October is Outstanding....especially when...my two favorite baseball teams are surviving a run to the World Series...this lessens the pain inflicted by incessant political ads on the airwaves. The deciduous yellows, oranges and reds are peaking and reminding me that it's a riot and a joy to be alive and healthy in the mountains of Northern California. Gathering wood, Oak and Lodgepole Pine, from the surrounding forest, digging up onions and potatoes from the garden and fitting in hour-long bicycle rides, and dog walks, adds up to an almost perfect Autumn.
This is also the time of year when I miss my Michigan people the most. Being surrounded by Fall colors and the feeling of impending Winter makes me want to huddle with family and share stories and belly-laughs about the events from the rest of the year.
A month-long trip abroad always helps me reset, when I return home...I look at friends and neighbors differently...my yard, my house and my little village in the mountains, and of course the dog, welcome me warmly and forgive me for acting like the separation was permanent.
At sixty-two I am not setting any records for longevity but, I am the guy who forty years ago said, "If I live past the age of forty, it'll be because I haven't been adventurous enough." There'll be snowblower wrestling matches in my near future, followed by meals of grilled cheese and Advil.
I have to say, I am hoping for another dozen cycles through the seasons, at least....and a good portion of that time in the saddle on one of my favorite bicycles, breathing hard, sweating profusely and imagining that I am an athlete being pursued by some young whippersnapper, who thinks he has my number and is hoping to stomp by me with his nose in the air, not offering a single word of encouragement. For the most part, I am still holding those punks off by choosing quiet roads to ride in remote areas...when it happens, I won't be discouraged, I won't be rattled, I'll be thankful that I'm moving forward while balancing on just two wheels.