I realize that the arrival of November is no surprise to anyone, since it drops in faithfully on the heals of October every year! However, I was just beginning to settle into a comfortable fall and already I find myself taunted by its imminent follower, winter. We have not even begun to dispose of all the leaves, the ducks and geese and swans are still congregating in the lake outside the windows, and I am still in bare feet (and yes, my toes are painted)!
Nevertheless, winter comes. It snowed this week and those cheeky meteorologists are threatening more this weekend. (This is no excuse, however, for the inflatable snow-globe lawn ornaments I saw this morning! Really!) Retailers serenade us with Bing Crosby's White Christmas and tempt us with shiny Christmas wraps and snazzy gift sets, door-buster sales and extended holiday hours. My inner toddler stamps her foot and says "No!"
I want to enjoy a few more crisp weeks of leaves underfoot and V's of geese overhead. I want to feel the autumn sun pouring through the kitchen window (while stubbornly ignoring the dirty glass!) and wave at my kids playing soccer in the leaf laden grass, sweatshirts trailing and faces warm and chilly all at the same time. Our oak trees are as stubborn as I am, as they cling to their brown leaves and refuse to let the November wind carry them away just yet. The squirrels are still busy collecting and storing up their winter meals and the waterfowl, as I mentioned, still seem to be making their final travel arrangements (I think I actually saw a Mrs. Mallard with a list yesterday).
Will you join my little creature friends and me as we enjoy the last days of fall. Winter will be here soon and, as always in these parts, it will settle in for a good long visit. For now, please enjoy the last radiance of mums, the final crunch of leaves, the sweet-tart scent of apples on your counter. Plan for a lavish or simple Thanksgiving; whichever suits you best. Play touch football with the kids, take a brisk walk with your husband and shuffle through the leaves as you meander down the sidewalk or the woodland path. Enjoy November and don't get too worried about the coming craziness of December (later we'll talk about making it not so crazy!)
Happy not-quite-halfway-through-November to you!