Saturday, November 2, 2013
November is golden. The glow of last month continues, though there will be much more darkness after this weekend when the clocks change. Gold and blue, those are the colors of daytime during this month, as the trees are at their peak of color right now where I live. The tallest ones across the arroyo are bright yellow and if I lean over the garden wall and look east, I can see orange and red ones along the walking path. Soon we'll be in desert winter, which is brown and dry. We'll have sunny days but they will seem colorless except for the blue, blue sky. Or it will be cloudy and the mountain will be obscured by clouds, or hung with trails of grayish mist. Just this week, the highest peaks received their first dusting of snow. Soon, this will be a common sight. I'm savoring these dwindling weeks of gold.
November happens to be the month of my birth, which adds to the anticipatory feeling I always have in this month: Thanksgiving is my favorite of the big holidays and that period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is easily my favorite time of year. I love being at home during the day when the Christmas tree is up. We put ours up during the Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving is a relatively simple affair for our family, especially since it's usually just the four of us at home. But I adore the whole process of the holiday: planning my menu, shopping, starting to cook a few days in advance. I have been looking through recipes, trying to decide what to make. The only side dishes I'm absolutely certain we'll have are homemade cranberry sauce (so easy and so much better than the canned type) and roasted Brussels sprouts (we've been eating them this fall and they're so good!). The turkey will be the same as previous years: the Bear will cut it into parts, giving me the breast to roast in the oven. The rest will be brined, then smoked in the backyard. We don't have a huge turkey - maybe a 15-pounder. We usually have four or five side dishes. We always make our favorite bread recipe and a pumpkin pie for dessert. We're creatures of holiday habit.
What will November be like for you? We're busy with school and work and household life, of course. We'll be having progress conferences with both small Bears' teachers; they're doing fine and I enjoy chatting with their teachers. The Bear and I are both working on their Christmas gifts. It's getting cold here now. We may use the fireplace by the end of the month. We've had outdoor fires on weekend afternoons. I'll need to take my birdbath into the garage soon; I don't want it to freeze. We may even have snow before the month is over. We're wearing afghans whenever we're lounging at home, glad to be in the cozy time of year. November is a month of gratitude and remembrance, a good time to stop and think - to be thankful for warmth, home, each other.