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The fading light of early November is soaking through the leafless trees. Birds cluster around the newly filled feeders. “Chick-a-dee dee dee!” and the impatient screech of the Blue Jays punctuate the air. The cinnamon, crusty leaves are blown in hedgerows along the edges of the woods. Even the Oaks have given up their summer garb and the bare trees stand tall and thin along the logging road. I can once again see the ledges at the far end of my property, drenched in a golden glow from behind.

I love this time of year/phase of the moon/place in life. Time management is remarkably easy as the days are short requiring a factoring of the daylight for chores or items on the perpetual lists. No dawdling allowed; tasks are assigned according to how much light is necessary.  I am feeling pretty darn proud of my little self for knocking out lists and still having time to sit and write.

Windows are washed, screens are stored away, planters have been emptied into the flower beds to fortify the thin soil for next year’s blossoms. Outdoor furniture is stacked over vents on the sides of the house. Every winter I have to dig out the dryer/radon/heat vents when the snow piles up too high. I am learning to lighten my workload with a little preparation before the drifts arrive. The final touch, the installing the snow stakes, is done. Every year I mark my driveway with tall, fluorescent colored poles to guide the plow. Last year there was so much snow we ran out of places to push it. The drive became narrow and slick for weeks. Snow stakes were useless, buried beneath the 8 foot banks of immobile crust. Ever optimistic, I refuse to believe we will be hit that hard again this year. Regardless, they are pounded into the earth, it is part of the ritual.

IMG_0413

I will check back to this date in mid-February 2016 and see if I was right…

Today, I found a file from November of 2009, just six years, but a different lifetime ago. Hanni had left for college in CA and I was adjusting to my empty nest. I was working on Wall Street and living large. My garage housed a pickup truck and Jaguar, the horse trailer lived outside. I thought nothing of taking off for a weekend in VT to pursue an equine event, spending several hundred dollars while expending tremendous amounts of energy. Sunday nights I parked the truck, with the trailer still attached, and caught a flight to some city, worked all week, then came home to spend the weekend cleaning out the truck and trailer and starting it all over again. My mother was beginning the long descent to her death and I was privileged to have a visit with her while she still knew me. I started writing my journals as letters to her. Life was full of enormous emotions with very little time to jump from one to the next. As hard as I ran and much as I gathered, it was always the next thing that would make me complete.

Six Novembers later, I am pleased to sit by the fire at the end of the day and cross things off my list…

13 comments on “November

  1. Doppleganger says:

    Sounds to me like you have actually “caught the carrot”. Not many do, we just keep chasing it….what seemed like an interminable struggle to make the transition from one successful lifestyle with all its bells and whistles to the current simpler one with all its glory and ability to stop and smell your flowers was indeed worth it. So proud of you my Doppleganger…

    1. Thank you Dop! Your belief in me makes me stronger and I know that if I do stumble, you will listen to my complaints!!

  2. Touring NH says:

    You have been the proverbial ant this year while I have been the grasshopper. Leaving the house makes me cringe, the mere walk to the Jeep points out all of the things yet to do in the yard before the snow flies. (not to mention the rebuild, currently in full swing) With “stick season” upon us, I’m feeling the weight of the undone chores.

    1. There is still time. Keep in mind I am doing it all by myself which means everything takes longer…

  3. Bet you don’t miss the rat race. You seem to love the simplicity of Maine.

    1. I am happy to say I don’t miss the rat race or the constant need for more and more, Joyce.

      1. You’re my kind of woman. Great minds think alike!

  4. Simplification can be very satisfying!

    1. Indeed, Allen. I wish I had known this years ago!!

  5. Marie Keates says:

    It’s amazing how life changes and how quickly we forget what it was like. I’ve been looking back at old dairies from ten years ago with a view to a project. I hardly recognise myself.

    1. Isn’t it fun and interesting to read your old journals? I love looking back and often find patterns in my moods and circumstances over the years.

  6. How life changes…sitting and thinking at the end of the day is the very best of pursuits.

    1. True Susan, hopefully we learn this early enough in life to take advantage of the joy.

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