The excitement at dusting off decades old decorations.
The plethora of local festivals and fun-filled events.
The promise of a wide-open pumpkin patch.
The slimy feeling of pumpkin guts.
The salty roastedness of pumpkin seeds.
The daily dilemma to cave to my craving for pumpkin spice lattes.
The thrill of busy soccer weekends.
The friendly rivalry of college football.
The annual viewing of classic cartoons and scary movies.
The pink ribbons.
The painful memory of losing my mother, my best friend.
The constant tug of missing my mom and trying to live in the moment.
The first long-awaited breath of cool air in the morning.
The creamy richness of butternut squash soup.
The intimidation of the candy aisle.
The question that lingers: Why do we still have off on Columbus Day?
The comfort of slipping into (and out of) flannel pajamas.
The welcome warmth of spiked cider.
The smell of campfires and sharing stories under the harvest moon.
The joyful sounds — laughter and rustle — of kids jumping in leaf piles.
The not-so-joyful sound of parents raking up never-ending leaf piles.
The birthday that brings me one year shy of 40.
The best time to enjoy local shrimp and the start of oyster roast season.
The secret parental delight of less light that means earlier bedtimes.
The nostalgia for crazy costume parties of the past.
The hilariousness of adorable preschoolers all dressed up and on parade.
The admiration for, and envy towards, creative moms.
The triumph of creating last minute costumes for the whole family.
The embrace of my true love — even after forcing him to wear his costume.
The wide-eyed wonder of Halloween night and all it’s trick-or-treating glory.
The celebration of life, the marking of my mom’s death, the candy, the cuteness, the leaves, and memories all wrapped into the magic of a month.