We rolled out of bed late. It was one of those mornings when the clouds seem to lay so low that they envelop you, and they whisper in your ear to stay in bed and linger. So we lingered…
By the time we left the house, bundled for the weather and with books for the library, we were a happy band of people. J, as usual, insisted on music as soon as we started the car. TGG leaned back and watched trees roll by through his window, happy to not be at work on this cloudy and cold day. Dada, his hat firmly planted on his head, smiled like one who hasn’t had three consecutive days without work lingering in the back of his mind in a while. I was just happy to be out of the house and keeping such company.
I have to admit that when students are gone, the dynamics of town alter significantly. The streets were empty thanks to a combination of the weeklong school holiday and the weather. We wandered about freely, and decided (quite on-the-spot) to drive through to the cemetery. I always tell Dada that for one who doesn’t ever want to be constricted in a box in a hole in the ground, I sure like the feeling of peace that permeates a graveyard. The truth is that I wanted to see what the cold weather and the demise of autumn have done to the trees. I was not disappointed. It is a well-known fact in this household that I love naked trees even more than I love fully-clothed ones, and it was a nudist colony out there. J didn’t want to get out of the car because of the cold (there is that bench he loves to sit on,) but he didn’t mind lingering while I took pictures.
And then we came home…
The rest of the afternoon could be compared to spools of thread comfortably settled in their niches. The cats curled up on our bed; J curled up on the couch; TGG curled up in front of his video game; Dada curled up with his laptop (I believe he was in a campaign somewhere in the Mediterranean, but I wasn’t really paying attention…he has won World War II so many times now that I can hardly keep track.) I walked around lazily observing every being in this household. I curled up between Dada and the cats, and I nearly fell asleep watching the snow flutter past the window.
The truth is that November does this to me. I slip into pensiveness. I don’t know if it is so much that I’m looking back on the year that has unspooled and lays jumbled behind me, or if I simply start November thinking of Jo March’s birthday (because Louisa May Alcott -and her father- were born on November 29th and she assigned this birthday month to Jo.) November is the month when I think too much. November is the month of reluctant melancholia preceding the hopeful joy of December. Bach isn’t helping matters, by the way, and I’ve decided to steer clear from my initial musical background and switch to Vivaldi instead.
The month is hardly over. We still have almost a whole week and other occupations to keep us busy before we surrender to December and the end of year chaos. There have been hints of a discussion regarding Dada’s few days off the week of Christmas. Most of these have involved pajamas, light meals, movies, jigsaw puzzles and the same kind of laziness that has invaded the premises with the colder weather. The looks given to the fresh supply of Christmas trees on offer outside the store were longer than they had been so far. We have floated the idea of a Christmas card, and suggestions are being offered (though not yet in earnest.) Christmas is around the corner, but we seem to be walking towards the corner a little more slowly than others.
This is true of all of us, but not in the same degree for J. That young man takes longer to hang his jackets in the coat closet than he should. He is trying, without putting any obvious effort into it, to discover which of the boxes full of as-yet-unwrapped presents, belongs to him. I know this is one of the reasons why he keeps either taking out the vacuum cleaner (which is not needed at the time) and putting it away (when I still need it.) Yesterday I hinted strongly at putting a bell on the door, and I heard a sudden click and a shuffle of J-feet towards the garage. He doesn’t really have to “dig” for anything as I don’t overdo the concealment of packages, so I’ve announced -quite clearly- that I have finished shopping and will not shop for anything else if the things in the closet are discovered, identified and appropriated. Coal, I’ve said, is what people will get…and THIS is mining country, by the way. Not hard to come by coal! Proof that the threat has worked is that J hung his coat with his back turned to the closet when we got home earlier this afternoon. I am thinking the first weekend in December is the perfect time to work on wrapping paper as a craft project.
At the library we found a Christmas crafts book and J is excited about the projects in it. Since Dada has to travel this week (from Tuesday to Thursday,) the evenings will feel a little longer and we will have to occupy ourselves with projects. Tomorrow, book in hand, J and I will spelunk in the crafts-materials closet and locate all the things we will be needing. There is a certain appeal in pipe cleaners that J cannot resist, and I don’t think I need to explain that anything having to do with stamping paper with a potato into which a design has been carved is enough to keep him occupied for at least an hour.
Tomorrow morning, however, comes the best news in the whole wide world: the BUS and BACKPACK PECS get to go on the board for a whole solid week. After a week of sinus congestion, vaporizers, cold medicine, thermometers randomly inserted into ears, lessons on how to blow one’s nose…J will be over the moon with joy…
Let’s see how we fare walking down to the corner at 6:15 in the morning while Dada is gone, and slipping and sliding if it snows.