Rockford, Illinois, USA
February 05
I'm a regular middle aged guy, living in a regular middle class neighborhood, in a regular middle-sized community in the middle of America. I am an expatriate Texan transplanted to the Midwest, and wondering how I got here, and where I'm headed.

Procopius's Links
NOVEMBER 18, 2008 11:15AM

I Hate November, I Love November

Rate: 19 Flag

I hate November. 


In November, the leaves have fallen from the trees.  October brings brilliance, with red, gold, and orange splashed along the tree lined streets of the city, and painting the hillsides of rural byways.  The color is gone in November, replaced by the dull gray of barren limbs.


In November, it is cold.  There is no snow, though, so it is not fun cold.  Our bodies have not yet adjusted to the season, so the cold is colder now than it will be in December.  It’s just bone-chilling cold. 


In November, high school sports, that purest of athletic endeavors, is in hibernation. High school basketball season has not yet begun.   Football season has ended for all but the very best schools in the state that made it to the playoffs.  Even for those lucky enough to take part in a championship series, it is so cold that the enjoyment of the game is overshadowed by numb toes, chattering teeth, and runny noses. 


In November, we do not see the sun.  In much of the northern hemisphere, November is the cloudiest month.  Even though the days are nominally longer in November than in December, we actually see less sun in the eleventh month.


November is gray, cold and boring.  I hate November.




I love November.


In November, it is OK to indulge in sweets and candies.  We wake up on the first day of the month with a stash of goodies handed out to small ghosts and goblins and monsters and warriors and cute little princesses the night before.  What a nice way to start the month!


In November we have mountains of leaves producing the heartwarming and therapeutic laughter of children as they lunge fearlessly into the piles, afterwards their smiling faces and rumpled clothing bedecked in jewels of orange maple and golden birch and red oak.


In November we light the fire in the living room fireplace.  The fragrant apple, maple, and oak wood conjure vague recollections of family gatherings from another time, when we were secure in the warmth of our parents' home.  The fireplace becomes a new gathering spot for your own children, with long straight wires made of old clothes hangers finding new utility holding marshmallows over the glowing embers.  Later, after the children have gone to bed, the fire takes on a new role, one of romance, as you and your lover sit quietly, enjoying the fire’s warmth that is reflected in the eyes of the one beside you.


In November we celebrate the purest of holidays, the one not yet corrupted by commercial greed or cartoonish symbolism.  Thanksgiving is the time we strive to remember the good that surrounds us, instead of the pettiness and the drudgery.  Thanksgiving is a more intimate holiday, without the glitz and parties that make the holiday after it so stressful.  Thanksgiving has not been politicized like that other holiday, either.  It does not provide fodder for boycotts; there is no mention of a secular “War on Thanksgiving”.  What Thanksgiving is, though, is the beginning of the season of charity, when we stop thinking of what we want for ourselves, and begin thinking of what we can give to others.  It is the time when the family gathers together to ask the Lord’s blessings for the bounty we enjoy, for the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and above us lies.


November is the month of family and thanks.  I love November.

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Lovely comments; I'd never thought about how November is bookended by piles of things to eat. Although I had to laugh at one of your "love" comments, about smiling children and piles of leaves. Here in the Pacific Northwest the leaves are raked into soggy heaps and there's not much in the way of joyful gamboling.

And we don't tend to notice the clouds so much since by the end of November the sun isn't up until 8:00 a.m. and it sets by 4:00 p.m., so mostly November is just dark. Which does encourage cozy moments with the family, of course. And drinking.
I concur, except that today it's going to be close to 80 degrees when it is normally supposed to be cold and snowy. We don't get bone-chilling cold much, and especially not so far. Nice post.
I was born in November and so it is the best of all months.

kestral, November is the month we all start to gain weight, isn't it? I guess that's necessary for our annual New Years resolution to lose it. Oh, and soggy leaves are pretty bad, that's for sure.

undertow, 80 sounds pretty nice. We are having truly winter weather, which inspired the post. 22 degrees this morning. I won't mind that in a month when there is snow on the ground, though.
Hi, Procopius. I tend to feel the first part of your post more than the latter half. I try, really, to enjoy this month, but hikes are less beautiful after the leaves and before the snow. You have the sense of something lost and not yet the big anticpation of Christmas and the winter holidays.

If you like 80's electronic music (yes, shamefully, I admit I do), there's a really neat song by the Art of Noise. "Opus 4" describes a dead, grey landscape. The last word in the song is "November".
Cam, I hear you...I'll take a listen to your link later today. I have to admit, it can sometimes be work to appreciate November.

Thanks for the comment!
I live in California. I love November!
I love Thanksgiving and have the whole clan coming to my house this year!
I love wearing sweaters and fleeces and cozy socks!
I love that there is no snow yet and would have to drive 3 hours to deal with it when it does snow.
I love that my husband's birthday is in November.
My birthday is in December and November reminds me that I am soon turning another year older. (I hate November!)
I love that you did this post about November!
I was just thinking about this. November brings me the same melancholy...the leaves are gone from the trees. I won't see them again until mid-April at best. I hate this. I fight this. But I love the seasons and I love the snow so I can't have it both ways.

