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Jack’s Mid-Missouri Memories: October, My Favorite Month

Autumn Leaves
It may be because I was born in October, or that I joined the Navy in October, or the fact that mosquitoes no longer buzz around my head in October, or it could be that I wrote this piece in October, and the day was so perfect I can’t imagine wanting to go past it.  I think October is the month when the earth makes an almost audible sigh in Missouri, and says, “Now I can rest for a while.”

October, My Favorite Month

As October comes to a close, I realize once again that it is my favorite month of the year.  It is a time of cool crisp mornings that makes a cup of coffee not only taste better, but almost necessary. It is a time of mild afternoons that pull me outside to watch squirrels gather nuts, and it is a time of clear cool nights when the moon seems close enough to touch.

October in Missouri is a time artists must use every color on their pallet to capture the beauty that nature displays, and a time the more poetic among us would find it hard to express that beauty in words. October is a time for long walks in the woods or any other activity that gets you outside. October is the month when one day can be cool enough for sweaters, and the next warm enough for T-shirt; one night can call for a fire, and the next a fan.  It can be as turbulent as spring or as quiet as a summer day.

As my wife and I drove through the country the other day, we could see the trees have begun to display that variegated pattern which will last until the wind strips them from their branches to carpet the ground. When I think about the leaves covering the ground, it brings back memories of my childhood falls and those piles of leaves I used to jump on and burrow into back then. I remember the smell of the leaves, and the crunchy sounds they made as I walked on them. I remember the distinctive smell of the smoke as people burned the fall leaves each year.

As I look out my window, I can see the wind is hard at work relieving the trees of their colorful leaves, which I will have to eventually rake into piles. Fortunately I have grandchildren who will make good use of them. If I have anything to do with it, October will be their favorite month of the year too.

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