November is not my favorite month. The trees are bare. Daylight is sparse. With hardly any color left in the landscape – and before winter’s sparkle of frost and snow – it seems just, well, dreary.
But I’ve seen enough Novembers to know it’s just one month. Thirty days. I don’t dread November like I used to. But the winds have reminded me of some of the fall things still left undone, things that should really happen before winter.
The black plastic from the back vegetable garden blew away to who-knows-where. I’ll have to find it, of course, and roll it up to store away for the next growing season. But I should also finish cleaning out the garden, pull the weeds lying there withered and messy. Cover the bare dirt with leaves we’ve raked from the yard. Finish putting away the stakes that held the pea trellis back when the bright green tendrils first poked up from the freshly-turned soil and grew in uneven spirals around the wire fencing.
During that storm in the early hours of November, the winds blew open the upstairs porch door, jarring me from an uneasy sleep – and reminding me it’s time to put the storm door on. And to close all the storm windows, find the draft stoppers for the mudroom door, pull out the heavy comforter for the bed.
Those winds from the earliest moments of November have faded, but the gusts come and go, rattling the piece of siding that is loose at one corner of the house. I know it needs fixing, but think of it only when I hear it banging in the breeze. Then I forget again, as I move on to other things.
And as the sky spits cold rain and wet snow, we’ve scrambled to locate last year’s snow boots, hats, mittens, and warm coats – and remembered it’s probably time to roll out the snow tires and get those on the car.
The November winds tell me winter will be here soon, whether I am ready or not.
Original content by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul, posted to her blog, Writings From a Full Life. This essay also appears as Meghan's Close to Home column in the November 8, 2019 issue of the Littleton Record.
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