Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend

Well, that “extra” hour went by fast.

I spent it cleaning up a sewery splurt of geee-yuuuchch! around the drain of my downstairs shower. I’m dreading how much a rod-out is going cost. Probably not as much as simply hoping it won’t happen again would.

October passed without me rhapsodizing about it, as I usually do, annually. I also forgot, and WordPress apparently did, too, (no message of congratulation) that I passed my 5th “blogiversary” in October.

I don’t mind, because I spent so much time out enjoying the glory of my favorite month. I had banked more paid time off than I realized, and used it to extend each of my weekends by a day or two so Angelic Daughter and I could take our “fall excursions.” Each included a trail ride through a state park that offers guided rides on rented horses.

It takes at least an hour from my home to reach areas that could fairly be described as “rural.” But once you’re there, you know it, and it isn’t just because of the scenery.

It’s because of the politics.

I noticed several displays of flags proclaiming business or property owners’ enduring allegiance to their Great Pumpkin, Cheeto in Chief, Frito of Falsehoods, or whatever other nickname for a spray tanned dissembler you can imagine. These were usually displayed in rows, where the oversized flag bearing the last name of said Master of Mendacity (why do his supporters seem so prone screaming their fealty in GIGANTIC LETTERS?) was flanked by two additional flags displaying automatic rifles, crossed in the style of military swords, and maybe the flags of a few of the branches of our armed services.

Our destination when passing these displays was a farm that promoted itself as selling huge pumpkins. When we got there, what we found was a scene of despair. Although there was a sign pointing toward pumpkins, the driveway wasn’t marked, and the pumpkins were sitting, forlornly and mud-caked, on three idle hay wagons.

The front yard, if you could call the area in front of the barns a yard, was strewn with rusting equipment and overgrown with weeds. I chose a few pumpkins, quickly paid the nice woman who seemed to live there with a recent litter of tumbling kittens, and moved on down the road.

I couldn’t believe this farm had always looked like this. Maybe it was the competition from other farms that had turned themselves into temporary autumn amusement parks, with kiddie Ferris wheels and trains, giant slides, bouncy houses, and barns converted into bakeries, creameries and candy shops, with hayrides, corn mazes, and some pumpkins and gourds thrown in for good measure. Obviously, the rusty yard farmer had been left behind.

But “attention must be paid. Attention must be paid to such a person.” Maybe that’s why the flags out there were so huge. These folks want someone to PAY ATTENTION to them, and not in a patronizing, holier-than-thou, disparaging way.

But I’m afraid the moment to offer a listening ear has long passed, and our nation will suffer the consequences until the veil is lifted and the giant flag folks finally pay attention to “that man behind the curtain,” and see an imposter pulling levers and blowing smoke.

Mercifully, after the next trail ride, I found a real pick-your-own pumpkin patch. No rides, no petting zoo, and only a tiny little gift shop in a shed attached to an empty silo, which was decorated with pumpkins, gourds, and swags of corn tied with gingham ribbons.

Just like when I was a kid, you drive right up to the edge of the field, get out of the car, and spend a good hour searching for the perfect pumpkin (at least my brothers and I did when we were kids), considering and rejecting dozens of the round or oblong squashes before finding one that would become the perfect Jack-o-Lantern.

I was so happy Angelic Daughter got to see a place that hadn’t been swallowed by the petting zoos and “biggest corn maze in the world!”s and the kiddie coasters. Plus, the drive along a river to get there was lovely, with some tricky and not-very-well marked turns, until we found that farm.

And now, we’ve “fallen back.” After an enormous windstorm yesterday, which cleared my deck of leaves so I didn’t have to use the blower, we had one more gorgeous, cloudless, October-blue sky today (even though it’s November now) with that unmistakable slanty light illuminating what was left of the leaves from beneath or behind, making everything glow.

And then the sun set. Just after 4:30 in the afternoon.

Drawing the cloak of November around me tightly, hoping for some light but fearing more November darkness after Tuesday, I remain,

Your concerned, sentimental, October-mourning, winterizing,


6 thoughts on “Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend

  1. Enjoy the season. I share your apprehension about Tuesday’s election. We need a modern Paul Revere to go horseback riding in these rural areas to warn the citizens that the Redhats are coming, and, to stop them, all of us who haven’t drunk the Not-So-Great Pumpkin’s Kool-Aid need to vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holding to fall’s golden light in my heart may be a challenge after Tuesday and I have never liked Kool-aid of any kind, even as a child. The sun will still rise and we must as well.


  3. Glad you and your daughter were able to enjoy an Autumn afternoon without all the ‘fun park’ atmosphere.

    I have never been able to understand why some citizens have chosen to follow after a man who would never pick up a shovel and help them clean up after a tornado, who, as far as I know, has never donated his time or money for the good of the communities he has lived in and has encouraged authoritarian behaviors that are counter to the freedom of choice (with the exception owning as may weapons as possible).

    But in the mist of all of the nonsensical and violent behaviors that make social media and the news outlets there are still people who agree to disagree and who care about one another and the communities where they reside. Let’s hope that cooler heads prevail in the time to come so that we can work toward dealing with the ‘real elephant’ in the room, climate change.

    Thanks for the great post!


    1. Thanks for reading and especially for your thoughtful comment! Hoping our collective better angels will prevail, and you’re so right – we don’t have time for hate and division – we’ve got serious work to do! Americans have traditionally grabbed monumental challenges by the horns and wrestled them into amazing achievements – let’s hope that spirit of working together isn’t gone for good!


  4. Since I’m always a week or so behind, I didn’t get to this till after the election. The results have given me a little more hope for the future of our country and I hope they have brightened your outlook in that regard as well.
    Beyond that, I have also developed a new appreciation as well for October in particular and fall in general. Please check out my post for details. https://hbsuefred.com/2022/10/10/my-newest-start-may-be-in-october/
    Ironically, my idiot ex and my devil child daughter who hates him almost as much as I do now both have birthdays in October. Perhaps another reason to look at October in a different way?


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