And Thanksgiving is what redeems November, the best of all the holidays. Family, food, football, friends. Perfect combination.
Cathy and Mary stole all my sentiments and took up all the words I was going to use!

So I'm just left to say this: rated and appreciated.

I hate it. I've been out in windy, 30's weather the past four days and I'm sick of it already. Not a clear patch in the skies. Not for going on a week now. Heartily agree Steve.

I love it. College basketball started! High School starts here this week too!

Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, desserts, and harder/longer than usual work outs afterward. I love it.

Here, here and well done.
November weather is abysmal here in Ohio, but I still like it because of my birthday (shared with my grandmother), my first born's birthday, college football and Thanksgiving and the kick-off of the whole 6 weeks of holidays and days off through 1/1. I agree with Procopius and others that Thanksgiving is fabulous for being a non-politicized, less commercialized and totally inclusive holiday. Unfortunately, my grandma is dangerously ill in the hospital now, so celebrations are on hold unless a Thanksgiving/birthday miracle happens. Otherwise, November will seem grayer than normal is, which is pretty darn gray.
November is that contrary month that both pleases and disappoints.

I noticed, Steve, that there is more to love about November than there is to hate about it. :-D

Cathy, it would be nice to be basking in 60 or 70 degrees, knowing a snow-covered playground was just 3 hours away! And women in fleecy sweaters is definitely a plus for the season!

Mary, April is a great month, too, isn't it! You're correct about Thanksgiving. It's the best holiday of all.

Sally, I'll say the same thing for you, since Cathy and Mary stole your sentiments! Thanks for commenting!

Greg, enjoy those basketball games. It's a long time 'til baseball season. And the sun will peak out one of these days!
Buckeye, I suspect your Ohio Novembers are very similar to our Illinois ones. Dreary, cold, damp, and windy. That's made more tolerable by loved ones' birthdays, and by the love of a grandma. Best wishes to her and those who love her.

Bill, there's lots to love about just takes a little longer to find it!
November is horrible. You'd better have a warm woman to make it better. February, too.
I love this post -- nice way to sum up the month. I love November, because it means I'm that much closer to Christmas break. And I love Thanksgiving. The leaves have lasted much longer this November than usual -- which makes me love it even more.
MTN, a warm woman always makes it better.

Amy, if anyone deserves a nice Christmas break, it is you. You are my hero. Your child, and your soon to be child, are very fortunate, indeed. Thanks for stopping by.
It's sad, but the thing that I love most about November in DC is that the swarms of invader tiger mosquitos are gone. The thing that I hate about november is that there are few days warm enough to enjoy outside and mosquito-less....

Beautiful post.
Steve, with the effects of climate change November has picked up more of the temperature characteristics of October lately. I can remember when the really cold temperatures would move in during the first week of the month, but these last few years the weather has been mild. I really enjoyed your post showing the two sides of November and it has given me some new perspectives on the month.
artsfish & designanator, thanks for stopping by. Glad those mosquitos are gone. John, I remember when you could almost plan to have a massive snow storm Thanksgiving weekend, at least anywhere in the middle part of the country north of the Missouri Compromise line (how's that for an obscure historical reference?). You're right, that's no longer the norm, at least not in the last 15 years or so. Our first big storms usually seem to come the second week of December or so.
Ooooo, I have been loving the golden leaves on my deck. I don't dare sweep them off. They sneak into my house when the door is open.
The cats bat them around as if they are prey to deal with.

And I can't wait for Thanksgiving, to join with friends and family.
Eat too much. Play games.
Love your piece.
Thanks to you P.
Elinor, the mental image I have of the cat swiping at yellow leaves brings a smile to my face. Thanks for commenting!
Oh, sadly April in Colorado sucks. It's one of my hardest months. There is the tease and seduction of spring...a few buds appear, and then wam, a big spring storm covering everything with white...white I am so done with seeing. But MAY...the lusty month of MAY--that one is really really good.
This is a time to think about getting our loves their best presents of the year. And there is a scramble sometimes to get everything to UPS on time. I both love and hate Nov.,.......well,.....mostly love
Gary & Umbrella, thanks for stopping by. Happy November!

Mary, after reading your comment, now when I think of May's flowers, the dominant color in my mind will no longer be soft pastels, but lusty red!
I totally identify. It's gray and extremely cold here in Ohio. No snow. The sweets, though, are good. Just made my sons gingerbread men with my mom's creamy butter frosting. Oh, yum! Pies are very big in my family Thanksgivings, sometimes almost one pie per person! Yum again. Hadn't every really thought of the holidays comparatively, in terms of commercialism and stress, but that's got a lot of truth to it. I'm with you about fires--bad for the environment, but nothing like lying in front of a real wood fire!

If you think you'd enjoy reading about how my family spent last Thanksgiving hosting our Sunni Muslim neighbors, you can check it out on my blog.

Paws up.
DogWoman, it certainly sounds like the good of November outshines the bad in your household!