It the blink of an eye, November came and went and, with the passage of Thanksgiving, Macy's parade, gorging on too much turkey and stuffing, Black Friday and the holiday season are upon us.
For years, even though my birthday kicks off the month, I was never a very big fan of November. It always struck me as grey and monotonous. The trees were leafless and the landscape seemed so barren. As I've grown older, I've come to appreciate the special "atmosphere" that November brings...a chance to rest amidst a bit of visual quiet after the colorful foliage displays of October - a chance to recover from the falling leaves and appreciate the "bare bones" of the scenery before they're eventually clothed in frost and snow for several months to come.
We were very, very lucky this November. After being bombarded aberrationally with several inches of snow in late October, November provided us with far warmer temperatures than usual (thank heavens for small favors) and a last chance to enjoy the sun's warmth. The grass has kept its bright emerald green hue and, while the diciduous trees are now completely bare, the foliage of the pines, firs, spruces and cedars remains.
I've started pulling out some of my holiday decorations. Two of the items I have at hand are a large wreath and door spray. They are quite old, actually - about 20 years now - and at one time were a beautifully fragrant combination of cut blue spruce branches combined with dried flowers and lovely velvet ribbons and bows. The wreath, which measures about 24 inches across, has bright, fire engine red bows, while the door spray has rich, dark burgundy velvet bows. The ribbons and bows have remained vibrant, of course, and even the dried elements are fairly bright still, but the spruce branches and their needles have turned from their original sea-foam blue green to a rather sad beigey-brown...and they tend to drop readily if the wreath or spray is moved even gently.
I've been reluctant to toss these two decorative pieces because they are so full of intricate detail and I have loved them through their life-cycles. So, suddenly, when I dear friend whom I'm helping prepare for a holiday housewarming party in 10 days mentioned that he wanted a big pine cone wreath sprayed in gold for his home, I had one of those "ah-ha" moments. I could carefully remove the ribbons and bows temporarily from my old items and spray them a warm and welcoming gold! They would no longer have the contrast of the greens (now beige) and deep reds, golden yellows and cream colors that had originally characterized them (and had charmed me), but they'd have a grand and elegant new life clothed in wonderful, intricate, golden detail!
I neglected to take a "before" shot (although I think I have a photo of the wreath in its original, fresh condition packed away in a box somewhere), but here's the "after" with ribbons and bows re-inserted. I couldn't be more pleased with it!
And the season begins!