It’s October!

And that means it’s time for a blog challenge.  Once again, I’m taking part in the October Memoir and Back Story Blog Challenge, run by Jane Ann McLachlan.  I had a lot of fun with it last year, so I thought I’d try it again.  It’s a little bit different this time around, but I don’t mind.

IMG_20130722_191349The theme for the first week of October is childhood memories.  I always feel like I don’t remember very much about my childhood; I think I blocked out a lot of it in a misguided attempt at coping with my mom’s illness (which you can read about in posts from last year’s challenge here and here).  There are times, though, where I think I remember more than I realize, and that thought has worked its way into at least one of my stories.

Today, though, is an absolutely beautiful fall day.  It’s rather warm for so late in the year – the high today is supposed to be in the eighties – but it doesn’t feel hot outside, unless you’re standing in the sun.  The sky is a brilliant shade of blue and, after some recent showers, the grass is looking greener than it has in months.  I noticed on my way to work this morning that the leaves are starting to turn, and it’s days like this that take me back to long walks home from school as a girl.

My elementary school was five blocks due south of my house, which always threw me for a loop because south was uphill.  In fact, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t throw me a bit to this day. 🙂  Anyway, I walked part of the way by myself (or with my sister, once she started school) and part of the way with my best friend, who lived a few blocks away.  When the leaves had turned and started piling up along the street, we would walk home in the gutters (instead of on the sidewalk like we were supposed to), shuffling our feet through the leaves.  We shuffled along till they built up to our knees, then kept shuffling till they all blew away.

Occasionally, we’d rake up all the leaves that collected in our yard and put them into huge piles.  Then we’d drag our picnic table over and jump off into the leaves, just to rake them back up and do it again.  Our neighbors occasionally burned their leaves, and there’s nothing quite like the smell of leaf smoke to say, “Welcome to Fall!”

The season of sun and s’mores may be over, but that doesn’t mean the fun is.  What are some of your favorite fall fun memories?

(c) 2013.  All rights reserved.


12 thoughts on “It’s October!

  1. Lucinda Slater says:

    I like the look of your blog Kay, the flock background and the handwriting image as a banner gives it a warm, homely feel. I enjoyed reading your post, loved the colours and scents coming off the page. Very atmospheric, thank you for posting.


    • Kay Kauffman says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I was actually thinking about this the other day as I was talking to someone else, and what better way to begin a fall blog challenge than with a memory of falls past? 😀


  2. lhauser27 says:

    I’m from Ohio, so I know what you mean about raking leaves and jumping into them. I’m in California now, and I miss fall a lot. 🙂



    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I always thought I would want to live somewhere warmer, like California, but then I realized that despite my intense loathing of winter, I really do love the changing of seasons. I’m not sure I could live anywhere more tropical than Iowa (although I could do with wintering in the south!). 🙂


  3. Deb Stone says:

    I have been surprised how many memories come back when I revisit places or see photographs from the times. First, the obvious initial memories, and later deeper, less clear memories, where snippets of conversation and fleeting images reside. I recently went online to tax assessor sites and google, zillow and so on, and located photos of most the houses or apartments where I have lived. When I saw the exterior, I could immediately remember the layout inside, the color of the carpet, the draperies and furniture. It was strange. Do you have visual cues to help prompt the memories to come?


    • Kay Kauffman says:

      Sometimes. This morning I was running errands with my youngest two children and they wanted a story. I was at Sam’s Club, and they happened to have a bunch of Dr. Seuss board books for sale. Just the sight of them triggered a fresh wave of childhood memories – my dad hated Dr. Seuss. I was going to write it all out here for a second, till I realized that it’s great material for my next post… 😀


  4. Katie Argyle says:

    This weekend I watched kids shuffling leaves into small piles at the farmers’ market where I sell my artwork. They were really happy pushing the leaves around with the feet and then crunching them when they figured it was thick enough. I remember walking like that too, trying to create the sound that only dry leaves can make. I never liked to jump in the piles though. Something about the acid smell of them turns me off!

    Thanks for posting.


    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I LOVE the sound of dry leaves! I live on a very shady street and I can’t wait for them all to start collecting in our gutters. We’re lucky enough (in a yardwork sense) not to have any trees in our yard, so we don’t have any of our own leaves to deal with, but somehow our neighbors’ leaves all seem to make their way into our driveway…

      Still, I miss having trees in my yard, despite all the work. Luckily our new house has plenty of them. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


  5. joyweesemoll says:

    We have a ton of trees so we deal with a lot of leaves — but it always reminds me of that childhood fascination with fallen leaves so I embrace the work as a way of appreciating fall.


    • Kay Kauffman says:

      The place we lived before had several huge mature trees that produced lots of leaves, and the place where I grew up practically had a forest for a back yard. I’m not much for yard work, so I don’t particularly enjoy raking them all up anymore, but I am looking forward to having trees again when we move. Fruit trees in particular – yum yummy! 🙂


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