Yes, I realize we're already a third of the way through November, but I'm still recovering from October. Was it just me, or did October take more than it's fair share of the year? It seemed much longer than 31 days.
Granted, my October dance card was not just full, but taking backups. But still... "busy" usually makes time pass faster, as in "Gosh, where did October go?" (That's the way November is for me right now, just flying by. Slow it down!)
But this year, even though it's one of my favorite months - if not THE favorite - by the end of it I was saying "It's still October??"
I mean, really, who can resist October? The weather is usually perfect - warm days, cool evenings, low humidity. (At least here in the Texas hill country.)
There's a golden glow over everything, including the purple and yellow wildflowers that flourish along the roadsides. It's like spring sprinkled with fairy dust.
And this October couldn't have started any better, with that gorgeous weather and my annual women's weekend in Port Aransas.
The beautiful weather held on for our church's annual Oktoberfest the next weekend.
As if that wasn't enough, less than a week later, I boarded a plane for the first time in more than a decade, headed for Chicago to help celebrate a friend's daughter's wedding. Again...beautiful weather, albeit quite a few degrees cooler.
I experienced my first real deep-dish Chicago-style pizza. YUM!
Then just a few days after my return home, three dear friends visited Austin. Gray clouds and drizzle had replaced the blue skies, but it didn't stop us from getting together at some yummy restaurants for plenty of catching up.
However, by the time Sunday rolled around, the rain had not only continued to fall, but it had broken records! My excitement over finally seeing Elton John perform live waned in direct proportion to the number of inches that fell.
I had imagined his concert under a gorgeous, star-filled Texas-in-autumn sky, not under an umbrella, shivering, stomping around in mud.
So when my compadres changed their minds about going, I wasn't that upset about staying home. I needed to write up an offer for clients, anyway, which probably doesn't seem like much fun to you, but is pretty dang exciting for me!
I'm sure exhaustion and age played a huge part in our decisions, and the terrible weather just pushed us over the edge. My friends were both in Chicago with me (one was the mother of the bride!)
Plus business went bonkers for me in October - yay! No complaints there! New clients, new contracts, closings... all answers to many prayers, and despite falling splat into the middle of such a crazy-busy month, I was - and still am - very grateful.
October was as full of emotional extremes as it was weather extremes. There were all of these good times with friends, but I also gathered with friends to grieve.
There was Father Joe's death. He had helped guide me into the Catholic Church. I could talk to him about anything.
Then my ex-brother-in-law became seriously ill and spent days in ICU. Despite his flaws, he remains one of my favorite people and probably the funniest person I know, and I've been really worried about him. He's home now, but I'm not sure he's getting better.
Before October took its final bow, a dear friend's mom passed away unexpectedly. She was one of our childhood moms, who had watched us grow from elementary school slumber parties to proms to being moms ourselves, hosting slumber parties for our own kids. I made an overnight trip to Houston for the funeral, stopping by my own childhood home before heading back to Austin.
I'm still trying to pay attention to the sweet!s in my life, and since my phone (essentially, my office!) rarely leaves my hand, I've been doing it more and more through photos, posting to Instagram and Facebook, and sometimes through words on a list on my phone.
So here are a few more from the end of October...
Letting your puppy talk you into walking before the sun is up so you catch the first glow of sunrise ... a glimpse of zebras in the Texas Hill Country ... a roadrunner crossing in front of you ... a full moon waiting up for you ... clouds painting the sky...
A surprise in the mail from Jennifer at Ripplespeak...
And the welcoming glow of home.
May your November already be overflowing in sweet!s!
Then summer fades and passes, and October comes. Will smell smoke then, and feel an unsuspected sharpness, a thrill of nervous, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure.