October is my favorite month of the year. It brings the smell of the changing season, holiday decorations, an excuse to watch anything scary (YAY!), and It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. A lot of people are refreshed and woken up with Spring and the blooming flowers. I gobble up October and go “nom nom nom nom nom” the entire month.
Southern Californians don’t really get to experience seasons. We get heat during the summer and maybe rain in the winter. Jackets are usually not a requirement when a hoodie will do. Flip flops can be worn year around. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I am grateful for the weather and it is one of the reasons I love living here. But I do live for that moment around late September that carries throughout October when the air changes. It’s a bit cooler in the morning and at night. If it’s cool enough, you can smell fires coming from chimneys. The moisture in the air carries the smell of wet grass, like it has just been cut. When I step outside that first day, I take a deep breath and savor it as much as my morning coffee. It gives me hope and excitement, reminding me of what the next few months have in store.
Earlier this month I was driving in downtown Riverside and the kids started shouting with excitement from the backseat. When I looked to my right I could see a store’s display window lit up with pumpkins, brooms, and hay. Orange and black dominated the merchandise and twinkling lights highlighted it all. When we went to Target a few days later, the back left hand corner of the store showed the remains of back to school supplies and the beginning of Halloween costumes, candy, house ware decorations, pumpkin carving kits, and anything else they can stick a witch or goblin on and sell it. I am even looking forward to seeing the “pumpkin patches” pop up along side the freeways that have inflatable slides, bounce houses, pony rides, and yes, even pumpkins for sale. I don’t need the reminder of the coming festivities but I love them all nonetheless.
It’s no secret that I enjoy scary movies. And when I say scary movie, I don’t mean let’s see how many different ways we can torture, maim, and then finally end somebody’s life scary. That’s gross and disturbing. I want to watch a horror film where I am sitting on the couch with my arms and legs as one, a ball of tension, and my eyes ¾ of the way closed because I am too terrified to have them at 100%. There are many on the watch list this year but aren’t limited to: You’re Next, The Conjuring, Evil Dead 2, and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. The best part? I am so exhausted at the end of a scary movie, I count it as a workout.
To balance out the tension and darkness that comes with being frightened, we watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I grew up watching it every year before Halloween and to be able to share it with Curls and Red fills me with such happiness. From Lucy and her evil football to Sally and her adoration of her beloved Linus, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is a tradition that I will keep long after my kids are too cool to watch.
October is a new beginning for me. The subtle weather changes, signs of the holidays, and films and shows to remind us what time of the year it is, are things I love about this Fall month. And my most favorite thing of all? These: