Nov 13 2005

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November in New England is clinically clear and cold with an occasional day of clouds. I have lived in New England my entire life and except for a more northern or southern geographic claim November in New England is generally the same. Colder than most climates skies are clearer than in other months and more hustle among its population. We are a definite northern human species, used to extremes of cold rain, foggy mornings, frost, ice and snow.

In November in the North East most of the foliage is off the trees, blown around on the roads and gutters and lawns, like millions of scattered memories and images forgotten or held on to by golden and fire colored emotions. Trees become skeletal outlines on the horizon and grey blurs on rural routes of two lane highways. The gold and fire red leaves and mountains become a grey background, to the white painted wood and red brick towns as the vacationers leave and the local antique vendors take in their signs.

I always seem to wait for November as a reflective time of year. I dislike holiday television specials and Kmart and Wal-Mart newspaper flyers and sale announcements in my mail box and Christmas jingles on the radio and pre Christmas sales in all the stores, 40 and 50% off their 500% markups. I dread going near a mall or any place that muzaked Christmas carols are playing. I dread the sight of endless streamers of red and green ribbons on artificial wreaths on every door front in every town. “Oh I wish we could have a white Christmas!” Makes me sick to my senses and insanely reclusive preferring the company of good bourbon and beer.

In anticipation of the fierce flurry of wind and snow and below zero temperatures, I take out of storage my winter clothes and dry clean the tweeds and wool sweaters, repair the buttons and zippers on winter coats and get out the gloves and hats and flannel shirts, change the tires to studded snows, winterize the car, add a pint of dry gas to the tank and wait for the first winter storm. This is the real November in New England in case anyone ever wondered. But today the sun is shining and the sky is blue and the temperature is in the upper 50s. Nice for a New England, November Sunday. Nice for New England any day. It’s like a New England, November, travelogue day, the kind seen in coffee table photography books. I actually have a church bell chiming about half a mile from here in a 1700’s style Congregational church  also a red brick Episcopalian church about a block away from that church. It’s like a puritanical Christian surrealism, being surrounded by Masonic buildings with steeples. But the surrealism ends next month, when snow begins to fall and the cold snaps the power lines and the roads slush up and the visions of New England become severe as New Englanders do what New Englanders do, survive until spring and prepare for a cold winter.



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