October is a month with few equals. The air has that delicious crispness in the morning, forcing us to put on a sweatshirt or jacket. The trees are dressing out in their autumn splendiferous golds, oranges, and reds; and, most of all, the sky is that shade of blue that proves to everyone that God Almighty is a University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill fanatic. If He wasn’t, then why did He make the sky Tarheel Blue? October is truly a month of magic and beauty.
For the record, I hate October with a rare passion.
October IS a beautiful month. It was my Granny Wham’s favorite month of the year and its arrival signaled to Papa Wham the need to get the car tuned up and round up the Igloo cooler because it was time to take a ride up to Caesar’s Head State Park for a picnic lunch and a scenic drive down part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I still hate October.
My loathing of the tenth month is not without good reason, though. Simply put, October has historically been the most brutal month of the year for me physically, emotionally, mentally and any other — ally you care to think of.
Mama and Daddy split up in October. Their divorce was final in October. We lost my childhood home in October. Four of my six long term girlfriend relationships ended in October. I always started wrestling in October and when I was an athlete that meant painful soreness in all parts of my body; when I was a coach, it meant the end of seeing home before dark and having any Saturday to myself for five months. Papa John had his first bad stroke in October. I was fired from my teaching job in October. I was told I wouldn’t be a librarian anymore in October and — as the hood ornament on this hoopdie car of life — Papa John died in October.
October has not been good to me over the years. Mama and I both dread October because “If it’s going to happen to us, it’ll happen in October.”
Perhaps you’ve noticed I only managed two posts in October. It wasn’t for lack of material. It was lack of time and sanity. In a month that traditionally has seen my mood and fortunes go south with the great V’s of Canadian geese, 2011’s version was no different. Allow me to list this month’s misadventures for your edification.
- Mama went in the hospital for ten days and at one point, the doctors and I didn’t think she was going to survive the night. I couldn’t give myself over to the hysteria I felt however because . . .
- With Mama in the hospital, I was responsible for Granny’s care so I had to arrange with hospice and Medicare and NHC nursing homes for an emergency placement for Granny.
- Budge’s brother dropped off the face of the earth. We know he’s alive, but that is ALL we know.
- Our beloved niece has resumed her on-again-off-again feud with her mother which got her kicked out of the house and she moved down here for a total of two days before packing up and taking off again for God-only-knows where.
- Budge had a sinus infection for the entire month of October and this latest round of antibiotics is finally bringing it under control. Now a sinus infection may not seem like a big deal, but it triggers Budge’s migraines and that turns it in to a big deal.
- Our favorite neighbors of the last 12 years moved almost out of the blue.
- Ect, ect, ect . . . those are just the big points. It was a horrible month.
So, October 2011 is gone and I cannot say I’ll miss it. In fact, the only GOOD thing about October at all is my beloved stepdad, Rob, turned 50 this October AND October contains my Deuce’s birthday and kicks off her holiday season. Other than that, the tenth month is the pits.
Here’s hoping November is better and I’ll get more writing posted!
Love y’all and keep your feet clean.