I’m only mildly surprised it’s November 1st. But also mostly surprised because yesterday was July 20th, right? I can’t be the only one out there that’s feeling this. It feels like November, but it doesn’t seem like 2021 is actually almost over. I’ll say it again, but you’ve heard it before, this year, must like last year, still feels like a bit of a dream.

Not a bad one.

Not a great one.

Just a dream.

In an effort to freeze time just a bit, I’ve got things that smell like fall tucked into every corner of this house. It’s my favorite time of year, I don’t want it to pass by without some kind of fanfare this year. God knows it was gone in a blink last year. Our yard is blanketed in oranges and reds right now. It’s truly the loveliest time of year. Days without rain are too few to truly get out and enjoy it, however, so much of how we enjoy this time of year is done inside.

I need to stop and appreciate something. Speaking of those leaves, my desk is right next to a window facing our backyard. While the fired hued Japanese maple is out of sight, the lilac tree is bright yellow right now and the maple trees have decorated the laurel bush providing a bit of privacy with their fallen leaves. This wasn’t a view I had the chance to enjoy when I was driving into town for work each day. I’d leave in the dark, come home in the dark, the view out of my work window, beyond the often busy concourse below, was a city street with a graffitied brick wall behind it.

It’s worth appreciating.

November is one of those months. Lots of celebrating will take place it’s home to my wedding anniversary (8 years this time) and my birthday (41 years this time)… but also home to my mom’s birthday. A bittersweet celebration always. Celebrating her life, but in memory. It really doesn’t get easier overall, just the times it’s harder are fewer and farther between. She’s been gone 12 years at this point. Hard to believe.

12 years seems like a lifetime.

It’s sweet, Rocky likes to make sure we celebrate her in some way. Either on her birthday by making what I considered her signature dish for dinner… or on Christmas eve with the same. Not sure where the Christmas eve thing came from other than she really did Christmas up in the best way. Her birthday will fall on Thanksgiving this year… so we’ll likely postpone her signature dish a month. Or heck, maybe we’ll have that in place of turkey. No matter the day, we’ll make sure to drop the needle on some Marty Robbins while we’re cooking that signature dish. That night is all hers.

While it comes from the hardest time of my life, the memory is always sweet and something I look forward to every year.

I suppose the first day in the Day of the Dead celebration would be remembering someone I’ve lost. If you have someone out there that left a hole in your life, make sure and fill it in with joy. Celebrate the good times and do something in memory of them that you’ll look forward to each time.

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