By Bruce Stambaugh
In case you’ve been too busy to notice, surprise! It’s October!
October is famous for its surprises, especially political ones like in the current presidential campaigns. Both natural and human-generated events are said to sway the election’s outcome. Given the tone of this election, nothing will shock me.
That aside, this year has seemed to have just melted away for me. That’s certainly been no surprise at all given the record-breaking heat and the significant changes that cropped up in my life.
Globally, we’ve had 11 straight months of record warmth. When it comes to climate change, misery loves company. No one was exempt.
The transition process of going from living in Ohio to moving to Virginia has been both exciting and fatiguing, especially mentally. After residing in the same house for nearly four decades, a lot of decisions have had to be made, sometimes rather quickly.
We can opine about those situations all we want. That still won’t change the fact that October is here. For me, that’s a good thing. October has always been one of my favorite months.
Our granddaughter would likely agree. Maren turns seven soon.
As we begin the year’s 10th month, we know in general what to anticipate. We won’t know the particular details, of course, until they unfold.
In the Northern Hemisphere, harvest season is peaking. Field corn is drying on the stalks or in shocks on some Amish farms. Apples, pears, pumpkins, squash, gourds, fall flowers and the last of the vegetable garden crops brighten kitchens and spirits alike.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the anticipation of spring is over. Our October is their April. That seems only fair. As life ends in one locale, it begins anew in another.
As their leaves unfurl, ours start to drop. The central question reoccurs from New England to the southern Appalachian Mountains and far to the west. What will the persistent dryness do to the leafy colors?
Produce farmers earnestly watch the weather forecasts for any hint of first frosts. October is often the scene of that crime. Most folks relish the finer, more favorable weather. It should come as no surprise that I’d be leading that pack.
Start to finish October often is a handsome month. Golden leaves against cerulean skies dotted with patches of cottony clouds create a natural beauty that even the most sullen person can’t ignore. If they do, it’s surely their loss.
Sports enthusiasts are in their glory, too. Football is in full swing. Basketball is about to begin. Golfers revel in the perfect days but curse the cold in the next breath.
For me, October baseball still rules. The Cleveland Indians are playing once again in the playoffs. It’s the first time in three years, and even then that joy only lasted until the mighty Casey struck out in a one-and-done event.
That won’t happen this year. The Indians are Major League Baseball’s American League Central Division champions. I know for many, many folks, that was indeed an October surprise. Not to me, faithful, perpetual, loyal fan that I am. I’m ready for some post-season baseball.
Remember back in June when I sort of tongue in cheek suggested the Chicago Cubs would play the Cleveland Indians in the World Series? Well, wouldn’t that be a magnificent October surprise, the kind that any red-blooded American baseball fanatic could only dream of, except me?
I won’t be surprised at all. But if that does happen, it definitely will be an October for many to remember.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2016
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