Busy November offers little time to relax

Busy November offers little time to relax by Bob Karolevitz Somebody once said that November is nature�s way of giving us time to eat the leftover Halloween candy before we tackle the leftover turkey.

But November is more than that!

We�ve already celebrated Armistice Day on the 11th. Of course, they now call it Veteran�s Day to include all of us, but for me � and my late father � it will always be the anniversary of the end of World War I.

At Garritys� Prairie Gardens we�ve also enjoyed �Gotcha Day� on the 19th. That�s when Samuel Robert, our only grandson, came from Seoul, Korea, as an infant 10 years ago.

It was quite an event as his adoptive parents � Jan and Pat Garrity � met the plane in Des Moines, IA, and then brought him to the store in Mission Hill where streamers were hung and festive balloons greeted his arrival.

It seemed like only yesterday, and already he is a big boy, playing Junior League football (he�s a guard built like a linebacker) and tooting on his French horn which he selected over drums. Thank goodness!

November is also the time for the general election, soup kitchens, Newspaper Day and the beginning of basketball season. I thought it would be a relaxing interlude, but before it was over, my personal calendar was crammed full of things to do and places to be.

And then there was the leaf-raking!

Phyllis has a thing about the residue of trees denuding themselves. While I hide out in my office (writing is my excuse), she gathers up cartsful of leaves from cottonwoods and hackberries to make bedding for her miniature horses who never had it so good.

I tell her that God causes the leaves to fall, and He will take them away with gusts of wind in due time � but, being a workaholic, she can�t wait for that.

(That reminds me: I�ve got to get her a light-weight cob fork because I hate to see her using that heavy one.)

I suppose we should take advantage of the good weather to prepare for winter like the squirrels do. I didn�t put up the snow fence last year so the drifts piled up. On the other hand, I�ve always erected the snow fence in the wrong place, so maybe I�ll just forget about it for another season.

November is the month we start feeding the birds, too, so I�ve got to go to the bank so I can afford all those expensive thistle seeds which Phyllis insists on putting out for the finches, which are just starting to change their color to a bright yellow, incidentally. She also smears peanut butter on the feeding tree for the brown creepers, the nuthatches and the downy woodpeckers instead of spreading the Skippy on toast where it belongs.

The cardinals, the juncoes, blue jays and the house sparrows are a lot cheaper to feed, but I try not to let my wallet get in the way of pleasing my wife. After all, she�s got all those leaves to haul.

You probably didn�t know it, but November is really the ninth month on the old Roman calendar which begins with March. That�s how it got its name from novem, which is Latin for nine. I thoughtt his bit of trivia would brighten your day.

It also helps me finish up this column which kept getting interrupted as I eat another Halloween candy and dream about that Thanksgiving turkey.

� 2002 Robert F. Karolevitz

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