Color, Crunch and Cool Weather

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By Kim Howard, CAE

How can you not love the month of October? Usually, our area starts to experience cooler, crisper mornings. The trees, provided we have had good rainfall in late summer, turn beautiful, vibrant colors that remind us all of the beauty of nature. The crunch of fallen leaves introduces an excitement about the last quarter of the calendar year and the upcoming holiday season. Local cities, towns and the county host fall or harvest festivals; everyone is picking apples, decorating with corn stalks or getting their pumpkin spice flavored drink on. And for those who celebrate, we round out the month with Halloween, trick-or-treat and haunted tours.

This month’s cover story “Steins, Vines and Moonshine: A Trail of Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries” by Marianne Weaver explores the explosion of local places where you can wet your whistle and enjoy excellent eats.

If crafting is your jam, then Amanda Causey Baity’s Family Fun is for you. “Harvest Crafts” shows you how to make a twine pumpkin, a fall wreath and a mason jar lid pumpkin. Even a novice like me can handle making these beautiful fall crafts.

In “Alumni Cum Laude,” this month’s Lifelong Learning, read more about the oldest alumni association in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I hope that we all look that good at 111. Writer Dan Verner also introduces you to a woman who worked for the city and the county school systems for 67 years. Although
we make a brief mention of her in this article, we did an entire profile piece on her online at

Did you know that October 20 is the National Day on Writing? The National Council of Teachers of English started #WhyIWrite and everyone from novices to famous writers participate, along with other famous people who do not write for a living but know how important this communication skill is. If you ever wondered how or why some of our writers found their professional calling, read about it in our On a High Note.

So, put on your warm clothes and boots and enjoy the sights, sounds and experiences of this month. May your October be as colorful as the leaves on the trees.

Kim Howard, CAE, Editor-in-Chief


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