October has come and gone and I am reminded that it is among the very best of times that Grants Pass has to offer. Mo and I walked outside Saturday morning, thrilled at the gentle fog rolling up the valley below us, with only the tips of the trees on our beautiful Cathedral hills showing above the swirling mists. The air was still a bit warm, with a low night temperature in the high 50s, maybe a bit unusual for early November. An atmospheric river is headed our way rolling in the magical circles of radar images that portend flooding and inches of rain, bringing with it the freshness of shifting weather, breezes, and the warm front preceding the coming rain.
The rains came a bit earlier this year, and with them what around here in the drier parts of Oregon the locals refer to as "green-up". We love this time when at last the drip system is decommissioned and the reverse osmosis unit that makes our water palatable for the plants I love to grow settles into its easy wet season rhythm. It is so refreshing to stop worrying about water, about how much salt we are using to run the system, and how much wastewater is running down the ditch. It takes 2 gallons of raw water to produce a gallon of fresh water. At 2.5 gpm for our well, and a 1700-gallon cistern to fill with "good" water, that is a lot of wastewater. We have adjusted to the need to do this, it was a choice we made when we picked this very nearly perfect little spot of land with the view toward the coast range in the distance and Cathedral Hills a bit closer.
In the early morning darkness at 7 a.m., the changing leaves of our oaks were brilliant, echoing the brilliance of the warm lights inside the house. The coffee smelled good, Mattie did her morning thing pottying at the most distant spot she could find on the property and then patrolling the boundaries, smelling the rodents, the deer, and whatever else may have wandered through the yard during the previous night.
October was a month spent at home, enjoying some of the best that the Rogue Valley has to offer, and sharing special times and places with friends.
A dinner at a delightful gourmet restaurant out of town on the Rogue River, cooked by an excellent chef. Except this time his meal was a bit strange and much less than perfect. It must have been a strange glitch, since meals before and since have been reported by friends to have been fabulous. Morrison's Lodge is historic, and a truly fun place to go for a great meal most of the time. We shared it with Maryruth and Gerald. Maryruth and I have now shared 60 years of life and friendship together. Our "anniversary" is in October.
On the very first day of the month, Daughter Deborah invited us to share wine flights and wonderful hors d'oeuvres at the beautiful Hummingbird Estate winery where she is a member. All of us love to drink wine and listen to music on the deck with the beautiful view.
A few days later Mo and I visited downtown Grants Pass on a sunny Sunday afternoon to enjoy Art on the Rogue, an annual celebration of the arts, with a few streets closed off for chalk painting, food trucks, and music throughout the downtown part of the city.
October is the month when all the summer flowers decide they can once again awaken to the cooler temperatures. It is almost like a second spring each year when everything brightens and smiles at the cool nights and rain.
A high point for October was the Eclipse on October 14th. With our area located in the central line of visibility for the eclipse, there were festivals and activities from Coos Bay on the coast all the way to the Klamath Basin. A local promoter took advantage of the event to organize a large gathering in the Wood River Valley not far from Crater Lake. Eclipse Fest was well promoted, with food trucks and RV sites, workshops, and a concert on Saturday night.
The excitement of the event drew in people from all over, including some very well-known RV personalities. Chris and Cherie, famous for their Technomedia web presence traveled in their van all the way from Florida to attend. Some of us who remember the blog world before the influencers took over remember that Chris and Cherie are great friends of Paul and Nina, of Wheelin It. Nina has been in Southern France for the last 8 years but decided that the constellation of the eclipse, her good friends, and the chance to visit her beloved lighthouses on the Oregon Coast was enough. She planned a road trip through our part of the world and lucky us, Sunset House was along her route. Mo and I invited Nina to stay with us and were graced with her presence for an overnight stop.
The end of the month was brightened by a beautiful and very different family celebration. My grandson Axel married his devoted spouse Pycho on October 28. The wedding was small, and the venue was perfect for a kid who basically grew up with my daughter Melody as a "theater kid". Melody was very active in the Albany Civic Theater when she lived there in the 2000s and knew the right people to rent the theater for the wedding venue.