November has a distinctive feel. It’s days are often grey, cold, windy and somewhat bleak. I remember a November a few years ago when my journal recorded that every day was wet and dark with no sunny days for the entire month.Whether the sun shines or not November is a month that serves to prepare us for the winter that is coming. But just as every season and every month does, November has it’s gifts and blessings to give if we are open to receive them. As November reaches it’s mid point this year I reflect on those blessings. First of all I have my husband home as he begins his retirement years. He has so enthusiastically embraced his at-home days. The garden has been harvested and he has begun the fall ploughing to clean up this year’s garden and prepare for next year’s planting.He has been filling the basement with the winter’s wood.He has taken over my daily chores of feeding and watering the pigs, turkeys and chickens. I must admit I miss those chores a bit but love the extra time it gives me in the morning. He keeps the house lovely and warm and I rarely have to go to the furnace.I have enjoyed my writing time getting started on book # 5.I had an enjoyable shopping trip with my daughter-in-law and her mom , sisters, cousins and aunts.Yesterday I spent the day at Island View School. I presented to all the students from kindergarten to grade 5. What wonderful, interested, bright and eager kids they were and I enjoyed each session.The students and staff welcomed me warmly. It was such a joy to see principal Mark Blucher doing all his principal things throughout the day. A joy especially because I was Mark’s Grade four teacher. I joked that I was responsible for him wanting to be a teacher. He very nicely told the kids that he remembered me as a wonderful teacher.(Really what else could he say?)I look forward to the rest of the month with three book signings,another school visit and more days in my office. As I have stated so many times before , I loved being a teacher but these days I am so happy to be a writer. Bring on the dark, deary days of November ,and the long winter. I am very content to be right here at my computer, in my nice warm house.