I have been waiting.
This is my favorite month of the year. Hands down, bar none, do not pass go and do not collect two hundred dollars. October is awesome.
First and foremost, PUMPKIN IS IN SEASON. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, pumpkin is always in season and I have several years’ worth of vague plans to relocate to Salem, Massachusetts, where Salem Beer Works stocks Pumpkinhead all year long and the New England Pirate Museum is right across a parking lot from the door. In early September, independent cafés start carrying pumpkin-flavored coffees and the occasional pumpkin muffin, by the end of the month pumpkin is present in chain coffee shops with five bajillion calories in each delectable beverage or scone, but October–ah! October!–brings with it a veritable glut of deliciousness: pumpkin ice creams, pumpkin pastries, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin beers, did I mention the pumpkin ice creams?, roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin cheesecakes (…Dad? hinthint?), pumpkin cookies, and some absolutely amazing concoctions you might have heard of that are known as “pumpkin ice creams.”
[A friend of mine from Singapore once hand-made Christmas cards to mail out. Mine was a spectacular shade of orange, which she said she picked because although she’d never seen a pumpkin, she’d taken a stab at mimicking one since I talked about them so much. I love her.]
Secondly, and this is a fairly recent addition to my list but oh, how I love this, the Post Meridian Radio Players put on a Big Broadcast around Halloween every year. These people are so incredibly cool: they worked with a food scientist to develop their very own coffee syrup in homage to the real coffee syrup company that sponsored the real radio show they dug up and rekindled. They’re archaeologists, foodies, performers and really neat people.
[As an aside, I’ve recently–finally!–started listening to the Post Meridian Radio Players’ original podcast drama, The Mask of Inanna. IT IS AMAZING. GO DOWNLOAD IT NOW. I get sad every time I have to get off the bus when I’m commuting to work because it means I have to stop listening.]
Third on the list, October brings up all the insanely geeky fun I had while I was growing up, learning about ancient Celtic mythology. Jack-o-lanterns are a much bigger deal than I would have imagined in the original fairy faith. Púcas are sort of terrifying, frankly, and I’d rather meet a kappa than a púca any day. And Red Caps? Those things that have been transmuted into cute little gnomes? Forget it. I am running away.
[Don’t get me wrong: I loved David the Gnome as a child. I even got a copy of the book that inspired it. It’s just…once you hit ten and your encyclopedia of Celtic mythology gives you the titles of a few pertinent legends, anything with a red hat immediately becomes a no-fly zone. Seriously, lawn gnomes creep me out. You won’t find me within ten feet of one. Bleargh!]
[As a sidenote, GoogleImage found that little…beauty…on the blog of artist Doug Johnson. So now, sir, I am going to have nightmares. Thank you ever so.]
Fourth and most nostalgic of all, I grew up in an old farmhouse that had more than just four people, two cats, a labrador and a frog in it. Things moved around and things went bump in the night and more than once I carried on a brief conversation with my father from different rooms only to be very confused when he arrived home from work. I loved that house with its ghost and the newts that crawled up through the floor and the old middens and the aged wood in the workshop over barn/garage but I especially loved the three acres of land with the thicket maze and the natural springs and the deer and the bobcats (which I was certain were there but no one ever believed me).
[If you don’t believe me about the house, ask my mother about the first apartment she had when she got out of college. Upstate New York, man, it’s happenin’.]
But to end the list and draw everything together, I love to decorate my room, apartment, cubicle, and life in general with glittery silver skulls, hanging ghouls, ghosts made of tissues, construction paper bats, and doodles on whiteboards or sticky notes that depict stick-figure graveyards and lopsided, leaf-less trees. I love breaking out my novelty socks with the skulls and cats and having the excuse to blow an extra buck on the blinking LED ghost necklace at the craft store.
[Hm. I must figure out where I stashed my bracelet of skulls and skeleton earrings.]
Lastly lastly, I will take any opportunity that presents itself to abuse the comma and make run-on sentences and make my poor, retired-grade-school-teacher mother twitch. I’m a good daughter like that.
I need to figure out a way to justify going to get ice cream every day after work…