On October 2014

All things on earth point home in old October: sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken. (Thomas Wolfe)

October, the tenth month, but it was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar – after all, octo- means eight

For we in the northern hemisphere, October is about autumn, but to those south of the equator, they are enjoying the emergence of spring

In leap years, no month starts on the same day of the week as October, but during common years, only January does

October ends the same day of the week as February every year, but only January does in common years

October’s moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon

Flower: Calendula, Birthstone: Opal, and the Zodiac signs: Libra (until October 22) & Scorpio (October 23 and beyond)

There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October. (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

Sometime in October, all the four major professional sports leagues in North America are playing

Slavs call it “yellow month” because of the colors of leaves, but the Anglo-Saxons refer to October as “Winterfylleth” because at winter begins with this full moon … yet the Germanic use “Wein-mond” for wine month

Neil Gaiman wrote a story personifying the month in his collection Fragile Things entitled October in the Chair

Some movies with October in the title: October Sky, Hunt for Red October,
The October Man, First Monday in October, The Hunt for Red October, Mr. October, October Sky, and October

Oh, Marilla,” she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it? Look at these maple branches. Don’t they give you a thrill–several thrills? (L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables)

October is the month to increase awareness for AIDS, Antidepression Death, Blindness, Breast Cancer, Caffeine Addiction Recovery, Domestic Violence, Down Syndrome, Emotional Intelligence, Dyslexia, Eye Injury Prevention, Fair Trade, Global Diversity, Audiology, Chiropractic Health, Critical Illness, Cyber Security, Disabilities Employment, Depression Education, Ergonomics, Liver, Orthodontic Health, Spina Bifida, Substance Abuse, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Work & Family, Rett Syndrome, Workplace Politics, Menopause, and Squirrels

October is the month to celebrate American Cheese, Pharmacists, Apples, Children Magazines, Church Libraries, Class Reunions, Country Music, Eat Better – Eat Together, LGBT History, Free Thought, Books, Bake & Decorate, Arts & Humanity, Medical Libraries, Right Brainers, Spinach Lovers, Cosmetology, Photographers, and Stamp Collecting

October is the month to promote Adopt a Dog, Black Speculative Fiction, Bully Prevention, Bilingual Children, Church Safety & Security, Co-op Awareness, Energy Management for Families, Halloween Safety, Health Literacy, Home Eye Safety, Strategic Planning, Walking to School, Intergenerations, Long-Term Care Planning, Animal Safety & Protection, Crime Prevention, Dental Hygiene, Family Sexuality Education, Kitchen & Baths, Hearing Protection, Gourmet Adventures, Car Care, Tackling Hunger, Window Covering Safety, Organizing Your Medical Info, Self Promotion, Reading Groups, and Toilet Tank Repair

October is the month to appreciate bats, caramel, chili, cookbooks, field trips, popcorn, pork, roller skating, seafood, pizza, sausage, pretzels, desserts, apples, pickled peppers, tomatoes, cookies, and pasta

October is the month to Embrace Positive Attitude, Vegetarians, Family History, Hispanic heritage, German-American heritage, Polish-American heritage, and Italian-American heritage (yea me – Do any of these apply to you?)

October is nature’s funeral month. Nature glories in death more than in life. The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming – October than May. Every green thin loves to die in bright colors. (Henry Ward Beecher)

On an Aspect of Health

This story started early last November (2011) as we were at our first handbell rehearsal after returning from cruising the southern Caribbean. We only missed one rehearsal, but it still good to see our handbell friends. At the end of the rehearsal, my wife and one other choir member convinced our dear friend that she needed to get return to the doctor to tell them that whatever they gave her was not working.

By the end of the week, our friend and her husband went to the hospital for routine x-rays. Doctors admitted her and eventually diagnosed her with lung cancer. She never smoked and never had any other cancer. We never saw her again as she died three weeks later at age 56. Her passing was difficult for us, and some of you may remember I shared my feelings along this journey – and eventually dedicated this post to her.

This past February I celebrated my 59th birthday – thus I am now older than my mother who passed away one month short of 59. Yes, it was cancer. She smoked for many years, but after a breast cancer diagnosis and a radical mastectomy, she stopped smoking – but in the end, liver cancer shortened her life. I spoke at her funeral, thus recounted that journey in a three-part post starting here (for anyone interested).

Also in early November, a handbell player unexpectedly left the choir because of her out-of-town mother’s health issues. Recently, and out-of-the-blue, doctors diagnosed our former handbell player with lung cancer. That news is relatively new, so we don’t know about her prognosis. Nonetheless, many are shocked.

I find it interesting that we hear so much about breast cancer, yet my wife recently heard that more women die of lung cancer than breast cancer. With the recent news and because I wanted verification, I found this graph from the American Cancer Society. (The full report)

Because the Dancing with the Stars is what got us interested in taking ballroom dance classes, it’s no surprise that we regularly watch the show. We love the waltz, and this one by professionals Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts (a married couple) is wonderful; however, as the video shows, there is more to the story. As I end this post linking handbells, ballroom dance, friends, relatives, and cancer, I hope you take four more minutes for this video and consider telling others about this post.