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.

Some Things Never Change

Fall is officially here! Welcome cooler weather and changing leaves, flannel shirts and frosty eves! I’ll take it all over the soggy, sultry summer we have had here in Virginia.

Even though my husband detests the cold weather, he is ready to put away his garden tools. It has not been a good summer for our vegetable garden. His tomatoes, in particular, have suffered from all sorts of disease and pests this summer, likely caused by all the damp weather.

I am grateful that I live in an area where I experience a variety of seasons, fall being my favorite one. I don’t think I would like living anywhere that has the same climate year-round. I would miss the emerging buds in March and the arrival of migrating songbirds and hummingbirds in April and May. I would miss listening for the first peepers, crickets and cicadas in the early summer months. And call me crazy, but I would miss the first feathery frost in October, and the first snow flurries around Thanksgiving.

In this ever-changing world, is there anything that remains the same?

Yes, there is! There is one truth that will never change:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬

No matter what life throws my way, I am confident in the steadfast love of Jesus, who was, is, and ever will be — my unchanging Savior.