Welcome to October – a pivotal month midway between the long summer and the joyous days at the end of the year. August – the long, hot month known for its “Dog Days” and seemingly lasting without relief for longer than we desired – is over. September – the back to school month (although many school systems now begin in mid- to late-August), the start of the football season month, and the beginning of fall – also is behind us.
Those two months are history, and two months (November and December) lay ahead – not counting our current month of October. That makes this month the middle month – for the transition from the summer to the end of the year (and the start of 2019), for fall color, for cooling temperatures, the harvest, and a generally happy time.
Not every crop is harvested in October, but many are. The summer growing season culminates in the fall harvest, and what epitomizes fall more than October? This is when we see plenty of roadside and front yard stands for produce – especially apples, cider, pumpkins, other squash, and whatever else the backyard garden or orchard has produced.
It’s that way with our aging in place projects, too. The seeds of projects we discussed with clients earlier in the year – whether a month or two ago or back in the spring – can begin to come to fruition. People who have been procrastinating making a decision may come to realize – some with our help and reminders – that they can still have the work done in time for the end of the year, but they need us to get started soon. Others are going to be engaging us for these last-minute projects as well so they may be competing for the time when we can fit all of them in this season. Also, colder weather and their own indoor activities could limit time available to complete the projects.
As fall routines have been established, kids are back in school, the time change will happen in another month (daylight hours are already beginning to shorten), outdoor (especially backyard) activities are lessening, and we are looking forward more to going inside and using our fireplaces, dining rooms, family rooms, basements, and other entertaining areas – depending on where in the country we live.
We encouraged people to take a mental as well as physical inventory and evaluation of their space at the end of the winter earlier in the year. We knew that there were going to be storage needs and space desired for hosting and entertaining their guests at year-end events that would need to be planned and undertaken in time to complete them as desired. Many people have yet to finalize those plans and to meet with us to get them underway. We can’t help them without their agreement to get started, but maybe we can give them a friendly nudge. We know they would like the work done and that it will be beneficial to their providing a great environment for hosting their friends, close family, co-workers, and neighbors during the end-of-the-year holiday season.
For all of the great things that the month of October represents, it also signifies that time is running short to get started on a project (and then to have it completed in time) to provide accessibility and visitability for guests that will be invited into homes over the balance of the year – to watch football games on TV, to participate in Halloween parties, to partake of a Thanksgiving feast (Canadian and American), to celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, and to close out the year 2018 and welcome in 2019. Because some of these events are happening soon and are going to take place before a project can be undertaken, the longer people wait to get started, the more the balance of the year slips away with nothing done.
Then they will have missed another season of getting the inside of their home ready for the months when people do most of their living and entertaining indoors. Without any action soon, we will be talking to people in January and February about how they would like to make changes to their home to be ready for the 2019 fall and winter season instead of reviewing how beneficial the changes were that we just completed for them to use with their family and guests for the current indoor season.
October is a fun month, a pivotal one, a colorful one, a harvest month, and one that signals that it’s time to make a decision on completing work inside the home to allow for comfortable aging in place over the winter and for creating a visitable context for welcoming guests into their homes.