Wrinkly Bits

A Blog by Gail Cushman

October Musings

October could easily be my favorite month, that is, if there were only ten months in the year with April and May as the ones omitted from the calendar. October is an enigma, and Mother Nature likes to play games. It always has a little bit of everything, varying temperatures from hot to cold, sun, wind, rain, and snow, sometimes all occurring in one day, meaning I can choose my comments. “Oh, yes, it’s a lovely rainy day,” or “The wind feels so nice,” or “Brrr. Snow? Already?” It isn’t a hard decision, because who in the world wouldn’t prefer sunbeams over other weather phenomena.

One of October’s holidays is Halloween, October 31, a one-day holiday, but in recent years it has become a multi-month celebration with pumpkins and costumes and all kinds of displays such as corn mazes and yards with witches and ghosts and other spooky things. I saw Halloween décor in early September and pumpkins appeared in the stores several weeks ago. And then there is the candy. As a kid, I wanted candy corn, caramel corn, and candied apples, but today every kind of candy is suddenly orange and a lot sweeter, it seems to me, and I can’t remember the last time I had a candied apple, although these days it would probably loosen a tooth and I’d end up in the dentist’s chair again. And who in God’s green earth invented pumpkin flavored coffee? It doesn’t come close to a good cup of Folgers.

In years past we made our own costumes, from paper bags or weird combinations of clothing and my kids dressed as either cowboys, tramps, or pirates. One year my daughter rebelled and wore all green, a pickle, she said. Easy and cheap, nothing from the store, but now costumes can run into big bucks.

Leaves begin to fall in October, too, which are very pretty, but also bring a lot of work. The task of raking and bagging leaves is difficult, time consuming, and a royal pain in the neck. This year, though, I took revenge on the trees and snipped them back. In truth, it was a little more than snipping, I leveled them to the ground, including removing their stumps. The bonus attraction to my tree removal storm was watching eight very buff young men in my back yard dancing the tree-removal-polka.

Someone is bound to be upset by my rampage on my trees, but I had reason. A pine tree was infected with bugs, a weird tree with spiked branches but no name encroached on other trees and shrubs, a Japanese maple was dead as a doornail, and the spruce that started as a mistake had shot up and outgrown its designated area. They are gone and I’m happy because I have no leaves to rake in my back yard. It seems a bit bare, but I’d rather write a blog than rake leaves.

All in all, October is a good month, better than most, worse than April and May, but always filled with surprises. Today, however, is a glorious day, and I shall enjoy the sunbeams for nine more minutes before some other form of extreme weather undoubtedly makes herself known.

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