Yeah, I just like to spell it the German way sometimes. It just looks more Oktober-y to me that way.
I love October. The SmockLady and I have that in common. Only we didn’t actually realize that until after we were engaged. You see, we met in the fall of 1992, but only briefly, and we did not get to know each other until the spring semester, so it was October of 1993 (two months before we got married) that we learned how much we both like October, and especially Hallowe’en (and just as I like to spell October as Oktober a lot of the time, I also enjoy spelling Hallowe’en with the apostrophe). We watched Sweeney Todd with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn that first Halloween night.
It’s a shame that some well-meaning but extremely uninformed Christians try to ruin Halloween for everyone (read about it here and here). It’s particularly ironic to me too, seeing that Hallowe’en is simply All Hallows’ Eve, the eve of All Saints Day (which is a Christian feast day). It’s even got to the point that the public school our girls go to tells us they are “not allowed” to have Halloween parties. That’s really sad, because that’s the one party during the school year our kindergartener wanted us to help with. No doubt some yahoo complained to the school board that “Halloween is the devil’s birthday.” (Those of you outside the South probably think I’m making that up, but there are people who believe this. I’ve heard if from people who ought to know better.)
Here’s what I love about Oktober:
- Circus weather – When it gets a little chilly for the first time, it always reminds me of the circus. The Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus would always come to Hattiesburg in October, and we’d take the children to the big top to see the show. What fun. (Yes, we’ve been to the Ringling Bros. Circus too, but there’s just something great about seeing a circus under the big top.
- Popcorn Balls – We’re probably going to make some this year, since it’s popcorn season. (BTW have you bought popcorn from my son yet? If not, why not? If so, thank you!)
- Caramel Apples – Don’t give me Wrapples or caramel-in-a-can. I want the real deal. Unwrap some caramels, melt ’em, and dip those apples. And make my apple a Granny Smith, please.
- State Fairs – Sadly, the Alabama State Fair is defunct. People were too scared to go to the fairgrounds. The Mississippi State Fair was usually pretty good, and they always had Penn’s Chicken on a Stick (from Canton), which pretty much made it worth the trip. That and the pig races. (And no, I don’t want to try a fried Mars bar.) The Louisiana State Fair is over in Shreveport: not too terribly far. Wonder if they have pig races? (Most of the “fairs” that I’ve seen advertised are not fairs at all: they are simply carnivals. A fair is not just a bunch of unsafe rides, rigged games, and greasy food. A fair has judging for livestock, quilts, artwork, home-canned vegetables, pies, etc. If you can’t win a blue ribbon there, it’s not a fair: it’s a carnival.)
- Pumpkin Patch – It’s so much fun to take the children to the pumpkin patch to pick their pumpkins. And I mean pick their pumpkins, not just pick out their pumpkins. We like to take them to a farm that allows them to go out into the field and actually pick their own pumpkin. The stems are kind of prickly, but it’s fun.
- Jack O’Lanterns – After picking the pumpkins comes carving the pumpkins! Each child gets to carve his/her own pumpkin, and the adults each do one as well. I retrieve the seeds from the scooped-out innards of the pumpkins and roast them.
- Real Football – Last year, none of our children played. This year, our second grader is playing, and I’m so glad. (Yes, I must admit that I do enjoy watching American football a bit, but our whole family enjoys what the rest of the world calls football, and I hope its popularity with young people here in the U.S. continues to grow and grow.)
So, what do you like about Oktober?