Tomorrow is November 1st.  I love November.  Clearly I know why I love November and the emotions, thoughts and memories that sweep over me every year at this time.  In fact, when someone says to me, "Go to your happy place in your mind"....this is always one that I go to.  My grandparents lived directly across the country road from me my whole life on the family farm.  It was a magical and deeply reassuring way to grow up.  Fall on a farm is a busy time.  Crops are harvested and hauled, fields are plowed, equipment cleaned all on a race to beat rain and ultimately the first snow.  There is something mystical hidden in every season.  November brings to a farm a starkness, grayness, a barrenness that has always been strangely beautiful to me.  Once green fields now lay still and the dirt laid back creates a sort of finished, resting calmness now quiet from its frenzied activities.  Thanksgiving in particular is without question my favorite holiday.  It stirs in me my love of simplicity, raw thankfulness, family, blessings - causing us all to stop and just be without gifts and decorations and distractions from what it truly means.  One Thanksgiving Day in my youth, the sky low and gray, sharp cold November winds blowing hinting snow was coming, the fields plowed, the family all gathered across the road at my grandparents with smells of pie, turkey, cranberries, hot cider hanging heavy in the air we ventured outside.  Wrapped in winter coats and hats and gloves we stood in the stark, freshly plowed field in the harsh wind watching the kites we launched flying high.  The contrast of the grayness and the bright hue of the kites still clear in my mind today as they soared high that day.  I remember feeling that I wished time would stop.  There was an amazing warmth to that day standing in that field with those I loved, feeling and breathing in November, knowing that inside was all that I loved and held dear.  Last Thanksgiving morning I ran a 5k.  I felt that same sensation on that gray, drizzly November morning - cold winds that reminded me of the safety and love in my heart for all I had.  Did I tell you I love November?

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