1 October 2004
The Romans used to consider October the eighth month, hence the name, and I think it fits better into the No. 8 slot, if only because it banishes February to dead last where it belongs, and I rather like the idea of the year beginning with a hint of spring instead of with a blast of winter.
But as the tenth month, October still has a role to play, splitting the difference between the last vestiges of summer and the first signs of winter. In Oklahoma, it's cool, except when it's warm, and it's damp, except when it's dry, which suggests that most years it's hard to get a grip on October. This year, I'm even less sure what to expect; May, a similarly transitional month, was exceptionally dry, but summer wound up mostly cool and wet and May-like. Cool and wet isn't great for my arthritis and no, I've not been taking Vioxx but I suppose I'd rather have it now than in the middle of January.
On average, the first freeze in the city shows up around the 4th of November, which is still a way off. But there's about an eight-week range: in one year 1952 the first freeze was October 7. (In 1998, the first freeze held off until December 8.) At least things aren't going to be dull, unless of course they are.