Today is the first day of October. Until 2013, October was my favorite month of the year. Vermont is spectacularly beautiful in October — the foliage takes your breath away with its beauty. The weather tends to be great, apples and cider abound, and my birthday falls in October.
But since 2013? No matter how I try to not focus on this, October is the month we lost Sam. No matter how hard I try, October now seems dark and sad. That’s not to say there aren’t moments of joy, light, love and laughter in October, but I have to work harder than normal to remember the good things.
Therefore, I have decided that I am going to write a continuing post entitled “The 31 Days of Gratitude — October.” As I write the post each day, I will be actively looking for (and identifying) for what I am grateful.
Monday, October 1 — Today, I am grateful for the changing colors of the leaves as we come fully into fall foliage. The maple trees are a wonderful mix of greens, yellows, and the start of orange and red.
Tuesday, October 2nd — I am grateful for friends who support me, offering to do their own 31 days of gratitude with me. I am also grateful for Leicester Central School, where all four of our children flourished, so supported and loved — and how the faculty there continue to be part of our lives even now that our children are adults.
Wednesday, October 3rd: Today I am thankful for the humor of my children — they make me laugh.
Thursday, October 4th: I am thankful for the friends and family who remember and honor Sam in a variety of ways, letting us know how much they love him still, and help us keep his memory alive.
Friday, October 5th: I am thankful for seeing friends, delivering chickens (two of them) to a wonderful new home, and sitting in the beautiful weather watching a football game.
Saturday, October 6th: I am thankful for the amazing response to Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude being available in print!
Sunday, October 7th: I am thankful for listening to our youngest watching football with his dad while I make hot sauce and soup — love to hear them talk and laugh.
Monday, October 8th: I am thankful for being able to sit on a cool and damp evening with a steaming bowl of leek and potato soup, where every single thing in the soup except the salt and pepper was produced on our land, by our hands.
Tuesday, October 9th: love. I am thankful for love.
Wednesday, October 10th: Today I am thankful for a voice from the past reaching out to me. It mattered.
Thursday, October 11th: today I am thankful for the beauty of the foliage — even when it was grey and cloudy, the colors of the leaves are incredible.
Friday, October 12th: I am thankful for the amazing outpouring of support for Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude! Thank you all.
Saturday, October 13th: today for the incredible kindness of the people around us. Their love, support, humor, patience and guidance is so appreciated.
Sunday, October 14th: I am more thankful than I can express for standing in the sunshine with Paul and a friend, hearing about her cross-country trip.
Monday, October 15th: I am thankful for the wood stove and a comforting homemade dinner.
Tuesday, October 16th: today I am thankful for great music — Twiddle, Arlo Guthrie and Yanni were the soundtrack of my commute today.
Wednesday, October 17th: today I am thankful for the wonders of technology. Being able to stay in contact with friends and family who are far away is a gift.
Thursday, October 18th: I am thankful for seeing great local theater!
Friday, October 19th: the beauty of Vermont, time with Paul, and seeing a friend I haven’t seen in years all made for a great day. And our youngest is coming home for the weekend!
Saturday, October 20th: the joy of seeing friends, harvesting lettuce and kale from the garden, and the gorgeous sunshine, all made for a great day.
Sunday, October 21st: today I am thankful for harvesting the last potatoes, making pizza, making two dinners for the coming week, and some time to write.
Monday, October 22nd: for years, our youngest played Little League baseball on the county all star team. The team was made up of the most amazing group of young men — and they have the most amazing families. The years we were with this group of people almost daily was a joy for us all. Today, for the first time in a long time, I got to spend time with one of the moms, and it was pure joy. How lucky we are to be surrounded by this community!
Tuesday, October 23rd: besides the love we share, I am thankful for the skills of my husband. His ability to fix things, problem-solve, and keep things going is just plain amazing!
Wednesday, October 24th: today I am thankful for the people who work to start the difficult conversations and keep communication open no matter how great the differences between people.
Thursday, October 25th: today, I am thankful for time to sit at the spinning wheel and make beautiful yarn.
Friday, October 26th: today, I am thankful for love.
Saturday, October 27th: today, I am for laughter, and saffron (the spice).
Sunday, October 28th: today I am thankful for time with my husband and youngest son, the Boston Red Sox, and friends who bring surprises.
Monday, October 29th: today I am thankful for my chickens — they make me laugh, get us eggs, keep us tick-free, and are so amazing!
Tuesday, October 30th: I am thankful for good friends, food we grow, and laughter.
Wednesday, October 31st: I am thankful for great Halloween memories, even if some of them make my throat tighten with a twinge of grief.