Monday, November 2, 2015

a perfect fall weekend

Every once in awhile the stars align and we have a weekend full of great activities that are fun for the whole family. This past weekend was one of those. Tommy came home from school on Friday to find Annabel and I in the front yard raking leaves. He joined right in and pretty soon we had a pile big enough for them to split in two and make "houses" for each other, which they happily played in while I planted a few pansies. When Will got home, we carved our pumpkin (nothing like waiting til the last minute!) and then cleaned out the garage so we can park our cars in there over the winter. The kids were perfectly content with their leaf houses and Will and I were able to get the garage picked up and swept out in record time. After dinner that night, I took the kids out for a walk - Tommy on skateboard and Annabel on her bike - so we could watch the sunset. We had a great time, got in a little exercise to combat all the soon-to-be-eaten candy, and saw a beautiful sunset. Since we were chilly from our walk, we made popcorn and hot chocolate and watched the Charlie Brown Halloween special. On Saturday we had ballet and one more fall baseball game, then trunk-or-treat at our old church followed by pizza and trick-or-treating (complete with hayride!) with some good friends. Then we got an "extra hour" (in quotes because Annabel woke up at exactly the same time as always even though she stayed up until 10 the night before, which, with the time change, was 5:30 instead of 6:30) of sleep. The kids got to wear their costumes to church yesterday morning, which they loved, and then we had a great meeting with our small group last night. Perfect! I couldn't have planned it better if I tried, and the best part was that I didn't even try! It all sort of fell into place and ended up being great fun for everyone. Win!


And now it's November and it's getting dark at 5:13pm and although I'm good with that now, I know there are lots of people out there who have trouble with the early dark. Admittedly, I might feel differently about it if I was working in an office all day and arrived in the dark and then left in the dark (which I did for awhile and am so glad to not be doing anymore), but since I'm able to get out during the day, I'm more than happy to light candles all over my living room and kitchen, turn on the fireplace, and eat a cozy dinner once all the homework is done. I love November. If you do work in an office and never get to see the sun, maybe see if you can take a quick walk around the building a couple times a day? I used to get up and do a short 5 minute walk outside once an hour when I was in an office. It kept my blood flowing, gave me a short break, and helped me to refocus on my work. Not to mention the valuable vitamin D and fresh air. 

One thing I'm committing myself to this month is sunsets. When I worked for a landscaping company after college, November was usually the time when things started slowing down and I could leave work almost every day around 5pm. This was significant not only because I was putting in far fewer hours than during the spring and summer, but also because I got to see the sunset everyday on my 45 minute commute back home.  I don't remember many of the details from my days back then, but one thought has stuck with me through the years: November has the best sunsets. I remember driving across a bridge over the James River and staring at the most beautiful pink, orange, and red sky, and thinking that exact sentence. November has the best sunsets. 

And so, I will try very hard to see, enjoy, and take a photo (or two or three) of the sunset, every day in November, no matter the weather. It'll be easier to do now that the sun goes down so early. When Tommy gets off the bus, we'll just hop on our skateboards/bikes/scooters and go for a little walk. By the time we get back it'll be getting dark and we'll get to enjoy the sunset. Sounds like a plan.  

I hope you can make some plans to look up and enjoy the sun and sunset and early darkness this season. I know it can be tough sometimes but just remember, this too, shall pass.

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