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Eulogy for November

We often say that November is a good month to head to sunnier warmer locations than southern Ontario. We think of November as a gloomy month. Our daughter questions why I gave birth to her in November when October is always a much more colourful month in which to celebrate one’s birthday. Brilynn is beyond the age when I have to explain conception and duration of a pregnancy.

It is true that on this last day of November we had a cold drizzle all day long, but I have fond memories of this month. I even looked back through Brian’s careful daily weather recording and note that there were only ten days this November in which we had some precipitation. It only snowed on three of those days. On the other days there were probably only three days when it poured rain. Most days it drizzled a little, let up for a while then drizzled a little more. That is not bad!

November has some of the best sunrises! This November was no exception. From my pillow I often open one eye early enough to see if there is colour over Georgian Bay. When there is, I am compelled to rise from my cozy nest and go into the living room to see just how special the sunrise is. Sometimes there is only a pink orange band glowing on the horizon but I have observed magnificent displays of rose, magenta, purple, fuchsia, tangerine, then pale pink before the golden sun dazzles me with its brilliant light and spills its reflection across number sixteen pond and Georgian Bay.

The days grow shorter and darker in November as we approach the winter solstice. It is time to turn inward and recline with a pile of books from the library, but this year we have continued to walk at least five kilometres a day around the golf course. Our morning yoga straightens our spine and rids me of headaches that sometimes plague my nights.

My cache from the library usually includes a travel guide to a different country as we contemplate a future adventure. We have not yet decided on a destination, but we have time to dream and wonder about the possibilities.

And then we have a surprise day such as November 28th when the temperature rises to 14C and we play nine holes on a deserted golf course. Windy, true, but sunny, most of the time!

Brian has not been participating in hunting in recent years but still helps the hunters with butchering and packaging. This means that November is also time for a venison pie making party with friends. We now have five delicious pies stored in our freezer.

In the United States, Thanksgiving heralds the end of November. Although we did not travel to Shawn and Agnes’ for Thanksgiving, we are thankful for the time we spent with them in Connecticut at the beginning of the month. We can be part of our grandchildren’s busy lives and provide a little support for their parents. We always enjoy hikes at Hammonasset and in the state forests. The oak leaves there this year provided greater variety of orange and brown colour than our own maple trees did. We think the wet summer and warm fall made autumn scenes less spectacular.

We marvel at the beauty of each day and recognize that November is also a gift for which we are grateful.

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Winter Storm

We got up with Alex at his normal school rising time of 6:30AM yesterday so that we could head out the door early for our drive to Niagara and beat the snowstorm. We succeeded. From Guilford to Albany, the sky was uniformly blue. Then it was uniformly grey. We did not encounter any snowfall until we were half an hour from Niagara. Our eight hour drive was uneventful, not too much traffic. More cars and trucks were headed east than west. We saw dozens of large utility trucks in formation headed east. We imagined that they were preparing to be in place to repair fallen hydro lines when the storm hit the northeastern states.

We listened to most of Fredrik Backman’s book, A Man Called Ove. We laughed out loud listening to this book even though it is also sad and touching about love and loss. Ove is a wonderful character. I heartily recommend reading this 2012 Swedish novel. I see he has three more novels. He appears to be publishing a new one each year. I look forward to reading these.

Now, more than twenty-four hours later, it is still snowing and is to continue doing so until noon on Wednesday. Niagara is finally getting winter. Not so, north of here at Cobble Beach where it is sunny and green. Home to golfing tomorrow, albeit still indoors.

I put my sourdough starter in the fridge today to give me and it a rest. I made blueberry bran muffins and oatmeal raisin cookies without the sourdough. I have resupplied my father-in-law with baked goods.

Time for a game of Hand and Foot. We have one more card addict in our midst.