The word “October” has always carried an extra little thrill for me.

My birthday falls toward the end of the month, close enough to Halloween that my mother used to make themed cupcakes to celebrate it. In the photo album, pictures of us three kids dressed up for Trick-or-Treat follow right after ones labeled “Shelley’s fifth birthday”; “sixth birthday”; “seventh birthday” in my mother’s fine handwriting. In them, I am sitting at the kitchen table or on the orange vinyl couch holding platters of cupcakes decorated with black licorice cat ears and whiskers and slanted candy corn eyes.

My hair is waist-length, then, shockingly, utterly gone in favor of the ultra-chic “pixie cut” of the early seventies. I remember my mother crying when she cut off my long braid.

I still have that braid. I also have my mother’s braid from the early forties when her mother gave in and allowed her to get a short haircut. And yes, a few years ago I added my younger daughter’s braid to the collection. They look like they all could have come from the same person.

Locks of Love?

It’s a wonderful program, but I am still selfishly hoarding three generations of braided blonde DNA. This is the season of the macabre, so what better time to mention it?

Happy October to you!