october and the start to her comfort season

by Sharon Santoni

October – a short tale ….
Just a little piece of fiction, a short reflection on this wonderful time of the year
and how it feels to be slipping into autumn here in Normandy.
Although her spirits were lifted by the first signs of the spring, and although she was quick to abandon herself to the warmth of the summer, the truth was that she loved the autumn most of all.    And of all the autumn months, it was October she preferred.   For it marked the start of her comfort season.
 It was also the month of her birthday; as a child a month to anticipate, with tingly toes and starry-eyed hopes of special gifts.  Today her birthday gifts were fewer and smaller, but her pleasure only heightened.
After the heady summer days, so full of entertaining, and dressing up, and eating and drinking well, she discovered, with the passing years, that October came as a welcome relief.
 These days her summer wardrobe required more effort,  the lightweight skirts and shirts of summer were less easy to wear.   Gone were the days of perfect long brown legs, and easy-going hair tied back in a pony tail and left to hang down a bare back.   Dressing required more planning in the summer, but somehow became easier again once October showed its face.
High heeled sandals were put away, and flat comfortable boots retrieved from the back of wardrobes.   Strappy dresses gave way to long sleeved soft tops, and gentle jumpers.
In October she could pull on her favourite jeans or slim line trousers, slip on a cashmere jumper and a sleeveless jacket, a pair of flat shoes and she looked great.

“From now on I shall only go out during the month of October” she had joked to a friend, while secretly surprised at how good that sounded.

Entertaining at home felt easy.
Spontaneous invitations given and received,   no pressure to produce startling displays of complicated food.  Autumn eating was about quiet conversation in front of an open fire.  Friends seemed happy with home made soups, fruit tarts and stews that perfumed the house while bubbling all afternoon on the stove.
There was no urgency in the air.  Christmas was far enough away to think about later.  The children had gone back to school and even the start-of-school-year frenzy had died back and made way for a steady peaceful routine, that augured well for the serenity  of the year ahead.
And in her garden, there reigned a deliciously dishevelled display of dahlias, asters, zinnias and sedums.  Happy to give their best without requiring extra water, or even any pruning.
All of that could wait for November.  So when she wanted to be outside, she could wander into the forest, happy to enjoy the pumpkin orange colours and quiet in the knowledge that this month of October – above all others – was a time to relax, to be kind to herself

…. and find new energy for the months to come……



Taste of France October 16, 2017 - 4:55 pm

What a sweet story. And your photos are beautiful. The leaves are just starting to turn in the south of France. A bit of gold, with some red on the vineyards, but the blazing color is yet to come. Can’t complain–it’s balmy enough that we can keep the windows open all day and have dinner in the garden by candlelight.

Katherine October 16, 2017 - 5:48 pm

Love your photos and story too. Pennsylvania is beautiful in October too…especially the maple trees! Enjoy each moment, everyone.

Peg October 16, 2017 - 5:57 pm

Love this!

Patricia Mack October 16, 2017 - 6:00 pm

Love your stories – thank you for sending us a new one. I look forward to each and every one of them.

Tracy Brown October 16, 2017 - 6:15 pm

My sentiments exactly!
‘O suns and skies and flowers of June
Count all your boasts together
Love loveth best of all the year
October’s bright blue weather’
A poem by Helen Hunt Jackson I had to memorize as a kid, but recall it every October. Married in October, at the peak of color and autumn scents here, I feel it to be a most sensuous time of year.

Lorrie October 16, 2017 - 6:32 pm

Perfect sentiments for this, my favourite month of the year, too. And also my birthday month.

Laura October 16, 2017 - 6:46 pm

Hello Sharon,
I was thinking similar thoughts when I awoke this morning. Yesterday was balmy here in south-eastern Ontario, but the temperature dipped to 3 degrees Celcius this morning. I lit a fire in the woodstove and put a pot of chicken stew on the stove. It is fragrant with onions, garlic, thyme, summer savoury, celery, carrots, tomatoes and large chicken thighs. In the oven I have two dozen morning glory muffins rising up and turning golden brown. The smell of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and dark rum is drifting through the house and making the atmosphere in my Ontario country home warm and welcoming. Wouldn’t it be fun if you could pop in for a cup of tea and fresh muffin this afternoon!! LOL!! I will enjoy my muffin and tea and pretend that you are here anyway!!
Kind regards, Laura

Liz-Anne Platt October 16, 2017 - 6:49 pm

Well captured! October holds a special place in my heart, as it’s my sister and husband’s birthday month. OK, yes, my birthday month too!

Fiona October 16, 2017 - 6:53 pm

Thank you so much!

Pamela October 16, 2017 - 7:50 pm

What sweet story. The photos are so beautiful…

Fiona October 16, 2017 - 7:52 pm

I agree, always enjoy the fall the most.

