The Wright Stuff: Sugar, Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice 

pumpkin spice latte with cat decoration

by Michael B. Wright  

 I have really been looking forward to October.  It’s the time of year when everything, including the porridge, is pumpkin spice flavored! When it arrives, we are immediately one week into Fall. It portends to be a nice, pleasant month, “not too hot, not too cold, but just right,” according to Goldilocks. The main reason I look forward to the month these days is Samuel Adams’ seasonal Oktoberfest Beer, which is one of the few times I indulge.  

 Sometimes I take my beer out by the pool, but I haven’t been in the pool this year at all, having gotten basal cell carcinoma on my nose from being in the pool last year. Plus, I’ve only just this week been released to get into the pool by my cardiologist, as I’m now 4 months out from open-heart surgery. I am now a CABG Patched Pumpkin Spice Kid.  

My brain is also patchy, because logically, October should be the eighth month (as “octo” = 8). I guess no one was willing to argue with Julius Caesar at the time. The good news is, there are only two months remaining for hurricane season. But then, there’s always that one, rebellious hurricane out there who can’t read a calendar.  

Related: Wright Stuff: Nosewhere to Run, Nosewhere to Hyde
October is also known for Oktoberfest. Is that when German children put on their lederhosen and go from door to door, begging for candy? No, I’m sorry, that’s Halloween, which, depending on your perspective, began as a “Christian” celebration when in 835 AD, Pope Gregory IV moved the celebration for all the martyrs (later all saints) from May 13 to November 1. The night before became known as All Hallow’s Eve, later shortened to Hallowe’en. There are also purported ties with Samhain, which was first observed by Celtic Pagans. On this day the Celts believed the veil between the living and the dead was especially thin.

Since I now live in a gated retirement community rather than a regular subdivision, I no longer have the option of gimbal-mounting a cauldron of boiling oil atop my roof to thwart trick or treaters. Sadly, the HOA made me take it down. 

That’s OK, though, because the last time I celebrated Halloween, I was as a teen. I entered a costume contest dressed as a #2 Pencil. I lost (and got weird looks). My Dad, who in real life is a priest, dressed as the Devil. (He won.)  

If October has special memories for you, share them with Mike at