Dear October - where are you?

Dear October,

What has happened to you, my friend?  Your temps are up, down, everything but temperate. You used to be the centerpiece of the lovely fall season, all burgundy and gold to savor. But you’ve become like Pluto – a once-legit entity, gone nebulous.  Now you’re just a few, quicksilver weeks between capri pants and snow boots.

Honey, I’m worried about you. Some days your temperature rises unnaturally into the 80’s, other days, you’re a raw, rainy prison.  What happened to your even days of sun-kissed warmth, piercing through the red-gold canopies of the trees above?  Days where a plaid flannel shirt was just enough to ward off your delightful chill.

I need to walk down to the park, drinking a pumpkin spice latte and singing “Kentucky Rain.”  I need to sleep in flannel sheets with the windows open.  I need hot toddies and corduroy and a cat to warm the night.  I need to see squirrels running amok on the lawn with acorns in their mouths, looking for the very best hiding spots.

I need to rake.  I need to breathe in sweet, charred air as leaves burn in piles.  I need to see little urchins in silly costumes on my front porch, shyly begging for candy. I want again to experience John T. McCutcheon’s politically-incorrect but charming Injun Summer essay from years past (which the Chicago Tribune saw fit to run each fall until the “PI police” shut it down in 2011; see the great Roger Ebert’s piece on it here).


Darling October, I don’t want you to be just a pit-stop between Labor Day and November.  I need the old you back.  Slanted light from a sun setting earlier each day, gilding my street for a precious few minutes before disappearing. Sleeping snugly while fall-cool air sneaks in through a cracked window.  Straw bales in the fields.  Apples and cider and candy corn.  Linus Van Pelt awaiting the Great Pumpkin, faith unbroken.

My October.


THAT’S RIGHT…. come closer…. closerrrr……

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Filed under: Life lessons, Tribute

Tags: October


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  • I think this is the most beautiful piece you have ever written, my dear. I could smell, taste, hear and see all the wonders of October in your words. I miss it, too. And Injun Summer was always something I looked forward to each fall in the Tribune.

  • In reply to Very Terry:

    Wow - thanks so much, Terry. You are very kind - just my kind!

  • Great headline, awesome post. You knocked it out of the park with this one.

    Bonus for the graphic for the Indian Summer, I remember Highlights featuring it every fall.

  • In reply to Michael Messinger:

    You get a Wow, too, my friend! Glad you enjoyed it. My folks had the Injun Summer piece framed in our den, and they were hardly anti-native-American. We've developed such a thin skin.

  • This is pure poetry. Stunning piece, Michelle. You've said so beautifully what so many of us are thinking. I'm in Door County right now where your words ring true.

  • In reply to Laura Vasilion:

    Thanks so much, Laura. I'm so glad folks are liking it! I just sort of tossed it off because how dank it was mid-week.

  • I feel the same ache but never expressed it so eloquently. Great job!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    Thank you, Kathy. I'm really surprised by the reaction to this. October is supposed to be this golden transitional month, and it stinks when it isn't!

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