A Year of Gifts
November can be a joyful riot of the senses, if we take a moment to appreciate all this month has to offer.
In the section of the United States where I live, the landscape looks bleak now. Mother Nature has washed the color away, leaving a neutral canvas, a pause before the inevitable brilliant white of winter followed by the fresh green of spring. The intricacies of naked tree branches stand in stark contrast to the sky. Killing frosts have zapped the vibrancy of flowers, their stems now limp and broken. Fields have been stripped of their crops. Scanning the horizon is restful to the eyes, until the jarring surprise of a brilliant spot of color breaks up the monotony. Bright orange pumpkins grace front steps. When skies are clear, coral pink sunrises and burgundy sunsets grace the start and end of the day.
Cooler weather and the approaching holidays gives life more texture. Soft, warm sweaters and cozy blankets chase the chill away. Frozen toes warm inside scratchy wool socks. My fingers sting from sharp pricks as I string Christmas lights on the bushes out front and then from the heat of a mug of tea I treat myself to when the outside decorating is done.
November has its own sounds. Football blares from the television, mixed with conversations and cheers. Friends and family catch up over the dinner table and games of cards. Logs crackle in the fireplace, bathing the room in a soft glow of light and heat. Quiet prevails outdoors, the calls of birds now absent.
Smells waft throughout the house. The unmistakable aroma of Thanksgiving turkey cooking in the oven coupled with the sweet smell of an apple-cinnamon candle burning on the counter whet appetites. A trip to the mail box is made special by the scent of burning leaves. My car trunk smells like a Christmas tree, a bag of pine scented potpourri purchased for Christmas decorating temporarily forgotten there.
As we gather as a family to celebrate Thanksgiving, amazing varieties of food become the focal point. Old favorites usually prevail over new recipes. We are creatures of habit. Which is better, the actual Thanksgiving meal or the leftovers? How should the stuffing be prepared? Most of us prefer the stuffing we each grew up eating - some prefer sage, some dislike it. Our meal wouldn’t be complete without the cranberry ice, a frozen, tart treat. It’s the perfect complement to our turkey dinner and a family tradition. There never seems to be enough lefse, lathered in butter and sugar. As kids, we kept track of who ate more black olives based on the pile of our olive pits. Now the olives are pitted, the contest fizzled. Dinner is capped off with creamy pumpkin or decadent chocolate pies. Yum.
Too often, November is a lost month. People skip from the beauty of an October fall straight to December celebrations. What a shame. November is a beautiful month.
May you focus on both thanks and giving this week. Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!