patterns change as we grow, well, not as young as we used to be.....and I have certainly found that to be the truth.

The days (or nights) of uninterrupted sleep have been sporadic through the years.

As any parent knows, a solid eight hours is a rare night indeed when you have young children. Parents are on call 24-hours-a-day for emergencies, be it kids having to go to the bathroom, babies wanting a 2 a.m. feeding, illness striking in the middle of the night or simply a young person needing comfort after having a bad dream.

In more recent years, it has been pets rather than children who are more likely to roust me in the middle of the night. Our current canine companion, Zoey, lets us know when she needs to make an outside visit by patiently standing atop one of us until we respond. On the bright side, she is good about letting us know when she needs to go out to do her business.....but her timing could often be better.

Of late, though, I can’t blame children or pets for my sporadic sleep patterns.

It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep 30 minutes at a time, or in three-hour increments followed by two hours of “awake.” Even turning to the most boring show I can find on television doesn’t get me dozing off on those nights.

What is particularly irritating to me, though, is a new-found habit of finally being able to fall asleep.....about five minutes before the alarm goes off and another day beckons.

Used to be that I woke like clockwork about two minutes before the alarm actually sounded, but now it seems like that is backward.

Guess we go through different sleep stages in life. As a child, I could sleep for 10-12 hours at a time without problem. More than once my mom would wake me for lunch instead of for breakfast.

Then, as a young adult, sleep seemed to be optional.....secondary in importance to various social activities or late-night road trips which could stretch into the wee hours of the morning with no penalty to be paid the following day.

I certainly couldn’t do that again.....nor would I particularly want to.

These days, a good night’s sleep is a rare but cherished event.

• Back-to-back homecoming weeks in Gustine and Newman, each packed with activities.

I enjoy the traditions established at each school....Gustine High’s Thursday evening parade and downtown rally, for example, has been a hit that helps bring the festivities to the community. That, of course, is a little easier do to when your high school is perched at the end of Main Street.

One change in plans has been reported for this week’s homecoming activities at Orestimba High. There will be no Thursday night rally on campus as originally planned. Instead, royalty will be crowned at a tailgate rally Friday morning, just before the homecoming rally rolls through downtown Newman at 1 p.m.

• We’ve hit October, one of the calendar’s most enjoyable months in many ways.

October means fall colors, the heart of the football season, crisp mornings....and Halloween.

This year, both Gustine and Newman are hosting trunk-or-treat festivities on the evening of Halloween. Essentially, trunk-or-treat is a community celebration of the holiday, with participants decorating vehicles in the Halloween theme and dispensing candy at what amounts to a downtown festival. Other activities await as well, but that is the basis of the event.

Those who would like to be on hand with a decorated vehicle (clubs, organizations, businesses, etc.) may contact Chanelle Raboteau in Newman, 556-7461, or Tiffany Vitorino in Gustine, 854-9411 (online registration available in Gustine through the city website).

Trunk-or-treating is a safe, fun way for youngsters and families to enjoy Halloween....and the adults have a blast as well!

Dean Harris the Managing Editor of the West Side Index and Gustine Press-Standard. He can be reached at dharris@mattosnews.com or by calling (209) 243-8104.