Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ah-h-h, It's November!

Happy November, Everyone!

I have always loved November.  Maybe it was a result of the sugar-high induced coma of Halloween, but it has always been an exciting month for me.  I know that they say that November is filled with a lot of gloomy days and that Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, but it has always been a month of comfort.

For me, November has always been rich and vibrant!  Everything is so beautiful at this time of year.  Nature is fascinating to watch.  The trees are showing their best colors.  We have a gorgeous red maple by our driveway that is radiant right now.  It is one of the last trees to drop its leaves, and they are a feast for the eyes!  They are putting on a show for us before they hunker down for the winter.

From this...
To this!

Another part of nature that I love to watch are the wildlife.  They are so industrious during this time.  It's fun to watch the squirrels and chipmunks in our backyard as they prepare for the winter.   If you watch along the highways, you will still see red-tailed hawks on lightpoles as they watch for prey during their migration.  Canadian geese flying in formation are a common sight.  All are busy... and that is true of all of us, too!

Many of us are enjoying cooking again.  Summer was the time of grilling and picnics, salads and light fare.  Fall is filled with color and taste.  Pumpkins and squashes are appearing in many of our foods; hearty soups and crock-pot dishes simmer for hours and fill the house with lovely aromas; baking of breads, cookies, and cakes are on our minds as we peruse our fall magazines!

We are also beginning to think about Thanksgiving.  This has always been a special holiday for me.  I love the food and setting the table with fine linens, crystal, and tableware.
The table is alive with color: oranges, greens, yellows, even reds.  Traditional foods such as turkey and dressing are prepared, and families gather to celebrate this holiday together.

Family!  That's what this holiday has always been about for me.  It has always been important to be with family during this time.  Now that my parents are no longer living and my brothers are spread across the country, it feels different somehow.  We used to gather at my parents' home, and my mom and I would cook together.  I always set the table, Dad would carve the turkey, my brothers/husband/kids would sniff around the kitchen and help finish everything as we got closer to the time for dinner.  I miss those times with my family.  I especially miss the quiet times after everything was cleaned up. We were all stuffed, and we would lounge around together in the family room-just being together as a family.  The TV would be on, Dad would be in his chair, Mom in hers, and the rest of us would be scattered around the room just being!  How lovely it was!  Now it is up to me to create these memories for my family-just as my parents did.

November also seems to be a month of expectations.  This may only be true for me since my birthday is in November, but I think it is also because we know that Christmas is coming near.  I know that retailers have started earlier and earlier each year, but this is the month when they kick into high gear!  We will see Christmas decorations everywhere we go, hear Christmas songs, and see ads on TV and newspapers for great deals.

November is our transition month.  Darkness comes earlier, and it is the time for fires in the fireplace, good music, great books, wonderful food and drink and cuddling.  So be sure to take a moment for yourself, experience the beauty of the season;  relax, re-energize, and enjoy it!

Have you found your joy today?

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