Monday, October 07, 2013

Why I love October

Today is the first Sunday in October. This month has a lot to offer. The pastimes changed from water
sports, weekends at the beach and gardening to football, fall festivals and getting ready for Christmas.

October is an assault on the senses with color that changes from moment to moment.

The lush green leaves give way to subtle shades of orange, yellow, maroon and brown that cause one to stop and contemplate all of life’s gifts.

Later when the leaves begin to fall, people flock to their yards to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Driving through most communities, you will see mounds of leaves and columns of smoke that hang in the air like fog after a rain. The aroma of burning leaves in the air smells like expensive incense.

When I was in the Army in the tropics, the weather rarely changed. The only seasons were ones where it rained, and ones where it rained a lot more.

In October, all the guys there were missing autumn. The sister of a platoon buddy sent him a care package and used autumn leaves as packing material.

We headed to the beach that evening, built a campfire and burned the leaves a handful at a time.

The smell of those burning leaves sent us all home for a little while.

Another thing I love about October is that the kinds of food we eat change. We have no more fresh tomatoes in our garden, but the greens are coming up.

Jilda stepped down to the apple tree yesterday and picked a half dozen apples the size of softballs.

She then baked a fresh apple pie that tasted as good as any dessert I’ve ever put into my mouth.

But autumn is also a metaphor for where I am right now in my life. Gone are the spring and summer days of youth. These days I can party hardy as long as they don’t go past my bedtime at around 9:30 p.m.

My life goals and priorities have also changed. When I was 30, my philosophy was bigger, better, faster and newer.

I can’t remember how many new cars I bought through the years, and at times, I dreamed of getting a bigger house.

I’m not sure why because we didn’t have kids, and more house would have meant more time spent cleaning and maintaining, and paying for something we really didn’t need.

I worked hard to earn money for a rainy day. In my 40s, it was hard for me to imagine a time when I didn’t have to “clock in.”

The autumn of my life seemed as far away as the Milky Way, but then like autumn, the days began to get shorter.

I woke up one morning and my hair was gone, my waist line had expanded, and my knees squeaked when I stood too fast.

And in looking back, all those things that seemed so important back then seem almost frivolous now.

As the old song goes, “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

It’s my intention to enjoy this autumn.

Happy October.


  1. Anonymous10:03 PM

    Absolutely, enjoy!!

  2. lovely picture and story.
    So true about life.
    You still look good. Must be Jildas good cooking. :)
    I am slowly getting back into painting Did a doodle today.
    I guess once you collect everything they'll make a good book or cards to send out to people.

  3. Great story, Rick. Would be a great post in our Ageing Community!

  4. Sometimes, less is better. You are aging gracefully. Happy October Rick.

  5. I love autumn too for all the reminders and the smells... the smells are amazing...

    Great post Rick :)

  6. I was wondering when your autumn post would be appearing. I love this. And yes you can't beat fresh baked apple pie in autumn :)

  7. I love this month because it's a gift before the winter...the brown of November and white of January and February. The colors and smell do indeed bring smiles and a sense of comfort. I too thought of this season of my life. Although I still punch the clock (actually it's the computer we punch now!). When my Mom was visiting I kept looking at her and wondering when she had aged and knowing I'll be there....God day. Such a circle! Anyway, for now I'm going to just enjoy this beautiful fall! You have a great week!

  8. Yes, fall is a beautiful time of year. And that time of life too. : )

  9. Dear Rick, I do hope that you are enjoying not only the autumn of the year but the autumn of your life. Do you remember "September Song"? It so well expresses the poignancy of growing older and the wisdom that can come with that.

    Thanks for sharing the army story of burning the packing leaves on the beach. You could surely write a short story about that. It's so tender and touching. Peace.

  10. I've always loved October. Although here in California, it's more the "idea" of it than the real thing. Here is just means high winds and fire season. But I try to ignore that and concentrate on lovely images like the ones you painted here in your post. I am also in the October of my life - and November is getting closer all the time. The physical isn't always pretty, but my mind is so much prettier than it was in Spring.

  11. Love this post! The life analogy follows as easily as the seasons in your story! Beautiful and so true for many of us!


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