Thursday, October 1, 2009

Life in the Pumpkin Patch

I love October. An odd thing to love I suppose but - for those of you who have not been paying attention - I am sort of an odd cat in any number of ways.

I love the fact that Margaret's birthday is towards the end of this month. My wife is such an extraordinary woman that she is in fact a bit of an anomaly. While many of us as we get older recoil in horror at the thought of doing so, Margaret embraces it with verve. She shall be forty-seven years young later this month. I smile at the thought of being able to broadcast her age worldwide without any fear of repercussions from her for doing so. She loves her birthday and I love the fact that she does. Annually, it is a day in October to which I look forward.

As a baseball fan, I love that the playoffs shall begin in less than one week's time. While I loathe the Red Sox with every fiber of my being I enjoy the high-tension wire intensity of every post-season meeting they have with the Yankees. Given the fact that it has been a long time since the Yankees won a post-season series (put down your buzzers kids for we have a winner: 2004 ALDS it is) and given the fact that they will not play the Sox in the first round of this year's festivities, I mean not to jinx the G-Men. I mean to say simply that while the games tend to eat a hole in the lining of my stomach when they do bump heads with Boston in the playoffs, I hope that I have yet another shot at furthering my ulcer in two weeks or so.

October is the month in which Jill and Joe got married. In fact it was twenty-two years ago this October. I remember that they were married on Halloween and that the ceremony was held at the chapel at Princeton University. Believe me when I say - as one of my brother-in-law's groomsmen that Princeton University's "chapel" is to chapels what Andre was to giants. My legs still ache from walking the 1/4 mile back and forth from the door to where we seated the guests. I do recall that they had one hell of a party afterwards. The thought of both halves of that day make me smile still.

Here in Levelland we are treated to a wonderful array of colors and smells as autumn takes on a bit more of a swagger and stamps its imprint on the world. On at least one occasion each of the past two Octobers Suzanne, Margaret and I have driven down to Terhune Orchards to go apple-picking. There are equally fine ways to spend a sunny October Sunday afternoon but in my experience there are none better.

This month's fourth Saturday will mark Homecoming/Fall Fair at my high school Alma mater. As I have aged, I have mellowed a bit I suppose, which has increased significantly the amount of pleasure I derive with reconnecting with those I knew way back when ("in the day" I think it is called). We're not so skinny. And maybe we're not so free and - sadly - we're not as many as we used to be but at our core we are still just kids hanging out. Nothing at all in the world wrong with that...nothing at all.

October Aught-Nine brings with it the added bonus of Springsteen under the stars (well, I hope for stars as opposed to rain clouds) at Giants Stadium. Margaret and I are going to three of the five shows. As happy as I am about that I am far happier about the fact that Suzanne will be making her maiden voyage with us this Saturday night and am equally happy that Rob will be among the attendees a week from Friday night when we all bid Giants Stadium adieu as a concert venue. As the son of a man who struggled mightily to express himself to his children, I carried with me into fatherhood many of my father's demons in that regard. Springsteen has proven throughout the years to be a wonderful way to bridge the distance between them and me. To be in their company as we watch and listen to him together one final time at Giants Stadium is a moment I shall cherish.

Last but most certainly not least, I am looking forward to this Sunday's Race for the Cure. This is an October that through no fault of its own has leased space in what has been an excruciatingly lousy year. Yet in spite of all of that - and maybe in part because of it - two of the "nextgen" - Suzanne and Megan (Frank's oldest) put their heads and their hearts together and the by-product of their sweat equity is "Sue's Crew". We are close to two dozen strong by this point, comprised not only of family members but also friends. All of us had our lives impacted profoundly by Suzy B and on Sunday morning we will gather to let her see a bit of what we learned from watching her all those years.

October is here. Can't wait. It got here not a moment too soon.



Jerry said...

I too have been enjoying your blogs. Love that Bruce still plays a role in your life. Somehow, over the years, his words and music still matter. Mattered when i was 17 and now that I am 41. I too try to share them with my kids.
Not sure who Suzy B is, but hope she triumphed over cancer. a heck of a battle i know, as my wife Tara fought it off eight years ago. Keep up the writing...

Adam Kenny said...

Thanks for reading and thanks for the kind words. Excellent news re: Tara. Sadly, not such great news for Suzy B. who was my wife Margaret's mom. She died on June 2 after fighting like hell for 5 years against breast cancer.