Saturday, October 2, 2010

October in Oki

 October is usually my favorite month. In high school October meant football games, cross country meets, the smell of wood smoke in the mountain air, and, of course, halloween parties. In college October was all about scarves and shopping in Seattle, long study sessions with pumpkin spice lattes, intramural football games, and, of course, halloween parties.

But Okinawan October is almost none of those things. Today it was 86 degrees Fahrenheit. That's not unusual at all. The daily temperature has barely changed since August, and though it is a little cooler at night,  I still wake up sweating. There is no fall foliage, no fragrant wood smoke, and, worst of all, no pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. They don't even have the pumpkin syrup!

October Sky? Yeah right. 
The one thing Okinawan October does have is a halloween party. Oh, I just love playing dress up! I just hope that the weather cools down a little more before then, otherwise I will be sweating my long-wig-and-two-pounds-of-make-up off. (No, I won't tell you what I am dressing up as. :) You'll have to wait for the photos.)

Instead of pumpkins and crunchy leaves, October now means one thing: goodbye. All summer long I have been saying that awful word. Goodbye to friends, goodbye to coworkers, goodbye to a whole community of people I've grown to cherish, but although summer is technically gone, it isn't over. This month I have to say goodbye to even more people. People like the Thomas family.

I met the Thomas' in church almost one year ago. Meghan was one of the young women who quickly greeted me and invited me out for ladies' night (though I didn't make it and have regretted that ever since). I couldn't stop staring at her lovely blue streaks of hair. So spunk and fun! I knew immediately that she was no ordinary mother of three (with one on the way!). Meghan and Dustin are such great parents. They're raising four of the loveliest kiddos I've ever met, maintaining a godly example for their kids and everyone around them, and speaking passionately about their lively, honest faith, all while maintaining their independent spirit and youthful spunkiness! They are... incredible. In one week, they are leaving Okinawa, and I feel like I am missing out. I haven't had the opportunity to spend a ton of time with their family, but they've made every effort to draw me in. They even bought me amazing tacos for lunch today! I just love them so much. 

Honestly, I am a little mad at October. For being nothing like I want it to be, for doing nothing I want it to do, and for making me say goodbye to this sweet family. October, you're on my list.

However, in the spirit of salvaging my October happiness, I am now going to impliment the following measures:
1. Complete halloween costume prep.
2. Go 100 yen store shopping for fun stuff to decorate:
     a. my apartment
     b. my classroom
3. Plan my halloween lessons.
4. Do some sort of craft project.

On that last note, does anyone have cheap/easy craft suggestions? Keep in mind that I can't just go outside and pick up lovely leaves... unless you mean palm tree fronds. Also, does anyone know if it's possible to buy orange pumpkins in this country? Probably just on base...

So, that is my semi-coherent thought on Okinawa October... my last glimmer of seasonal joy resides in the knowledge that I will at least have a proper Christmas this year. I dreamed about it last night. :)


  1. Awe! I know exactly how that feels. October is my birthday month and favorite of the whole year and in Australia? Well... It just doesn't deliver. No colors. No leaves. No pumpkin spice. Boo. I don't know how to fix that one but dressing up and hosting a party does help a bit (I'm making plans to be Dorothy!). As for the pumpkin, we don't have orange ones here either but we have green ones that you can paint! Do you think you could find a green one and paint it there? Also, (just thinking) pumpkin spice is hard to come by but maybe you could put together some yummy seasonal-ish tea? My recipe: one broken up cinnamon stick, five crushed cloves, two teaspoons of sugar and one English Breakfast tea bag dipped--not stewed. Soooo good! Made me feel like it was actually fall this morning. :)

  2. I always help kids make pumpkins from paper plates, with a orange paint or markers and cut out cute eyes. They can use pipecleaners to make vines and real leaves if you want. Easy! Also making skeletons from construction paper is fun too.HTH. Okinawa is fab. I'm jealous ur there!

  3. check out

    They have lovely ideas!