Monday, October 3, 2011


October is when the year gets serious. Sometimes, in the morning, you feel a nip in the air when you're walking the dog. And those walks, morning and night, are starting to require the flashlight again.

When you're in school, October is when you're far enough along to know who's in your class, which teachers you like (or don't) and those projects and tests are around the corner.

Late September and early October is the traditional time when the new cars are introduced. That has been a ritual I've participated in since I was 10 years old. Something new, something changed. Visits to dealerships to claim brochures. Spotting the new models on the road for the first time. Sometimes it's something all-new, but incremental changes can be exciting, too. It feels different today, both because the automotive industry has changed and I've grown up, but there's a remnant of that October excitement that remains. This year, the long-awaited new Beetle represents this annual event for me.

October contains my half birthday. That was most important the year I got my learner's permit, but it still is a little private marker of time passing, which it is doing much too quickly now.

October (sometimes September) contains the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) and Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). It's the starting point for Jews who follow the tradition. I don't, particularly, but I still think about it, and it gives this time of year a sense of renewal rather than fading into autumn, leaves falling, and melancholy.

Apples. Now's the time to get 'em fresh and crisp.

For sports fans, it's time for the culmination of the baseball season with the games leading up to and including the World Series. For basketball fans, the NBA season begins at the end of the month. Football is in full swing. Sports Illustrated is a fat publication in October.

And all of it is rolling inexorably into the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, with all the accumulated memories of turkey, tree decoration, family dinners, gift giving, and suddenly--a new year.

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