November looked like this…

Imagine a whole tree of these...
Imagine a whole tree of these…

Autumn always slips into Hampton Roads late, after the last of the Blue Ridge Leaf Reports, after Halloween, well after the initial excitement about changing seasons, about the time when all thoughts have turned to turkey.  Yet, I can’t remember a more vivid Autumn.  Our neighborhood glowed neon with red and sugar maple leaves, ginkgo and crepe myrtle, dogwood, even the oaks were brighter this year.  Our morning walks were a source of joy and needed energy to meet the challenges of our November calendar!

Who doesn’t have a hectic November? Well, sure, it’s not as hectic as December, but I think even the most Type A planner people start feeling stressed in November just thinking about the holidays coming up.  I’m not a Type A planner.  I’m a Type S planner.  I know what I need to do, but don’t really want to do it until the spirit moves me. The Type S planner simply can not shop early for gifts or bake ahead, or write cards because those things surely must be accompanied by twinkling lights, Christmas carols, the scent of pine, and hot spiced cider or eggnog with a splash of ahem, well, spirits.

Despite the impending holiday anxiety that I occasionally fall prey to, and our very full schedule, November was deeply satisfying. The Daughter completed her Family Helper Badge, she played beautifully in both her her Old Dominion University recital and the Portsmouth City Wide recital.  She has gained a lot of confidence with her church job and my mother’s heart swelled at her powerful playing of A Mighty Fortress is Our God on Reformation Sunday!

Socially, we had a great time with our American Heritage Girl group at Triple R Ranch (brrr), and met some friends at the movies.  The Daughter donated her long, shining hair to Locks of Love (12 inches!). Sniff.  We put in quite a few hours volunteering with Operation Christmas Child during Shoebox Collection Week, and had a blast meeting lots of new people and working with our AHG friends.

#1 Son came home early for Thanksgiving so we had him for a whole week!

The family came over for Thanksgiving, including my Far Ranging Brother.  Mr. Garner’s turkey was perfection! At months end, we put together and decorated Grandma Midge’s Christmas tree, #1 Son assembled her new Reindeer family, and he and Mr. Garner put her lights on the roof!  By the time The Daughter sang with the Young Musicians of Virginia at the Founder’s Inn on the very last day of November, The Garners were definitely in the Christmas Spirit!

A few photos:

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