October is here!

Today is one of my most favorite days of the year. For me, today is better than Christmas and second only to my birthday, which is only 20 days away.

It’s October 1st, the start of the best time of the year. It’s the first day of the first week of my favorite month in my FAVORITE SEASON. I’ll admit, it’s a bit different here in Europe than it is back home, but since I’ll be home for 16 days this year during my favorite month, it’s worth getting excited about. Fall, fall, I love fall.

This week is the week the leaves all change in New England. This week they’ll all turn from bright and green to bursts of burnt orange, candy apple red, maze yellow and milk chocolate brown.

It’s state fair season. Mounds of coarsely chopped potatoes, still dressed in their skins crackle and dance in vats of swimming oil, just waiting to be dumped in paper cups and showered with red vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt. Powdered sugar dusts the chilly noses of those devouring the warm and soft and sweet funnel cake that’s eaten once a year. Walkways filled with hay and fresh soil lead to fat and creamy pink piglets that snort and squeal with anxiety and excitement. Cows chomp and moo and stomp and poo in stalls stacked high with bales of neatly pressed flaxen hay.

It’s full into football season and the chirp of whistles, the crushing of pads and whoosh of kick-off returns can be heard every Sunday. The air smells crisp and of wet leaves. On dry and crisp fall days, you can hear the crunch as the leaves crackle beneath your boots (it’s also BOOT SEASON!). The wind is blustery in a hair in your face, cashmere scarf over your nose, fingerless gloves are in season type way. Wood is chopped, pushed in wheelbarrows, and stacked on Saturday afternoons so lazy Sundays can be filled with napping by the fire as the smoke snakecharms itself out the chimney and fills the air with its earthy and glorious smell. Pumpkins are everywhere and the warm and sweet smell of apple pie/strudel/crumble/crisp billows from cracked windows around the world.

This year, I get to spend most of October at home in Maine. For two weeks I’ll be back for our wedding and I’m really looking forward to all that is fall in New England. It’s also our chance to see all (89) members of our family and friends that we have not seen since we moved over here over a year ago. It’s our wedding/party/reunion extravaganza. I will get to have a joint birthday celebration with Katie and we’ll most likely get a chance to go to our favorite place so that I can say hiya to my Dad. I’ll get all the lobster I ever wanted and I’ll get to hug and kiss everyone that I miss so very much from home.

But fall. For me, fall is my spring or my New Year’s. It’s my chance to make a list of all the things I want to make good on or experience or fix for my next year to come. And so this year, every day of birthday month, I’ll come up with a new, “Here’s to a better, older and wiser, Heather” item to add to my list.

Day 1 goal of birthday month: Have more patience with others and most importantly, myself. “The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.”–Ralph Marston

Happy October 1st!

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