Just wondering, when the brocante markets slow down or finish up for the year in Normandy.
I’m thinking they may go until end of November?

Nancy Tirk October 16, 2017 - 8:15 pm

I am also an October birthday child, although child is definitely a stretch these days. I always have a feeling of anticipation for October, it never disappoints me. Love your stories, love your photos, thank you

Judy October 16, 2017 - 8:34 pm

I so look forward to your stories. Thank you for this one…I am beginning to realize just how much I love October!

Our French Oasis October 16, 2017 - 8:57 pm

What a lovely short story, one I can actually really relate to, although I always think of myself as a spring and summer person, there is so much truth in this, it’s the season of relaxing, the garden really does take care of itself, almost, aside from endless mowing and it’s fun to cook soups and stews once more, so easy to serve with a baguette! Even if our balmy days of late here are more like summer than autumn!

Colleen Taylor October 16, 2017 - 9:14 pm

Another lovely story Sharon. I love the way you write. This is the time of year when we are on the cusp of our glorious weather & they heat is slowly leaving. If it were only like this all year long.X

Vicky from Athens October 16, 2017 - 10:00 pm

Sharon, you touched on a subject near and dear to my heart . . . Fall. I love everything about it. For me, October is the most special month. Our October has been especially warm this year but that is supposed to change soon and I look forward to long sleeves once again! I also look forward to the next “chapter” of your story.
By the way, I don’t think I’ve told you how much I’ve enjoyed your new book. It’s wonderful. You are a very talented lady. I hope your next book tour will bring you close to Athens again!

Misty October 16, 2017 - 10:12 pm

My sentiments exactly! Lovely story.

Irene G Peterson October 16, 2017 - 10:56 pm

In childhood, I always looked forward to fall. As an adult, it continues to be my very favorite time of the year. A fresh new start –

Cheryl Brooks October 17, 2017 - 12:03 am

A lovely story, and one I relate to, as autumn is my favourite season too. However, here in Sydney we’re in the middle of a very dry spring, although gardens are still managing bud-burst. The weather is, like springs tend to be in many places, unreliable–chilly one day, very warm the next, promise of rain showers which, regrettably, come to nothing. Your beautiful story reminds me that each season brings its joys and we should simply enjoy every moment of seasonal diversity.

Marilyn October 17, 2017 - 12:26 am

This captures my feelings about October also. The evenings are somehow different and I linger out doing chores as long as I can but then feel so cozy when I come into the back porch and then into the kitchen. Unfortunately, this October turned out to be the most hectic one I have ever had—ugh. Only the last week has NOTHING on the calendar and I am so looking forward to it! I will have a condensed October this year.

carol October 17, 2017 - 12:29 am

I also love your photos & stories. Hope you write another Christmas story!

Linda Quast October 17, 2017 - 2:24 am

October is a favorite month of mine, too, though sadness is a part, as both of my parents died in October. Here, near Seattle, the trees are brilliant and cooler temperatures have arrived. My front porch is decorated with pumpkins and mums, and inside the house the scent of candles perfumes the air. Thank you for your sweet story. It filled my heart with joy.

Leslie in Little Rock October 17, 2017 - 3:55 am

Sigh.. October is great. Fun to see LR, Arkansas and Normandy are about the same, because if I could visit, it would be now. Love that little snippet story!

Botanic Bleu October 17, 2017 - 5:26 am

I love your short tale of her favorite season… Could it be October is the favorite month world wide? (Even in the Southern Hemisphere since their weather is getting warmer.)

Here in north Texas, the temperatures are glorious. High of 74° F today with a low of 47° F tonight. We had a new red oak tree planted in the front yard today. Two of the oldest and largest oaks died this year and had to be cut. Sad, but the sight of the new tree revived my spirits.

Now, I can’t wait to see it fresh tomorrow morning.

Happy Fall


Kate De Vries October 17, 2017 - 9:11 am

Your lovely story sums up all my feelings about autumn and this beautiful month of October. Here in the Cotswolds the trees are beginning to glow, the fields are full of pheasants – always dressed for autumn – and it is birthday month in our family for my two daughters (my baby turns 30 the day after tomorrow – how did that happen?),and for my granddaughter, proudly reaching 4 yesterday. A season of celebration and grateful reflection.

Donna October 17, 2017 - 3:38 pm

Beautiful story. You captured many things I love about fall. Here in Tennessee the weather is getting cooler- mid 60’s- and leaves are just beginning to change. I can’t wait to pull on my comfy sweaters, jeans and favorite boots. And ooooh! the warm comfort food of fall! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story!

