So Maybe That’s What It’s Good For

by Curt Kovener

The month of November is a fickle month. Early there is sunshine and some remaining brightly colored leaves which still adorn a soon-to-be barren landscape. Election day was barely sweater weather with bright sunshine.
But the Indian Summer couldn’t last all month long and when the winds and rains of November finally come, they bring drastic weather changes. November rain is always cold and brings colder temperatures.
What remaining colorful foliage is left is dampened and browned and blown to collect in ditches and fence rows. The wind skeletonizes the trees and leaves them unclothed to face the coming winter’s wrath.
The depressing grey skies and chilling wind and rain are inevitable in November; just as inevitable as the promise of early yellow and purple crocus blooms in late March signaling an end to the land’s winter sleep.
It is that knowledge of renewal in a few months that helps now to soothe us for the coming cold.
So what is there to do on a windy, rainy, chilly afternoon in November?
I first tried a trip to the nearby Muscatatuck Wildlife Refuge to see what migrating and native critters were within spying distance. While the heater works well in my vehicle, when I would roll down the window to get a clearer view of some wildlife, blowing rain would pelt my face and send a quick shiver across my shoulders. I reached the conclusion that in the dreary November rain, the only dumb animal moving around in the refuge was me. Even the Canada Geese were hunkered down with their heads tucked under their wing to avoid the drizzle. So taking a clue from nature, I headed back home.
What to do, what to do…
There is always cleaning and organizing to be done in the garage and basement. But that’s just about as depressing as the November skyline.
What a contrast from just a few days before when families and friends gathered around a Thanksgiving table. The chattering and laughter and kinship was just as warming as the turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie.
But it is now Sunday and windy and raining as I finish off the last of the remaining leftovers from Thanksgiving. I like Thanksgiving leftovers. Rather like a photograph, it is sort of a way to keep hanging on to warm memories (even though I’m eating a cold turkey sandwich).
I grabbed the bag of hickory nuts and began shelling (and munching a few) for another holiday pie. But before long, as the warmth and soft comfort of the couch embraced us, Charley the office watchdog and I both nodded off for an afternoon nap.
And perhaps that is the best activity for such a rainy, dreary November afternoon.
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“No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds–November!”
–Thomas Hood