September is indeed a conflicted month for me. There is plenty of good in September. The long, hot, sticky summer is winding down and the promise of cooler fall temps is just around the corner. One of my all-time favorite events going the whole way back to my childhood, Mountain Craft Days at the Somerset County (PA) Historical Center, is the second weekend of the month, which also happens to coincide with the first week of the NFL (read Steelers) season. I have lots of good memories from this event and enjoy going back when I am able. One of my favorite disc golf tournaments, the Craven Chains Classic in New Bern is the third weekend in September. There is a whole lot of good in the month of September.
The conflicted part of this is that a host of sad and difficult times in my life have also occurred in September. Most of the significant hurricanes I’ve encountered (Fran, Floyd, and Florence among others) have visited us in September. This is certainly true this year, as the recent storm has devastated many communities that hold a piece of my heart (Wilmington, Jacksonville, Swansboro, and New Bern among them). As such, the previously mentioned Craven Chains Classic has been postponed, and may still have to be cancelled. September is also the month in which three very significant people in my life died. In 2012, my maternal grandmother and father passed away three days apart from one another. And what got me pondering all of this in the first place is that yesterday was the third anniversary of the passing of my very good friend, Joel Smith. He and his wife were among the first people to befriend me when I moved to Kinston following the deaths of my grandmother and dad. We were partners, along with many others, in the Kinston Disc Golf Association. Joel gave me my first opportunity at being a tournament director and in the summer months we played “sunrise” disc golf at least a couple of days a week. We also shared similar tastes in music and a love of craft beer. His unexpected and untimely passing left a huge void in Kinston and in the disc golf community in NC.
So, for all the good and all the promise in September, there has also been a lot of sadness, difficulty, and despair to offset it. Here’s hoping the rest of the month will pass uneventfully and the cooler temps and busy schedules of October renew us all.