november

The First Fall

Living in Pennsylvania, I am lucky enough to experience all four seasons.  My favorite season is spring because I love to see all of nature waking up and getting ready to grow.  I also love that the weather is typically a light jacket and pants, and when it’s really warm I can break out all of my fun dresses.  I always dread when the chill comes, that bitter cold that comes with winter.  I can appreciate the snow, everyone’s favorite returning friend.

Most people like snow for a variety of reasons.  There’s the hope that school might be cancelled or delayed, which gives you those few extra hours of warm slumber.  There’s the hope that you can use the snow as an excuse to being late for class or work, or perhaps you can just not show up at all.  After all, being on the roads when it’s snowing is dangerous.  There’s playing in the snow, which includes chasing your friends around with snowballs, or maybe watching your dog hop across the white blanket that had yet to be touched.

My love for snow comes from the essence of it.  When it falls on the ground, it starts packing up on roads,  backyards and sidewalks.  I love the crunch of freshly fallen snow under my shoes as I walk over its path.  The sound of snow is so serene.  You would think that a piece of nature like snow wouldn’t have a sound, but give it a listen.  It’s almost like you can’t hear anything, and that is its sound.  There is so much going on around you like cars, people, and busy roads, but when the snow is falling you can block out all of that.  It muffles all the unwanted emptiness and fills it with soft silence.

When the snow first falls, you can see it rising on tree branches and roof tops.  It’s so perfectly white.  You almost want to run your hand along each ledge, each branch, just to see the mounds drift to the ground.  But you don’t mess up the mounds, you instead draw your gloved finger through it, writing out your name.  Or maybe you are glove-less, and instead you dare to drag your finger through the chilly snow.  Afterwards, you shake off the wetness, and blow warm air into your hands, attempting to warm every frozen finger.  It doesn’t matter how cold you are, it was worth it to see your name appear on the snow, only to be covered up by fresh flakes.

Billowy mounds of snow

The snow falls onto everything you are wearing too.  Not just your jacket, where the snow clings to every thread, but to your face.  It falls softly onto your nose, and soon your eyelashes.  Every time you blink little flakes move with you.  They soon melt, only to welcome more onto the little hairs shielding your eyes.  The snow covers all of your hair, lightly resting on it until you decide to shake it out or tousle your locks which only soaks the flakes to the hair even more.

The sad part is when the snow turns to slush, and the roads are a sloppy mess.  The roadsides are piled high with mounds of muddy brown snow.  Everything becomes a little more dirty and less magical.  But, we always can remember that first day when the snow first fell, and everything was a white wonderland.  I think I should stop complaining how the weather is cold when it is snowing, and instead appreciate everything that is wonderful when it falls.

The Forgotten Holiday

Every month there is some sort of holiday or special event that we celebrate.  You could live in the United States, England, or even on Mars, I don’t care where I just know that you celebrate something (be it a national holiday, a local celebration, or maybe your friend’s birthday).  Each of the twelve months has something to offer.

Except in November.

What’s that you say?  There is a holiday in November?  Oh, that’s right, Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday in my book.  You may think I am crazy, but let me explain.

First, when kids start heading back to school, the stores start packing their items with superhero costumes, gore makeup, leaf decorations, pumpkin figurines, and big family size packages of candy.  We all groan and say, “But it’s only August!”  Yet we all stock up on the goodies and prepare for the festive holiday of Halloween.  Not long after Halloween merchandise comes out do we begin to see tinsel, jingle-bell cards, fake pine trees, shiny ornaments, dreidels, and Jolly ol’ Saint Nick.  Again, we groan, “But it’s only the end of October!”  Pretty soon everyone starts getting excited about December, and all the fun things that come with it.  Ah, just hear those sleigh bells ringing and jing ting tingaling.

Hold the one-horse open sleigh, we just skipped a holiday!

But I thought Christmas comes after Halloween?

We are forgetting a holiday!  Now, I don’t mean we are directly forgetting Thanksgiving, but unless you are in elementary school making pilgrim hats and hand-traced turkeys, you don’t really care too much about this holiday.  Maybe your mom made you go pick up some canned cranberry sauce and that made you remember that Thanksgiving is approaching.  You probably care more about Black Friday (that iPad is $100 cheaper…).  We are forgetting what the holiday is about.  We are too busy thinking of the vacation we get in December or the snow or the gifts.  Calm it down folks, it ain’t Christmas just yet.

It’s not our fault that we want the Christmahanakwanza spirit to come a little early.  With the stores packing their shelves with all of December’s favorite things it’s hard not to get ahead of yourself.  And that darn radio…

Whatever happened to listening to winter jingles when it is actually the time of the year?  I don’t want to hear how mommy kissed Santa and that you want a hippopotamus for Christmas, or that you want me for Christmas.  I don’t want to hear about chestnuts roasting on some open flame, or how some reindeer had a deformed nose that glowed.  I will listen to all of these perhaps the week before Christmas.

Call me crazy, but I would like to enjoy my November.

To all of you who rushed to put out your Christmas lights, and light-up reindeer and hanging stars and other gaudy ornaments of the winter season, shame on you!  It isn’t even December!  I would say a fair time for hanging up the decorations is  after Thanksgiving.  No earlier than that.

The holidays around December are always fun.  It’s all about having fun with friends and family, and being thankful for what you have (and maybe getting a gift or two…).  But that’s also what Thanksgiving is all about.  Sure, it’s a total American holiday (especially since it revolves around eating) but who is to say we don’t have a right to celebrate?  You should enjoy the time you get to spend with your friends and family, sit around the table and talk about what you are thankful for, and of course, eat delicious and fattening foods.  Let’s just put the pause on December shall we?  Then maybe you will hear me singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

Don’t Go Towards the Light!

Living in Pennsylvania is really irksome sometimes.  Especially when it comes down to weather.  I’m not sure what it is like in other states or countries, but on the East Coast the weather is very bipolar.

It is so deceiving when the weather is terrible for a week, and then Mother Nature decides to be beautiful for a few days.  You would think this would be a good thing, but no sooner does the weather become nice, does Mother Nature snatch that wonderful sunshine-y goodness away from us.

Can I have this everyday, please and thank you?

“Ha ha, I got you now!”

I can just see her laughing.

You think that it is going to be so beautiful for a while longer, and you think, “Hey, this is the best fall ever!”  Don’t do it!  Don’t believe the rays of goodness!

The reason this comes about is that I can actually pleasantly sit on my computer without scowling at the draft that is seeping through my window.  It has been a wonderful 60 degrees this weekend, and I am sure that when this next week gets moving, it will be freezing again.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this nice weather, especially during fall.  It’s just depressing because I know it will not last.

“Muahahaha….” said Mother Nature.

I’m still trying to pretend that it isn’t November.