The first of Octember is here. A cause for celebration in my world. Octember, or October as most people refer to it, is one of my favorite months.
I don’t give up on summer until we are well into Octember, some years November. Octember days are glorious, warm and colorful and it’s mornings and nights promise cooler temperatures. Many of my fellow New Englanders have already broken out the boots and cable sweaters. I, for my part, am still sporting my flip-flops and capris. Sure, sometimes the brisk morning air nibbles at my toes; I am a hearty New Englander, I
can take it. The freedom and the sunshine on my toes are well worth an occasional nibble. I have thought of upgrading to a pair of L.L. Bean shearling flip-flops, I could commute in those right up until Thanksgiving.
My affection for Octember started in my childhood, when one day after school as I was doing my homework – a unit on the months of the year – and I asked my Dad how to spell Octember. It made perfect sense to me, September, Octember, November and December. Apparently, it was logical to my Dad who started to spell Octember before he realized what he was doing. Octember became a family joke and Dad’s and my favorite month.
Octember was such a thing between Dad and me that in his eulogy I referenced Octember. “For all the Octembers of my life, when the day is unexpectedly warm, in my mind’s eye, I will see you canoeing down the Merrimack as the sun glistens on the water. And, I will smile.” The first Octember after Dad’s passing, I would randomly wake up in tears. I didn’t understand what was happening until I told a friend about it and made the association. Octember made me consciously and subconsciously think of my Dad; and since it had only been seven months since he died, my grief was fresh and I was releasing the tears I held back at his funeral. As time has passed, I may not always think of my Dad on the March anniversary of his death but not an Octember passes where I don’t picture him canoeing down the Merrimack River and smile.
Octember offers Indian Summer, which really means summer isn’t over just yet. Flip-flop weather, woo hoo.
There’s nothing better than Major League Baseball in Octember; especially when the Red Sox are still in the game. I love Fenway, but its even more special watching baseball in Octember, eating a Fenway frank, drinking a cold beverage of my choice in the brisk Octember air. A pastime not meant for the faint of heart. It’s more precious knowing it will be another six months before I get to watch my Boys of Summer hit one off the Green Monster and enjoy a Fenway frank at the park.
Octember starts with baseball and ends with Halloween. We love Halloween in my house, soon our front yard will be turned into a haunted graveyard, covered with skeleton bones and fog. The weekend before, we will have a Halloween party for family and friends complete with bobbing for apples, pumpkin and squash bowling, peanut races, and an array of ghoulish snacks. It’s a great month for hay rides, apple and pumpkin picking, baking breads, making apple sauce and butter, drinking apple cider, hot or cold, apple cider donuts, leaf peeping, pumpkin carving. It’s the last carefree month before the hectic holiday months followed by the endless cold of winter.
My favorite line from the book is: ‘Just say what you want, and whatever you say, you’ll get on Octember the First. What a Day!’
What a day, indeed! The first joyous day of carefree Octember. I will sport my flipflops and enjoy the first and each carefree day Octember offers.