Beautiful Octobers

It’s hard to pick a favorite month, but I do love October. The cool nights, the fresh apples, the first frost. When we were children, October meant Dad was putting in long days harvesting the corn and filling the silos.

I could see the old barn and silo from my bedroom window. Before my dad died, the silo was taken down and the barn was refurbished. Renovating the barn, built by his grandparents, made my dad happy.

Sometimes Mom packed up our suppers, loaded us in the station wagon, and drove us to the field where Dad was working. Often, Dad was on the other side of the field, and we watched eagerly for his wave, signaling he saw us. He carefully guided the corn picker or combine, chopping the straight rows of corn he and Uncle John had planted that spring, working his way towards our end of the field.

An aerial view of our farm in the early 1970s. It is much the same today as my brothers carefully tend the animals and pastures.

Then we would settle on the hood of the car or perch on the rocks along the edge of the field and have dinner together. So happy to see us, he would talk about his day and ask us about our day at school. Dad’s gentle hand rested on the tops of our heads before he climbed back into the combine and we left for home. I remember Mom’s relief, hearing the tractor or combine after dark, announcing his return home on those harvest days. He entered the warmth of home, dirty, tired and ravenous, but always confident in the goodness of life, in what our fertile land could produce, and in the love of his family.

Here, my handsome dad gives our daughter Amanda a tractor ride. (Probably 1988) He just couldn’t imagine a better life than farming. He loved children and sharing farm life with them.

I do love this month, the beauty of these fall days, and all the memories they hold. Anne of Green Gables said it best: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

It’s a Fine Life.

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