In October, I Remember

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Of all the Octobers, I have ever  known, this one may be “the fairest of them all”.  The days have been mostly bright and the nights have been cool and very dark.  Of course, there was the beautiful “harvest moon” and since then the sky has been splattered with shining silver stars.  For a few nights, stars dashed across the sky, though I never saw one.   I have seen the “morning star”- and made wishes on it, too.

The countryside fairly glows in the light of October.  The air is crisp and sweet and makes it feel sinful, not to take notice.  Fields are silent places,  for now the soil gets a well deserved rest.  I grew up on a small farm.  Sadly, small farms are “few and far between” now.  My maternal grandfather, known as “Pop”  had a few tractors and a huge barn.  There were shelters for the tractors and tools.  He had a smokehouse and pastures, too.  Along with the fields and woods, this was my playground. . . with the exception of the  tractor shelter.  It was dirty and I could not so much as walk through it, without getting something on my clothes, which Mama   declared “would never come out”.  Another reason, I steered clear, was there was always a commotion of some sort, which I believe Pop would often start.  Something was always broken, it seemed.  Pop had a short fuse under such circumstances and was liable to cuss.  If my sister and I were underfoot, so were the dogs.   If Pop couldn’t find something, he was sure we had messed with it.  This was never true, as neither Delores nor I cared for the grime and grease of the tools.  We did use the vice to crack pecans and walnuts, occasionally-especially if Pop was on a tractor in a distant field.  We were long gone, if we heard the tractor coming.  October, was a different affair, though.

The garden was plowed up and the pantry was full, in October.  The tobacco had been sold at the warehouse.  School had started back and so I had to act civilized on a regular basis.  I wore dresses with matching sweaters and shoes not fit to climb in.  After school, while Mama was cooking  supper, I would visit with Pop and Grandmama.  School seemed a very artificial life compared to my “home-life.”  I was homesick every day.  Grandmama looked at magazines in October-and Pop “piddled”.  He was most often in what we called “the lot”.  The lot was the territory  encircled by all the barns and shelters.  A small grove of silver maples grew in the center of it and the  edge of the pastures ran around it. While the tractor engines were cold,  Pop sharpened axes and fixed kitchen table chairs.  He had a burn pile to burn limbs.  Pop did not show any signs of a temper- in October.

Pop was born in October-on the twenty-sixth in 1913.  He was one of ten children.  He went to school til sixth grade, which wasn’t all that unusual for a farmers’ child, in those days.  He did all sorts of complicated math “in his head” and was always quicker than those who used paper.  I remember him calculating how much fertilizer he needed per acre  quickly.  He read the “Progressive Farmer” faithfully and listened to country music by  people like Patsy Cline and Hank Williams.  He ate “gingersnaps”  and dropped peanuts in cokes.  He rode spirited horses and had a guitar he played around with.  He was proud of that guitar and didn’t allow me to hardly touch it. . .but I did every chance I got.  

Pop lived long enough to see my first three children.  He was in his seventies.  Grandmama had passed  more than a decade earlier.   He died on a frosty morning in March.  . . He was in his yard . . .just piddling.  In October, when the dogwoods turn shades of red and fields are quiet . . . I always remember Pop.




43 thoughts on “In October, I Remember

  1. Michele, this is one of the best posts you have written. I love reading about your everyday life, yet reading about your childhood and your grandfather in October was simply marvelous. Thank you for writing a beautiful story.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That was a beautiful story of your Pop! I remember peanuts in the Coca Cola bottle and needing a bottle opener! My daddy’s daddy, Mac, was an arborist before there was such a fancy term. He worked on many of the old oak trees in Historic Charleston. He drove an old green pickup truck and drank cola from those little glass bottles. Funny the things you remember. ❤️🎃🍁

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great-grandparents…my sons had several for a lot of their growing up years. We come from a line of “long life”. You just can’t beat family being close by. Sadly these days it is rare.
    Always love reading your rabbit patch life.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Michele, you had such a vivid memory of your Pop. He must be very smart. He read all he needed to know to be a good farmer. He knows how to relax by listening to country music. He must be content and had a good life. Thank you for sharing the story!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I had to grin Michele… many things you remember about your Pop could be said of my husband! Maybe it is small farmers who have a certain likeness? Lar can do lots of math in his head…he is way better than me at that. He loves to read his farm magazines and can get short tempered when machinery does not want to cooperate (though he is mellowing out on that one!)
    I also grinned about your not supposing to touch the guitar but doing so every chance you got!
    Love this post and your memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Michele, Ma’am,
    Lovely post and a lovely tribute to your grandfather. I wonder if the tribute was the goal of the entire post after all . I think you are a very skillful story teller. Through the intricacies of the post and the beauties of life on a “small farm” in the 1960s perhaps, you led us on and on, till at last you reached your memory of losing Pop, during October. A beautiful beautiful memoir and remembrance.

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  7. I hold with Pop.
    There are only two things children must keep their hands off of in my world:
    Window glass and my guitar.
    Funny how I “never happen to be looking” when flowers and birds are drawn in dew and fog of windows.
    The guitar? There’s lots of guitars here. I’ll get you your own so you can keep your hands off mine.

    Bless those sweet memories.
    Through the eye of the needle, we will carry them home.

    All my best,


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Such curious parallels, my grandfather (the original Pop Pop, the moniker I adopted), bought me my first guitar. (He also bought me my first wrist watch, with Dick Tracy on it, and taught me to drive a golf ball and…oh, I digress).
        From grandma, I have the violin she bought for my mother, aged 15 at the time.
        One of my “someday”s has me fixing it up and learning to play it.




  8. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful person! I’m sure you miss him very much.
    And when I was a child, I also preferred to be at home to being in school. I could never understand the kids who said they were bored at the end of summer and ready for school to start again. I was never ready!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a wonderful character sketch of a complex, loved man. Many things about your pops reminds me of my grandparents and great uncles. We were fortunate to have had such pillars of goodness and hard work in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dearest Rabbit,
    When I began to read your post today, I felt, after a few lines, like I was reading poetry. Really sweet, beautiful poetry which carried me along with it’s words. It was a poem which told a story and I loved it.

    Then the poem became deeper, and it switched. Instead of poetry I was now reading the story,…. the history of Pop. Pops days. Pops ways. Pops loves, life and eventually …. the telling and explaining of his passing over.

    At the end of the poem/story …. I felt like I’d known Pop and could ‘feel’ him. I knew his hands. I knew the chair he liked to sit in. I knew his attitudes. His ways. And I knew his happiness.

    Thank you Rabbit for sharing Pop with me. I have been blessed with the treasured memories from a box labelled ‘Love’.
    Sending love, ~ Cobs. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you never let me down-I always feel so inspired when I read your comments. I think I came from a lot of love and I want to honor that in some way. I grew up knowing I was truly loved and that has been an important factor in my life. I keep feeling love now-because of people like you. thank you so much, my dear one and only Cobbs love your rabbit

      Liked by 1 person

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