October again. Ever since 2008, when I was living out of my Subaru on a perpetual road trip, the word itself makes me say, "Bur," even as the orange-yellow sun shines over the fields. The red nip of my nose and ears, my breath cutting into the wind on a still day, never mind the fact of Halloween, which also pulls at me like a hand from the ground – there is something about this month that has marked me through the years of life. And now I face open-heart surgery October 30. Yet I am truly joyous as these days wind down, as the moments run through me like water under a sheen of ice on the river bank. Yes, I am thankful! I should be, for the people in my life make it sweet, and the goodness of it all continues to collect in memory like drifting snow over acres of piled hay. One day will be my last, but it is not this day. So I am thankful.