October Is All About Dad

 Today my dad would have celebrated his 83rd birthday. When I said Happy Birthday to him in class today I had students say, "He must have died young." He did . At the time he didn't seem so young, but now as I close the gap to that age, he did die young. He died in 1996.
Tonight I revisited many pieces of writing I have done about my dad . I just kept returning to his love for October. Dad was made for October. He loved the fall trees as they turned colors, the smell of the leaves burning as he raked them into the street and set them on fire. When we were younger, I think he loved taking us trick-or-treating.
He felt comfortable in flannel shirts. He liked Kellogg sunsets from the front porch in October.
He was in his element in October because the month included baseball playoffs, the World Series, NFL and college games on TV, and trips to see Inland Empire college and local football games. Whether it was Teeter's Field, the porch at Tony's, the Kibbie Dome, or Joe Albi... Dad liked a good football game.
He also loved the garden bounty of the fall. Before him and Mom planted gardens, he enjoyed harvesting his mother's garden, bringing home jars of her pickles and relishes, getting fresh apples off the trees in the orchard behind my house in Kennewick, and later giving away huge zucchinis.

If Dad was with us today I would love him to make an October visit to my house. He could see our apple orchard, our one plum tree, and the many jars of grape jam I just prepared. He would love all the colors in my yard this time of year and be amazed at what has grown since he was here the spring of 1996. He would shake his head in disbelief when I tell him we had two cherry trees grow from pits. He would also love to sit by the fire and sip a good brandy and talk about the good times.

I miss you Dad.

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