This day has been nothing short of glorious. The cold wind and rain have passed and were replaced with warm golden light that lit the trees up. Today, I saw shades of amber creeping into the landscape. In a few weeks the lowly sweetgum will be one of the loveliest sights in the countryside.
I came home yesterday and thankfully the drive was as pleasant as I expected. I left in the later afternoon. Jenny, Lyla and I had a delightful visit with Wills’ mom, Miss Claudia. We carried a huge basket full of things like fried chicken and candy. She was especially thrilled with her very own peach cobbler. Miss Claudia is very partial to peaches.
I also got to visit with Miss Thelma. Miss Thelma lives in the riverside village with her husband, Mr. Ellis. They are both in their nineties. Mr. Ellis is a decorated hero from World War II and Miss Thelma never lets me forget it. She remains very proud of his service. He was the only survivor of a plane crash at Normandy. Their conversation with one another is so loving, it makes me cry. Mr. Ellis always says “Isn’t my wife beautiful?” -and she is. Miss Thelma said Mr. Ellis was handsome and she had pictures to prove it. Miss Thelma writes letters to her nieces and nephews. Her penmanship is as elegant as any I have seen. The letters are quite elaborate and look like art. Miss Thelma attended college on a scholarship for piano and voice. Eventually, she became a teacher. Students, she taught forty years ago still keep in touch. That is some legacy. She tells me stories about a friend she had for many years, named Edith and makes me love someone, I never knew.
On Tuesday, I went back to work. Tuesday was as beautiful as Monday. October was an especially nice time and I will miss it. Now, it is November and with it comes one of my favorite holidays-Thanksgiving. The time to gather for the sake of expressing gratitude, together. As much as I love Christmas, I do not like to rush through Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving comes suddenly enough. It is but weeks away and that is hard to believe . Our menu for the dinner has little variation from year to year. I always ask everyone what they want and they say “what we had last year” without fail. Sometimes, there is a new dessert, but Jenny always wants cheesecake and Mama wants cranberries. They all want the “biscuit stuffing” that Grandmama told me how to make. Daddy does not like turkey at all, so I usually have a ham or barbecued chicken as well. Breakfast is scant, that morning, so we are all especially hungry by noon.
In some way, November fills me full of hope. It is the month to recount our blessings, collectively-to remember what is good -and to consider how we can give back. At times, “a word fitly spoken” is needed for someone. We can extend grace, and we can pray for one another. Even the “shoe string budget “of the rabbit patch affords such beautiful gifts, . . for the heart of the rabbit patch is a storehouse of wealth, collected from the generosity of others. I remember that, always . . .but especially in November.