Dad loved October. Bowling season had begun. He got to enjoy the World Series, NFL games, and college football games in his easy chair with a can of beer. The weather was cooler to golf. He could watch the Kellogg Wildcats play from the porch of Dirty Ernie's. He could watch the leaves turn on Cameron Ave.
Sunsets were always beautiful in October as Dad sat on the front porch. He enjoyed all the leaves turning red, yellow, and orange. He also loved to burn leaves in the street. Although he didn't always like doing yard work, he seemed to like raking leaves and putting them in big piles. When he got a shredder he ran the corn husks through, then put them in the compost to enrich the soil for the next year. He stood around while his friend Donnie showed him how to trim raspberry bushes in October.
He always got out his flannel shirts and changed to a warmer hat. He loved a full moon and would belt out the lyrics to "Shine On... Shine On Harvest Moon." When we were small he would walk us up to Joe and Henry's for a root beer and took us around trick-or-treating hoping to get a cool one at some friend's house. When I was older him and Mom would come to Moscow to cheer on the Vandals.
October meant canned goods from his mother in Spokane, roasts and homemade soups on Sunday, and later apples from the orchard below my house. He was so excited when the orchard owner told him he could take what he wanted. He drove his Chevy Lumina down the orchard road and loaded up.
October was that time before his knees started to hurt, his gout flared up, the roads got slick, and the sidewalk had to be shoveled. In early evening he could see his world from the front porch and later enjoy the warm light inside as he called it a night.