November, you beautiful month, you. Between the 7:14 sunrise, that ‘autumn light’ the sun gives off, the crisp days, or the return of a slow-paced life, I don’t know if I could pick my favorite part of this month. After a somewhat wet October, it sure did turn around! I can’t get over how nice we’ve had it this month! With flowers blooming and the yard needing mowing now more than in July and August, it could pass for spring! Now’s the time for a book club!
That being said, I actually wouldn’t mind the coming of the rain. I look forward to those cozy days with soup on the stove, a book in one hand, and tea in the other. With all of this sun, it’s felt wrong to stay inside and do those things! Don’t get me wrong, though, yoga in the yard is pretty lovely, too. I was walking on the Pacific City Pathways the other day, and someone I passed said something to the effect of, “Gotta get out while we can!” Such a foreboding tell of what’s to come, but a good reminder all the same.
The end of summer for me means working less, which I’ll gladly take. The hustle of summer can be all-consuming, especially in our busy town. I get so consumed with my busy work schedule during tourist season, and the repetitiveness of it all affects me so much! Especially in August, I lose track of myself. I forget that I’m here to live, not living to work.
It’s essential to come back to what makes you tick, whatever makes you feel like yourself. September was a breath of fresh air, but October was where it’s at. In October, I’ve been able to get on more trails and see more in our area than I get to in the summer. Sitka Sedge is such a wonderful getaway, always so peaceful. Follow up with a little trip to Netarts and Oceanside; there’s something about getting out of town and seeing something a little different, like Cape Lookout from the north instead of the refreshing south.
Book Club Suggestions
Books that Speak to me
I cannot speak of an Oregon fall without first highlighting a classic, Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion. It’s Oregon in every way; it’s dreary, yet romantically enticing; it can be lonely and isolating but also familiar and comforting. Especially being on the coast, there are themes that we are uniquely fit to understand. He writes of a logging family’s life’s dependence on and connectivity to water, whether it be the ocean, a river, the rain, or ‘just’ the ever-persistent wetness. It rules all. Kesey flows together narratives, unlike any author I’ve read, sometimes changing narratives in the same sentence. He’s so fun to read. Every fall with the gray and migration of the geese, I’m reminded of this book. Once you read it, you’ll never hear a ‘honker’ the same.
Books on History
Keeping with the Oregon theme, the little known history of the expedition after Lewis and Clark is told captivatingly in Peter Stark’s Astoria. Being such a history enthusiast, I can’t believe I’d never heard anything of the group that went West just a few years after Lewis and Clark. Supported and organized by John Jacob Astor for his fur trading interests, the Astor Expedition took both an overland and sea approach to the mouth of the Columbia. The stories and people you will learn about are incredible!
Books that are a Wild Ride
Perhaps you’ve seen the movie, which I love, but there’s nothing like reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson. It’s a quick read, a wild ride, and will surprise you with its parallels to our own lives.
Lavishly written, you’re transplanted into a different world, yet one we all could recognize, a world of the 1960s with its new ideas and rebellious nature. It’s got an overall theme of making societal strides, sometimes to be pushed back. To quote Thompson, “So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”