Suddenly November

I am so happy that election week has passed. Amen?

Fall, which is usually my favorite time of year, has been an unsettling season thus far. Our family has been broken-hearted following the passing of my father-in-law last month. The mid-term election was a distraction amidst our grief. The non-stop drama didn’t end on November 6th, and continues on today.

Somewhere in all that chaos, November arrived. This realization hit me when the Black Friday ads spilled out of the newspaper this week. Ugh!

First things first. We finally tossed the Jack-o’-lantern that was sitting on our front steps. His toothy grin stuck around as long as the leftover Halloween candy. Both needed to go.

Next, my mom and brother came to visit and we dug out our fall decorations. This is something we usually do together in early September, but the delay didn’t seem to bother anyone. It was a crucial step in preparing our home for the coming holiday season and the long, cozy winter months ahead.

Yesterday we spent much of the day relocating our daughter’s two house rabbits, Max and Charlie, from the guest room to the basement. That sounds simple enough, but it was quite an undertaking! Each has his own hutch, toys, litterbox and dishes. Then there is the food — assorted types of hay, timothy pellets and treats. The move was stressful for the bunnies, even though it was only down two flights of stairs. We love them dearly, but look forward to the day that all three of them find a place of their own. In the meantime, our son deserves a proper (and rabbit-free) guest room, as opposed to the sofa in the basement, when he visits us later this month.

Photo from wilddelight.com

The weather is feeling more autumnal too. We had our first real freeze last night and the remainder of our flower garden died. The zinnias were blooming through last week, but now everything is brown and wilted. The birdbath had ice on it this morning, so it was time to add the heater. Our daughter filled all the feeders today and told me the Dark-eyed Juncos had arrived! This is a sure sign that winter is on its way.

I know many people dread the colder months, but I enjoy living where there is a clear distinction between seasons. What Northern Virginia lacks in fall color (from my perspective as a former New Englander), it more than compensates with its beautiful springtime blossoms. Our summers are hot and steamy, and our winters are damp and windy. Snow is hit or miss (mainly miss) but every now and then we get walloped.

But now I must pause before looking too far ahead. November is where we are now. I am determined to focus on each day as it comes and stop fixating on what I cannot predict or change.

I know that the Lord wants me to live in the present — not on the past or the future — but the now. And that is where I plan to be.

Steadfast

I am writing outside today. What a joy it is, soaking up the early autumn sunshine after being cooped up inside for several rainy weekends in a row!

Our garden is quickly fading. In fact the only thing still thriving seems to be our Mexican Sunflowers. The hummingbirds and butterflies love them!

Both birds and butterflies have been busy this week, getting their fill of the sweet nectar as they prepare for their long migration flights to warmer climates in Mexico. I haven’t seen any “hummers” today, so it’s possible they have already departed. I often wonder, with the sheer number of migrating butterflies and birds, do they ever cross paths along the way? I guess we will never know.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.””
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:8‬

Scientists have more questions than answers as to what prompts these tiny creatures to migrate twice each year. For both the Monarch butterflies and the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, their species’ survival depends on this perilous 2,500-mile journey! Somehow they seem to know just the right moment to depart, and they also know exactly where they are going (even without a GPS 😉). Isn’t that marvelous?

We serve an amazing God, who — despite all the other uncertainties of this world — remains steadfast, and always provides for even his tiniest creations.