The Worst Month of the Year

It starts out with grey skies and rain usually. It ends with freezing temperatures and snow. The songbirds have long since flown, and the early morning is devoid of sound except for the odd “caw” or Blue Jay screech. Daylight Savings Time is history and it’s getting dark at 5 PM now. The plants have been touched by frost, and the flowers have wilted away.

The Americans have Thanksgiving to look forward to in November but we Canadians celebrated it last month. Our sole November holiday is the grimmest of grim – Remembrance Day, where we think of the thousands of young men who gave their lives in the World Wars, Korea, Afghanistan – and not every province celebrates it as a stat holiday. Our churches pray for the souls of the dead of our congregations.

All in all a dark, cold, wet, gloomy , depressing month. Naturally my birthday occurs in November – only a cynic would want that to happen.

Thomas Hood had it about right:

“No sun—no moon!
No morn—no noon—
No dawn—
No sky—no earthly view—
No distance looking blue—
No road—no street—no “t’other side the way”—
No end to any Row—
No indications where the Crescents go—
No top to any steeple—
No recognitions of familiar people—
No courtesies for showing ’em—
No knowing ’em!
No traveling at all—no locomotion,
No inkling of the way—no notion—
“No go”—by land or ocean—
No mail—no post—
No news from any foreign coast—
No park—no ring—no afternoon gentility—
No company—no nobility—
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member—
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
November!”

It was 7 years ago today that we landed in Barcelona for a 2 week Mediterranean cruise – now that was a November to remember! We had similar fun trips in 2010 – to the Bahamas from Baltimore – and 2011 – to the Caribbean from New York.

In my view a cruise is the way to make November tolerable. Go away for a bit, enjoy the sunshine and the sea air and soon the month will be gone before you know it. Not this year though. This year it’s time to close the door against the North Wind and snuggle up in front of the fireplace.

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