I. Weather. November in NEO represents the messy end of Autumn and the beginning of Winter. There are tons of days in November when I feel...I feel...well, here; let me quote Herman Melville: --"myself growing grim about the mouth;... a damp, drizzly November in my soul;... myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially... my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off...". But there are lots of days--like yesterday's 64-degree and sunny one!--where November is gorgeous and Autumnal with no hint of the winter to come. November is a little schizophrenic in NEO, and because I know that winter means less freedom for me, I make November pay for that.
II. The Holidays. In October when the Christmas stuff starts appearing in stores and even on television, I can still merely grouse and be outraged. "Walgreens has its giftwrap out already, and it's only October 14th," I can huffnpuff to Rick over a glass of Chardonnay while he watches Dr. Phil and pretends to commiserate. But in November, I have to reckon with the fact that while it's irritating and pushy, it's not so far out of the realm of retail etiquette. After all, it is November! Even I have to think about ordering my turkey and come to terms with figuring out how we will accommodate Zydrunas (the granddog) this year with regard to all of the holidays. As all Women Out There know, once November hits, the Holiday Juggernaut is launched, and our Management Hormones go into overdrive.
III. The End Of Farmstand Produce. This one is probably making you laugh, but honestly, I really do actively mourn the closing of my favourite farmstands and the availability of fresh, homegrown tomatoes, corn, peppers, berries, and all of the other summer and early fall crops. Not a single place is open now. No more yellow squash! Not even butternut or acorn! Just apples, apples, apples, and soon, those will be gone, too, except for bin apples. No rhubarb, either! Why didn't I freeze a bunch of this stuff? Sigh. Thankfully, the Amish stand is open near the lakehouse, and I can still grab a few lingering goodies there along with my free-range eggs and home-churned butter.
IV. Time Change. Can we chuck the whole Daylight Saving Time construct entirely and be done with this once and for all? It seems silly and archaic, and there are still enormous parts of the population who can't even say it correctly, adding an S to Saving. How insane that we all move clocks forward and backward twice a year. All I know is that when Jared and Sam were little, it played hell with bedtime and awakening. With Piper and Marlowe, it means I get nagged way early for cat food. And I want my jammies by four PM. Wait...that's not so different.
You know, I need to Get Over It. November needs me! And it can be beautiful in its Own Way. So:
I. Adjustment: Weather. It was 64 yesterday and it is 50 today. The sun is shining warmly, and my little Japanese maples are fiery red. I had windows opened up yesterday for a good airing-out, and my furnace was turned off, yet the house still registered a toasty 73. I live in NEO, for heaven's sake, and November usually delivers precious little snow.
II. Adjustment: The Holidays. I can do this, and I have done this. Hell, last November, I wrote every day about how To Do This. I'm no cupcake and this ain't my first rodeo, mixed metaphor notwithstanding. Besides, my wine cellar is well-stocked. That can get all of us through anything.
III. Adjustment: The End Of Farmstand Produce. In the words of my friend Leanne, who can find for every occasion a quote by Agador from the film The Birdcage, "It's gonna pass." Besides, I went out to my herb garden and found this:
My photography was hampered by the presence of workmen next door, but I have two jalapeno plants, and they are both full of jazzy red and green peppers and showing no ill effects from the fluctuating temperatures. And see that parsley on the right? It actually looks more like this:
That stuff is Out Of Control. It's about three feet around and about fifteen inches high. And yes, I'll have fresh sage for my turkey, barring any November Nastiness:
(I see you, Oregano and Chives! Thanks for sticking around; hang in there.)
IV. Adjustment: Time Change. Who am I kidding? No one loves cocooning more than I do. And getting up earlier in the morning means fewer crowds at the grocery store or wherever I need to be. Big deal. I'm affected very little, really. And the S Thing? Please. How long have I endured the Plural Apostrophe? The mangled saying, "I could care less"? The rampant misuse of your, you're, its, it's, their, they're and their? It's a nothing.
Gosh, I feel better. And as I was poking around the Interwebs looking for that Melville quote, I came across a favourite song of mine in a particularly lovely version. September Song, despite its title, always makes me think of November. Here is the only recording I could find of it, which is sad because it is entirely stupid. Just close your eyes, however, and listen, or go here and read the lyrics as it plays. Here's to twenty-five more days of a Beautiful November. (Yes, twenty-five. Remember: "Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November. All the rest have thirty-one....")