Holy Moley, it's November! When did that all of a sudden happen? No matter, I'm a happy girl. November - My favorite month. It only became so recently, when certain aspects of the late fall fell into my good graces. Some are thoughts I would never have guessed would make a Top Ten list of mine 10 years ago.
10. Yellow - ... and orange, and red. My absolute three least favorite colors become so beautiful to me when covering trees in my area. Even leafless trees are exciting to me. They represent a blank canvas for upcoming snowfalls and next year's new buds.
9. Rain - Not anything to do with the Guns N' Roses song, November Rain. Rain gives me a reason to sit inside, drinking a warm coffee and listening to jazz classics. Also, wet leaves against a grey backdrop are indescribably more vibrant.
8. Boots! - Jeans! Turtlenecks! I love hats and jackets and all those fun accessories. Clothe me up head to toe. If I not sweating, I'm a happy gal.
7. Old People Holding Hands - OK, so this isn't specific to November, but when I see them, I am reminded how they are probably in that late fall season of life. The enjoyable time at the end of raising children and having time to enjoy on another before the December of aging and illnesses restricts the time they have to go out on walks. I look forward to November in my own marriage.
6. The Appearance of Christmas Lights and Music - So, if you know me, you will not exactly be surprised by this. But to me, Christmas music, and obviously Christmas lights, are so beautiful when it is dark out. And now that the dark is upon us so early in the afternoons, we have a reason to enjoy it.
5. The Day After Thanksgiving Food - Cold turkey, a pile of stuffing, some munster cheese and a little gravy all piled on potato bread. Mmmm. A sandwich that isn't the same any other day of the year. I TOTALLY understand Ross's rage from the Friend's episode where a co-worker threw out his sandwich.
4. Bucks County, PA - This is where you will find Peddler's Village. If you haven't experienced this wonderful outdoor shopping village, I feel sorry for you. The scenery is beautiful, and the smell of a fire in the courtyard warming the mulled cider makes you forget the chill in the air. So bundle in your lightweight fall outdoor gear, so your jacket can go on and off throughout the different stores, and stay until the Christmas lights go on.
3. The Hibernation of Snakes - In true Indiana Jones fashion, I must say I hate snakes. Being less adventurous than he, I will not venture into a jungle in the summer because I could come across one of those hideous creatures. But come November, they are all asleep, and I will happily traipse across all means of woodsy forest floors without fear of waking them. (If I'm wrong about this, please don't tell me).
2. Invented Traditions - In my house, it's the innovation of Tree Day. The day after Thanksgiving is the day we put up our Christmas tree. By this time, I may have been secretly adding the decorations throughout the house one by one. But I am not allowed to have the tree up before Thanksgiving. (The main tree, anyway.) The lights outside the house have also been up for a few weeks by this time, but they don't go on until Tree Day. Putting the tree together and decorating it used to be exhausting, but every year, my kids have taken on more and more of the responsibility until they do almost the whole thing, and I can sit back and enjoy it. (and rearrange the ornaments when they are asleep.)
1. Extended Family - Read: Grandma. I have plenty of memories of my grandma when I was growing up, but the best ones were at Thanksgiving. My grandpa died when I was pretty young, so the only vivid memories I have with him are the "turkey's cooking, we gotta get out of the house" walks he, Grandma and I used to take in the old days. Now, we have Thanksgiving at my mom's house. She's the grammy for my kids, so I hope they have similar feelings toward her on her holiday. I know I, for one, enjoy the company of the family with whom I grew up. Not having to see them everyday anymore has led me to a new appreciation of those weird, wacky people that I love.
So even though the chill of November might lead to dreary days, God has made it so the warmth we create - with clothes, bonfires, soup in the crock pot, or memories - makes it a season I look forward to all year.
Because I love even numbers and lists!