Every month seems to come a bit faster! Closing a door on one vibrant and exciting
month of October. Opening a door on the more serious month of November with
moments full of gratitude, sensing persons who exude grace and giving thanks for
all we have.
Looking at my Halloween decorations and wishing that Jack o’ Lanterns, ghosts,
goblins, the Ty teddy bear in its adorable pumpkin costume, the black glass bottle
with the words, “Love Potion” on it and the owls could all stay up. I take them down,
slowly placing each item in a large orange tub, automatically trying to wrap some of
the glass, ceramic and wooden treasures with newspaper, I layer the embroidered
October cloths, fall handkerchiefs and needlepoint given to me by my aunt and my
Next come the September lingering ‘culprits.”
The little scarecrow figurines, sunflower basket and gold candles are no longer
I like a simpler decorative theme in November. The month deserves a less crowded,
less busy appearance. The Pilgrims and their first Thanksgiving come to mind and
make my mood more respectful and subdued. My decorations reflect this traditional
look. I have a few pumpkins that fit in and around the metal cornucopia with yellow
woven reeds along the edge of the opening. I leave the ‘fake’ bittersweet vine wound
around and inside of a basket on my coffee table.
Putting the burgundy candles into the pewter candle sticks from 1978, gifts from my
first wedding, I think of the Turley’s from Oak Ridge, Tennessee: I feel gratitude.
There is also a pewter creamer, sugar bowl and a little tray to keep them on, which
remain in my little apartment kitchen.
I will never forget this lively family using washboards, zithers and guitars, their melodious
voices singing Blue Grass music. Afterwards, Jim telling Scottish tales and Helen telling
old Greek folktales. Their combined heritage made their three boys’ lives rich with the
knowledge of distant lands. Our family has some history, the half from my father’s side
not really detailed but his family tree with Scottish and English roots. Mom’s side is more
interesting, since her parents had stories to share with us of Germany and Sweden.
I would get excited when we drove up through Pigeon Forge, to get to their house built
from the local rocks. My Dad had met Jim in his work at Oak Ridge Nuclear Reactor (in
the state of Tennessee.)
Once they came North, went to see Plum Brook’s reactor in Sandusky. But mainly,
they were the overnight, genial and entertaining stop for our family along the way
to our grandparents’ trailer park in Clearwater, Florida.
Waves of memories, longing and nostalgia take over me.
Does this happen to you when you change seasons and decorations?
Is there an old memory that comes forward to be fondly remembered?
New chores and tools are needed with snow coming.
I will take my portable shovel out of the closet and put into the trunk of the car.
The songs that come to mind for this month are:
“November Rain,” sung by Guns N Roses
“Peace of Mind,” sung by Boston.
National Animal Appreciation Week goes from 11/1-11/7.
Local animal shelters or humane society have their needs suggestions posted.
1st- All Saints’ Day
(Catholics, Episcopalians and others celebrate this day)
2- Daylight Savings Time
We set our clocks back one hour.
The old saying goes, “Fall behind.”
4- Islamic New Year.
Wishing all those who practice the Islam faith a Happy New Year!
Election Day in the U.S.
I encourage you to use your citizens’ right to vote!
6- Full Beaver Moon
Native Americans call this month’s moon the Beaver Moon,
but it is also called the Frosty Moon.
11- Veterans’ Day in the U.S.
Honor those who served and gave up their lives during wars.
Respecting those who are continuing to serve and put their lives on the line
for their country.
Remembrance Day in Canada.
14- Last 1/4 moon.
22- New Moon.
Thanksgiving Holiday (U.S.)
One of the biggest shopping days in U.S.
Some consider this part of their family’s traditions.
29- First 1/4 moon.
Looking at my cornucopia filled with fruits and leaves, with pumpkins spilling out of it,
colorful and familiar, I think it is as beautiful as a bouquet of flowers to me.
The words of Thomas Kinkade (2001):
“The color within us
can color the world around us.”
With Thanksgiving and gratitude:
“A thing of beauty
is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases,
It will never pass
Those who bestow Grace upon us, as a gift:
“A friend is as it were,
a second self.”
Freedom to express our Faith:
“Were there no God,
we would be in this glorious world
with grateful hearts
and no one to thank.”
“You have possibilities. . .
so celebrate that you are
who you are,
where you are,
and affirm the
(Thomas Kinkade, 2001)