It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

There are pumpkins for baking
and leaves that need raking
And bratwurst and beer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Wait. What? Those aren’t the right lyrics?

Well, they should be, as far as I’m concerned. October has always been my favorite month. What’s not to love about the cooler but still lovely days (at least here in my part of the world), the longer, somehow darker nights, the big orange harvest moon, the scuttle of leaves on the sidewalk sounding like chattering teeth or clattering bones, the oooh, spooky vibe that seems to rise up like mist, growing thicker and thicker with each passing day…

Horror movies. Love them. Not the gross, slasher in the campground variety, but the classic (or re-imagined) monster movies (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, Sleepy Hollow), or the psychological, mess with your mind until your skin wants to crawl off your body variety (The Others, Pan’s Labyrinth and Skeleton Key), or the goofy/campy startled the laughs right out of you sort (Trick ‘r Treat, The Lost Boys, Shaun of the Dead).

Scary books and stories? Love those, too, and this is the time of the year when I revisit a few old favorites, like The Tell-Tale Heart, The Queen of the Damned and pretty much anything by Stephen King. I also shift the scarier contents of my to-be read pile to the top of the stack – this year, for me it’s The Gargoyle, Full Dark,No Stars, and Patient Zero.

When October rolls in, I get to crank up my favorite creepy tunes. No “Monster Mash” or “Thriller” here, just a playlist full of gothy goodness like Rob Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl”, Godsmack’s “Voodoo” and “ Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

And then there’s the food. This is the time of year when we can finally stop grilling after months of not wanting to heat up the kitchen. Cauldrons of soup, stew or chili burble on the stove all day (okay, they’re pots, but I’m feeling poetic), and roasts, lasagnas and gratins haunt the oven (poetic, people!), filling the house with delectable scents.

Scents…the smells of fall are the absolute best. Fresh air after the first rains, cinnamon and spices, that particular baked pumpkin perfume you can only get by scorching the inside of a jack o’ lantern lid with a burning candle.

Which brings me absolute favorite thing about October… PUMPKINS!

Back when my sons were wee things and my husband worked weekends, I’d strap the boys in their car seats every Saturday and haul them off to one of the many pumpkin patches in the area. Hayrides, petting zoos, corn mazes, hay bale pyramids. We rode, we climbed, we conquered – and we crowded the porch and sidewalks with our loot. Now, since the boys are older and far, far too cool for pumpkin patches (at least in public) we’ve created a new tradition. We plant our own pumpkin patch at my sister’s ranch. That’s this year’s patch in the picture above; it’s big and full of every strange and wonderful kind of pumpkin and gourd we cold find seeds for. We throw a big party in mid-October for all our friends and families, complete with hayrides, apple bobbing, pumpkin relay races, piñatas, a big bonfire and a pot-luck. It’s a blast, and we come home with the back of our truck fully loaded and ready for our annual pumpkin carving fest the day before Halloween.

And then comes the candy… Mmm, candy.

See, it really is the most wonderful time of year! What do you love about October? Do you have any favorite stories, books, movies, music or traditions? (Yes, consuming a bag full of mini-snickers constitutes a tradition.)

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16 responses to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

  1. October is indeed a wonderful month. It’s a great time to travel. For the most part, the weather is still good. A little layering takes care of the cold and crisp. Instead of huddling indoors in the cool of the AC, or sweltering in the heat—mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon day sun—one can stroll all day. In addition, tourists are gone and tourist-dependent prices like lodging and gasoline come down a bit. And finally, the colors begin to change as autumn sets in.

    You’re right, Lisa. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

  2. I’m not much of a monster movie fan, though I do love Queen of the Damned, Dracula and The Mummy.

    I love the weather in October, it’s stunningly beautiful outside and I can actually have the windows open for once.

    • Last time I checked, those were all monster movies. *winks*

      Love Stewart Townsend in Queen of the Damned. He made a MUCH better Lestat than Tom Cruise.

      • Jar O' Marbles

        LOL. True. But when I think monster, I think scary movies, and I don’t consider those to be scary.

        And yes…Stewart Townsend was SOOOO much better than Tom Cruise. Lestat was the Brat Prince…Cruise just couldn’t pull that off.

  3. The first Sunday of October for the last 20 years, I’ve participated in the 5k Run for the Cure sponsored by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Yesterday was the 20th year and the only time I can recall when it rained heavily and was cold. I had to turn the heat on when I came home. Despite the bitter cold and wet feet, it’s an event that always warms my heart and reminds me how lucky I am to be a survivor.

    eden

  4. Weather? October? Not here in Vancouver – it’s the start of the rainy season. Rain, rain, rain and more rain. But it’s also the start of the theater season, the new movie season, the arts and culture season. And the great new book season – I’ve always bought two of them (and am hoarding them for the next rainy weekend – probably next week!) and there are many more on my list. As for Stephen King – hmmm, just finished Duma King. Loved it, scary and brilliant and smart. It’s terrific.

    Kate

  5. I love October. The beautiful leaves, the crunch of them under my feet, the brisk autumn breeze, apples and pomegranates and pumpkins! Halloween, Samhain, MY BIRTHDAY!

    There really is something truly magical about this time of year.

  6. I don’t like scary movies. I find life scary enough, thank you. Although I do love the Mummy movie with Brendan Fraser…

    But here in the Northeast, we get the beautiful changing foliage, and this year looks like it is going to be glorious (thanks to the warmer days and all that grand flooding). Fresh apples and apple cider, the last of the harvest from my garden, and yes, pumpkins.

    I want to come to your party–man, does that sound like fun!

    But my favorite things about October (besides that fact that we usually get a hard frost that FINALLY kills all the damned ragweed) is my Samhain celebration with my Witchy circle. It is the most important Pagan holiday of the year, and always a joy to share with friends. The feast after is usually pretty wonderful too…

  7. Leaves. Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Shorter days. The way the air starts smelling cooler, earthier.

  8. October is one of the great months. The Harvest Month, Yum! And Halloween, Yum, Yum! and it ushers in my birthday–All Saints Day (Nov)!

    Wally

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