Dang It If Robert Frost Isn't Right After All


It's a brisk morning in the Twin Cities, this sixth of November. It's as if winter has swooped in and commandeered autumn's territory, like some sort of climatological bully. Winter never asks; it just takes.

And so it begins. We ate dinner in the dark last night. Today began with temperatures in the low 30s and measurable wind chill. Gray clouds hide the sun, so all the glorious fall colors that were so gorgeous last week, now look muted and old. That bright golden tree near the school playground has grown pitiful and sad in less than 36 hours. Now, she's just a half-denuded tree with a smattering of dirty yellow leaves. The wind will do that this time of year. It strips everything of color and warmth. On the way home from school, I noticed the horizon; it was all bare limbs, dark against the gray sky.

Well. Yes. This is November in Minnesota. Best get used to it. Cheerio and all that. I suppose I'll just come home and brew another pot of coffee, turn on the fireplace (no more blazing blazes and woodsmoke for us, unfortunately; the townhouse fireplace is gas operated) and hunker down.

At least there's Thanksgiving to look forward to. Probably because of it's hype-lessness, it's one of my favorite holidays.

Plus, food is involved, and I love everything about food: the menu planning, the grocery shopping, the cooking and eating. I love it so much, I'm greedy about fixing Thanksgiving dinner for my family -- and whatever extended family happens to be in the area -- all by myself. Don't offer to bring something to my Thanksgiving dinner. Just don't. It irks me and makes my forehead wrinkle. Back away from the kitchen, people! Why would you try to steal my joy?

Something else that occurred to me about Thanksgiving this morning: It lacks the decorations that Christmas and Halloween hoist upon us. Not that I'm complaining; it's a Good Thing. But where are the turkey lights and the inflatable pilgrim hats for the lawn and the 20 days of Thanksgiving music? Doesn't it seem weird -- and yet entirely wonderful -- that Thanksgiving is the ugly red-headed stepchild of winter holidays?


  1. It amazes me that in the same country, you are already in winter mode and our trees still have all their leaves. I hope the sun comes out for you more than normal this season. I heartily agree that Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays due to its hype-lessness.

  2. i love that you used the word denuded.

    and i totally want to come to your house for Thanksgiving. i am really great at arriving empty handed. To think I could do it guilt free makes me giddy. :P

  3. My son and I were just commenting on this very thing as we gazed at all the Christmas junk, oops I mean decor, already out at midnight Nov. 1 no doubt. I made the statement: Poor Thanksgiving! Of course, I like your red headed stepchild metaphor much better!

  4. Imagining a giant blow-up pilgrim hat on my front lawn just about made me choke on my milk.

    Thanks for that. ;)