Albany Herald Guest Columnist Loran Smith
October should last longer. How nice it would be if it could be renewed. Make it endure, make those comfortable temperatures linger. Sweater weather. Leaves turning and throwing off inspirational scenes that we savor and keep.
Early mornings there is coffee and a newspaper followed by a book in the evenings-both by a fire, which reminds you of the good that there is in this troubled world. If you start a fire and settle comfortably, you can only think good thoughts. Nothing negative can seep in when the fireplace is engaged.
Officially, October is known for many things-Clergy Appreciation Month, Eat Country Ham Month, National Pizza Month, National Popcorn-Popping Month, and Sarcastic Month, among others. I vote that all these titles be kicked off the calendar and that October be exclusively named National Fireplace Month.
Cool temperatures bring about the need for firewood in October, and with the help of a friend, Agnew Peacock, I am always ready. A cord of wood stacked on one’s porch stimulates appreciation for enterprise. Someone has to expend considerable energy to cut and stack a cord of wood, which is four feet wide, by four feet high, and eight feet long-or 128 cubic feet. If you are addicted to fires and firewood, a cord doesn’t last too long, but it will bring you plenty of pleasure in the best month of the year.
Football is in full swing in October. There is nothing quite like the team winning and the tailgating reaching a peak and the band playing on. October is the conclusion of baseball, with the grand spectacle of the World Series making us enjoy thrilling moments that remind us of the past.
If you are a traditionalist, baseball has one drawback in these big-buck television times-the games are played at night. World Series games played in the afternoon! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could revert to those times? Then again, how often would we, given the option, vote for our football kickoffs to take place at a midday hour like it was years ago. Television dollars are important to all sports today, and the money is influential enough that it is difficult not to yield to network whims for the big paydays in return.
Keeping on the October theme, weekly celebrations in October include: Week 1, Customer Service Week, and Week 2, Pet Peeve Week. Week 3 is Pastoral Care Week, which brings about the nagging question: who decides all that stuff?
My affections for October date way back. Growing up on a farm, this meant that the harvest season signaled that the cotton had been picked, the peanuts had been harvested, and there would be no more hard days under the sun in the fields until the following summer. There will always be something to do on a farm, but the fall brought relief from drudgery in the fields.
October is when fall fishing begins, and late in the month there is the beginning of hunting season. In our state, if you manage it efficiently, you can hook a beautiful rainbow trout on the Chattahoochee during October and also speckled trout in the intercostals of our state. Before the month is over, you can shoot quail throughout south Georgia.
October is a month when you have to manage adeptly, even deftly, to get all the activities into your schedule, there is so much to do. It means that the month literally sprints by, leaving you wanting more.
As the Halloween celebrations kick in the last week of the month, you find yourself wondering where the month went. It should be a 90-day month-and that might not even be enough. If you have ever borrowed money for that period of time, you are always amazed at how quickly the time passes before the due date arrives.
A 90-day October! Let’s start a campaign to make October, the best month of the year, one that lasts 90 days.
Loran Smith is affiliated with the University of Georgia and can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.