October has always been a favorite time of mine. It's been that way since college. I remember my last October in New Jersey. I knew a major change of scenery was ahead, and that made the falling leaves and chilly winds even more special than usual.

Nowadays, the slide from summer to autumn means there are many things to be done around the homestead. A string of rainy days in the weather forecast means that some outside projects can't be put off any longer. I'm the world's worst handyman, but one thing I can do, and I enjoy it, is staining the deck in the back of the house. This might be my fourth or fifth year out there, and by Jove, I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.

When the rain is rolling off the wood over the next seven months, I'm sure I'll forget about the aches and pains that come with that activity.

Meanwhile, the Mrs. and our youngest have got all the Halloween decorations up. In addition to the standard witches and bats, we have a few uniquely grotesque displays. This one creeps me out, even after seeing it on the porch every year for a decade or more.

So I guess we're ready for the season. Musicians, release your albums. Wineries, release your wines. Trees, drop your leaves. Break out the raincoats. M&Ms for everybody. Here we go.