October offers up some of the year’s best weather. It often claims ownership of the year’s first killing frost, too, and the first snow. Sometimes it’s both.
October and I have a lot in common.
Weather is one of my favorite hobbies. I have satisfied that itch as a volunteer severe weather spotter for half a century for the National Weather Service. However, October is usually one of the quieter weather months unless a tropical storm plays havoc across the eastern U.S. Evidence 2012’s Superstorm Sandy.
October tends to be the calendar’s buffer between fairer weather and the more barren, colder months that follow. In other words, the tenth month foretells the winding down of every year. There can be no better year than the present to draw to a close. I doubt that I need to elaborate or provide the gory details.
Enough of the quixotic shenanigans. October and I have much more in common than climatological conditions.
I’ve entered the October of my life. I stay as active as I can, but it’s pitiful to watch me throw a tennis ball for our granddog to fetch. Millie is so unimpressed that she often refuses to give up the retrieved ball I’ve thrown.
Millie knows that my toss can’t compare to that of our oldest grandchild, the 16-year-old with a pitcher’s arm. Millie gets to run far beyond one of my feeble efforts.
Before and since my knee replacement a year ago, I have maintained a regular exercise routine. I also do yoga twice a week. I try to walk a mile every day. I ride my bike around and up and down our inclined neighborhood. To look at me, you wouldn’t know that I do any of that.
I have never been a muscular guy. But I usually could hold my own in most physical activities. Not anymore.
I am not ashamed to admit it. I’ve accepted where I am in life. I also kindly relent to any assistance from passersby when I’m toting multiple bags of mulch or birdseed, or anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I’m old, and I want to get older. So I quash my male ego and accept offers to help.
A few years ago, Walter C. Wright wrote a book, “The Third Third of Life: Preparing for Your Future.” It’s a workbook to help you ready for retirement and beyond. It’s an easy, practical read. The hardest part is accepting the fact that you are in that senior citizen-stage of life. For some, it comes sooner than it does for others.
Like leaves on deciduous trees, I want to keep on hanging on as long as I can. However, the leaves, of course, eventually color, fade, and fall.
I also understand that that is where October and I differ. After the foliage tumbles, buds protrude for next year’s crop to unfurl, and once again nurture the growing tree with a thriving canopy.
Humans don’t have that option. We get one shot at life unless you believe in reincarnation. For the record, I don’t. But if I did, I would return either as a chiropractor or a meteorologist.
October is a fine month of the year. I have fond memories of her from childhood to the present. Here’s to many more nostalgic Octobers for everyone.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2020