It's turned cold in these parts. The days are short now. They are clear and crisp, too. It feels like fall has been here awhile, sneaking into winter. All these beautiful cold days have us spending time outdoors collecting colorful leaves on nature walks, stopping in at the driving range on Tuesdays, spending a frosty morning at the zoo with a friend, and doing creative preparations for Thanksgiving.
We collected so many pretty leaves I tried my hand at dipping them in paraffin to preserve the color. They came out lovely, so I'm thinking they will get sprinkled around our Thanksgiving tables this year. And speaking of tables, Wyatt showed up at the table this morning with his scissors, blue paper, and markers. We manufactured a turkey in no time with the help of a paper plate and leaves. I was impressed (as only a mother can be) with the beak and markings that Wyatt added, "all by myself."
Today I noticed a lone hellebore almost in bloom in my new tiny winter garden. It's the time of year where steel-cut oats are showing up again on the breakfast menu. I am well into cooking with winter herbs and I think we are on our sixth bag of mandarins (although local pears are still being consumed by the dozen as well), and hot drinks and soup are the foods of choice. I do enjoy this.
I'd say this week -- the week before Thanksgiving -- is in many ways one of my favorite times of year. It's often still warm enough and sunny enough to be outside a lot. I get to plan and anticipate a lovely meal and do a lot of cooking. There's the anticipation of more festivities to come, a tree to put up, parties to attend or host. A few holiday cards have already arrived, which makes me begin looking forward to the stream of letters and photo cards we will receive in the weeks ahead. And, best of all, this week is far enough away from Christmas and a little someone's January birthday that the gift-giving and holiday hype can be ignored. To me, it's the week where all things still seem doable (i.e. like getting my own holiday cards out in December.). Next week starts the reality check.
For now I'm grateful.