Marie Batson October 17, 2017 - 6:27 pm

Thank you for reminding me of how special October is! My now deceased husband proposed to me on a walk in the park October 1962 and wrote a song about it titled “Remember October”. I can still hear him singing the tune in my memory and recall that precious moment! Yes, I too love this time of Fall.

Stacy October 18, 2017 - 5:04 am

October has always been a special month for me. When my husband proposed and asked me when I wanted to get married, October was my choice without hesitation. It is a glorious kalidescope of color here in New England in the autumn and the abundance of pumpkins, cornstalks, and apples everywhere only adds to its’ provincial charm! Time to light the fire, raise the glass and toast the beauty of the season!

Judy Lambert October 18, 2017 - 9:28 pm

Then this must mean special birthday wishes should be sent your way!?
October is the time the spice comes out and everything pumpkin can be made! Soup is high on the priority list and how creative can I be? Though I hate to say goodbye to summer and dread heading to November, it would be lovely to stay in October for about 3 months!

Sue Malizia October 19, 2017 - 6:34 pm

What a great short story, Sharon…you drew me in right away with your title words “comfort season” along with your gorgeous fall photos. You captured the essence of the season so much so that I imagined myself along the trail enjoying a walk, crisp air, and thinking that I can’t wait to start wearing comfy, warm clothes.

Sara October 22, 2017 - 1:17 am

I loved this story Sharon. So relatable. Autumn is my favourite season and for me in Australia it is march that is my favourite month. Crisp air, cooler days and that overall comfort feeling you get as the we ease into winter, thank you for sharing your story Sharon, regards sara

Emm October 24, 2017 - 2:19 am

Thank you for a lovely story and beautiful photos. I was able last week, for the first time in several years, to get out of the US south and up to New England, where it was a good bit cooler and crisper and oh-so-much-nicer. My favorite time of year, too.

Chiyoko Suzuki October 24, 2017 - 11:52 pm

Lovely story… l love especially the season of autism. In central Tokyo, autumn is already in the air but not easy to enjoy watching autumn leaves. So I truly enjoy your beautiful photos and everyone’s comment from all over the world who shares their own beautiful autum story. Thanks everyone, and have a wonderful lovely autumn day!

Chiyoko Suzuki, Tokyo Japan

kural October 31, 2017 - 6:36 am

Thank you for a lovely story and beautiful photos…wonderful post

Sharon October 1, 2018 - 12:44 pm

always love your stories, from the first line you have a way of immediately drawing one in and wanting to read on. living in South Africa, October is Spring for us , I love the transitional seasons, autumn and spring, gently announcing change and without the harsh intensity of the summer and winter periods.. thank you for your wonderfully charming stylish posts and tales ,xx

Maryanne October 16, 2018 - 7:26 pm

Thank you for that. It is the comfort time of year and we should make sure to enjoy it before winter arrives.

Valorie October 16, 2018 - 8:33 pm

What I wonderful story! I loved every beautiful word of it. I don’t know and you didn’t say but I feel like this must be about you. You know how to capture every subtle feeling, fragrance, glimmer of light, color and texture so well with your words. If it is about you Sharon, Happy Birthday! Also, my best wishes to Gibson and Ghetto! I know they must love this time of years as well. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us! xx

Mildred October 17, 2018 - 3:52 am

Your fall foliage is so beautiful. Here in Middle Tennessee of the USA, the trees have barely begun to change and our temps are just now becoming cooler. I’m so impatient, especially when I see other places that are already experiencing the beauty of nature putting itself to bed for the winter.

sue Lewis October 17, 2018 - 4:45 am

I love your spirit…

AFN October 17, 2018 - 5:28 pm

Perfectly lovely. October is the best. Especially love the angle of the sun in the fall. Delicious, inside and out.

Elaine Pozzi October 18, 2018 - 6:46 am

Thankyou Sharon, your stories always brighten my day. It is Spring here in Perth, Western Australia. Yesterday it was 29 degrees Celsius and today it is pouring with rain and 18 degrees, the weather is becoming so unpredictable. I love my garden and walking in the early morning with my dog Brandy. I am looking forward to your next story. Thanks again Elaine x

Lori Widlicka October 20, 2018 - 7:05 pm

So delightful to read and share with your feelings about the soulful beauty of October days. October, as you tell your story touches all the senses and brings alive a connection with nature and time. Time seems to pass quickly but for the moments that make us pause, remember, and reflect we feel so lucky to be in the present. Your words and story have given me a warm and comforting golden moment. Thank you and have a Happy Birthday Celebration with champagne.

Martha October 8, 2019 - 3:07 pm

So wonderful! Your beautiful words transport me to your lovely environment, allowing me to experience everything you see. Thank you.

why autumn is my comfort season - MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME October 12, 2019 - 2:16 pm

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