It’s about time, October.
I was about to put you on probation for all the hot weather. After all, October is all about change and you weren’t changing. Now things seem back in order.
Ah, change of seasons.
The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are starting to change and baseball is over for us for another season. It’s Rocktober, as radio stations remind us, when our dinosaur rock and roll music rules the air.
Back on the farm in Missouri, crops are being harvested, although even they are starting to change, with many different types of grasses being introduced to help the traditional crops.
Some things don’t change, at least not in principle. My family has had an outdoor wiener roast on the farm. All is well with the world.
Well, not all. While the tradition continues, big changes have occurred. Normally my father-in-law would build the fire over which we would roast hot dogs and have it roaring to where people couldn’t get close enough to even get a hot dog warm.
But he died earlier this year. Grandpa and Grandma have been gone for a while. My mother-in-law is still buzzing along but she is limited in mobility so the fire can’t be too far away from the house, where it used to be down in the woods.
Attendance is way down. The cousins who used to come are scattered to the wind across three or four states. The aunts and uncles are not able to attend. The neighbors simply are gone — moved or dead.
The rural area continues to shrink in population. Farms change ownership at incredible prices per acre. My son works hard to cope with wild swings in weather, unattractive prices for commodities, rising costs for inputs and farm machinery, and government regulations in return for financial help.
But still he loves the land and the work of farming it and raising cattle.
Despite changes in my side of the family, my nieces try to keep the annual family Christmas gathering going. With family members spread from coast to coast, it is hard. Still it is interesting to go and find myself as one of the elders. What a change.
The parents are gone. Favorite aunts and uncles are gone. Cousins are unable to get together regularly like they used to. But still it is good.
Change is a funny thing. We often don’t see it coming and usually don’t appreciate it when it comes, but somehow we survive. I wish it wasn’t true, but there really isn’t any other choice.
So, despite your continually bringing change, we welcome you October!