Friday, November 27, 2015

Incessant Divagation

“It's Snow Way to End November” 
by Rick Jones, Husband of the Minister's Wife

November is my favorite month of the year. I enjoy the temperatures, the relative heaviness of cloud cover, the relative lack of rain, and the the month includes my favorite holiday of all, Thanksgiving. It has several other fun, but less well known days of celebration, like Plan Your Epitaph Day [Nov 2, see my column for Nov 3], International Tongue Twister Day [Nov 7, a high point for all females marketing seashells by the ocean's edge], Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day [Nov 15 – and I can recall some bachelors who did this only once a year], World Toilet Day [Nov 19 -- I have no idea what traditions are connected with this one; frankly, I don't want to find out]. And no, I did not make up any of these!

One day I plan to stay at home is Black Friday. I know the stores are full of bargains, but they are also full of incredibly rude and aggressive shoppers. I think they're so surly because they got up early, sacrificing sleep to gain more shopping time. Many of them also saved time by neglecting to shower. I'll just look through the cookbooks at home, for recipes which can be adapted for leftover turkey. No one has ever explained to me how a 17 pound bird can yield a full meal on Thanksgiving, and still result in another 17 pounds of leftovers.

Other than Black Friday, there is one event that often happens in November which lessens the month's appeal.

Last Saturday we had our first snow of the season.

I don't like snow. My dislike is on the level of Scrooge detesting orphans, the Grinch detesting the Whos down in Whoville, and sane people detesting disco music. The odds of me changing my mind on this are much less likely than the conversions of the characters created by Dickens and Seuss. 

When I was very young, I liked snow. But one day my dad handed me a shovel and said “Go to it”. It took about five minutes of snow relocation to send me down the path of snow detestation. Cold hands. Cold feet. Cold nose, followed by a cold in the nose. Now, with the aging of my circulatory system, five minutes of walking in the snow results in my feet feeling frozen for at least a week. 

People marvel that no two snowflakes are alike. Actually, you can't really prove that claim. Seriously. Have you checked each one? But here's what every snowflake has in common: NOAA [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] states: “A snowflake begins to form when an extremely cold water droplet freezes onto a pollen or dust particle in the sky” – which means that every one of those “pure clean fresh” snowflakes is a bit of dirty ice . . . in disguise.

Just thinking about the recent snow, harbinger of snowstorms to come, gets me feeling down. But that mood won't last very long. Because Saturday, November 28th is Annual Red Planet Day, when the planet Mars is the focus of celebrations all over the world – and, according to some people, celebrations beyond this world as well. So, for stay-at-home folks like me, it's a day to pop some corn and watch “Total Recall”, “War of the Worlds”, or, if you want to combine holidays, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”. For more riotous revelers, it's a night to go out and paint the town . . . Red.

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