Friday Firesmith – November

Back during the Summer, we paved on the hottest day of the year, with the Heat Index being sued in copyright court by Satan. Somewhere in the middle of the afternoon, I drank my last bottle of water, but luckily my supervisor showed up with a cooler. I took a long cold shower after I got home, and honestly, it felt like the water was warm coming out of the showerhead. It took a few days to get over that shift.

Today, and this was written on November the 16th, one week after my birthday, it wasn’t cold in the morning, but I had to put on a heavy shirt. The day never really heated up, there was a nice breeze, and no gnats or mosquitoes. The high today was likely around seventy-something, low seventy-something at that.

We used to do that before the digital age. We once were vague about time and temperature. It was always, “A little past two” not “two oh six”. It was always “close to 90” not 91.3 degrees”. We didn’t gain anything by knowing that much about that little.

I got home today and it was odd not to feel warmth in the house. It wasn’t cold, not by a long shot, but the heat of the day had not built up, the AC wasn’t on, and the humidity was way low. I walked the dogs in the woods and it was cooler, and darker, than I thought it should have been, as if I hadn’t noticed the Equinox is further away than the Solstice now. The dogs love it, running around like mad, jumping onto logs then springing off at the others, and it’s a good time to be a mutt here.

Lilith has reached the November of her life. She waddles now, doesn’t run much, and doesn’t play with her packmates anymore. It’s been a while since she chased anything other than a nap.

Back inside, the house feels cool, maybe too cool for mom, but she’s not complaining. The heat was terrible this Summer, and the heat pump died in August. I got her a window unit until we got the heat pump replaced, but it was a very long week or so. At one point we had two window ACs and even though the air was cooler they both made noises like a 747 landing in a herd of metal wildebeests migrating through a junkyard.

November is here. It’s good bonfire weather. It’s good blanket and good book-reading weather. It’s a good time of year to work all day in the yard with some beer, and not feel like Death is waiting for you to push it a little too hard. November means that you’ll hurry to get things done while there’s still light enough to work, but at the same time, it’s cool enough to work hard, and it feels good when you do.

Right now, there’s a lot of planning being done, around the Plague, so Mom can have a decent Thanksgiving meal, and perhaps even see a grandson. We have to be careful because other people aren’t, or won’t be. But this is November. The last month before the last month, the beginning of the frenetic activity that only Americans could call “The Holidays”. November, the month that brings cooler, darker, and rainier weather, snuggle weather, fires and alcohol, food and more food, and perhaps, some peace.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


12 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – November”

  1. I love this time of year, even in Texas this is one month that’s generally not too cold or too hot. “November, the month that brings cooler, darker, and rainier weather, snuggle weather, fires and alcohol, food and more food, and perhaps, some peace.” Thank you for painting this beautiful picture. It was lovely.

    • I was lured into this by having the window open and listening to an owl in the distance. It felt good to feel cool air, and not have to worry about bugs. As the world darkens and a lot of things die, I feel more alive.

  2. Say what, “no gnats or mosquitoes”, so that’s November in Georgia. I’ve below freezing at night, daytime 50° tops plus or minus a scosche, dark at 5 PM, feeling a lot like at least one foot into winter. Family in Massachusetts have had a couple snows, so has a friend on the PA/NY border.
    It’s a big difference from last summer, now going outside the Sun feels good instead of like Satan’s flamethrower singeing my edges.

    For me, every birthday lengthens the list of things that are annoying in addition to the whippersnappers on the lawn.

  3. Your comment about being vague regarding the time or temp reminded me of when I was a teen spending the summers working on my Grandfathers farm. To him it didn’t matter what time it was or how hot it was. You worked from the end of breakfast (about 5 am) til supper and after supper til dinner.
    The only thing that was a problem was getting in the ripe crops before the rain came. The only way to cool off was laying in the creek until dark.

    • Richard, I look back at how hard we once worked, and it didn’t matter how hot or how wet or how long. It simply was the way things were, and how they were going to be. In construction, the younger guys have never seen it, and they half believe we’re lying about how hard it once was. But they can tell you it’s 11:42 and time to take an hour for lunch.

  4. Vague references to time. Something I still prefer, even though I’ve worked in the digital field for years, needing to use exact times, even to the second.

    I still prefer “a quarter of/after” “about 10 after/before” or the always relevant “just about five” or maybe even “noonish.”

    • Fred, I can remember having a boss who would say, “Get here around sunrise” and we knew to be there before the sun came up. Time didn’t matter as much as light did. That was what defined the work day, not a clock.

  5. I noticed Queen Lilith of The Perfect Leaf had a little grey in her muzzle in the last photo you posted. As does Miss Chaos My Beautiful Disaster. It brings a tear to my eye to think of all the years I’ve spent with her growing shorter. She truly has been a perfect companion and I hate that her November is here as well. It’s one of the most unfair things about life, good dogs don’t live as long as they ought.

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