November weather blew in this week. Monday we woke to light snow on the ground and flurries in the air. The November winds mean business. The blustery gusty cold wind makes me thankful to be a knitter. I have worn a hat, cowl, and mittens for walking and it is definitely wool sock weather. I am grateful to be warm on these November days. I am also grateful for memories of my Mom. Her birthday is November 7 so on that morning I picked up a latte in her honor. She preferred good black coffee but now and then on a holiday she stirred in a little whipped cream. Here we are in our younger days.
Mom was a registered nurse, a lover of her family, friends, dogs, autumn, and ordinary days. She was a grandmother and mother extraordinaire as well as a lifelong learner. I am the oldest of her four children. Whatever positive things any of us wanted to pursue were wonderful in her eyes. As a volunteer for the American Heart Association, she taught CPR classes for years. In those days, she needed a life-sized manikin, Recussa-Annie, for her classes. The manikin she used was owned and housed by the fire/police department. Before class, she would pick up Annie, stand her up in the red VW Beetle. Then with Annie's head and upper chest sticking out of the sunroof, off Mom would go - through the streets of Norfolk, Nebraska to class. In the 1960's as a college nurse, Mom taught sex education, first aid, and organized a Wellness Week. When she discovered Ms. magazine, she subscribed for herself, my sister, and I. When she passed away, many women told my siblings and I that she was their best friend. She was also our best friend. She died at 72 of multiple myeloma. This last illness was terribly sad for someone who had been healthy all of her life. Now the good memories of her seem more present than the sad ones. I am grateful for those many memories.
I love this photo of her with one of her dogs. She had just picked the last of the autumn mums in her yard and then given Zeus a drink. She didn't care that he splashed water on her pants and was licking her face. In fact she probably knelt down do he could do so. Although she never would have left the house in pink pants and a red coat, she just grabbed the red jacket for warmth on the November day.
I think of her as I knit hats and mittens for my grandchildren. She often suggested we wear a hat to keep warm. Whenever we arrived with a dog in tow, she asked if we had given that dog a drink of water. She would have loved all of her great grandchildren. I am knitting the fourth and last pair of mittens and then off to Connecticut they go. I am anxious to get back to my sweater because it will be warm on these cold days. And I have lovely shawl and cowl yarns calling my name.
I am listening to Time After Time, a novel set in the 1920's and 30's. Most of the story takes place in NYC with a brief Paris sojourn by one character. The history of Grand Central Station is an integral part of the story. Having this book come in on my library holds after recently having been there is a nice unplanned coincidence. The story is based on a touch of magical realism, a good thing on a cold November evening. I am about to give up on Savage Beauty, a biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay. It reads like a long list of events and excerpts from letters that would have benefited from more editing. I thought I wanted to read about Millay because Mary Oliver was influenced by her poetry. I wonder if Millay's poetry might be a better way to learn about the connection. Live and learn, there is always another book.
As I link with Kat and the Unravelers, I wish you a little magic under the November sky.