How did we get to November already?

Many Amish now use a gasoline engine to power a horse drawn corn picker.

By Bruce Stambaugh

It’s November, the eleventh month of the year. How did we get here already?

Only yesterday we were putting away our holiday trappings, thankful for the fun times with family. With the winter full upon us, we wistfully anticipated warmer days ahead.

And now it’s November again. How did that happen?

Our house is built on an Amish farm, and we have an excellent view of the sweeping farm fields between the farmhouse and our own. After the year’s first significant snowfall, out came the manure spreader creating a Currier and Ives brown on white painting, horses snorting steam as they pulled the spewing wagon through the cold air.

The backyard birds raided the many feeders deployed in strategic locations for them and me. They eat in the cold. I photographed through the windows from the warmth of our home. That was yesterday, right?

The snows came, melted, and came again. The cycle of freezing and thawing and freezing again took a toll on the roads. The orange barrels are still up, and yet snowplows are already being prepared for another go-round. Can it be already?

It seems like just the other day horses pulling the one-bottom plows retraced their manure spreading steps. Dark, rich soil turned one row at a time. They went, and they went until the upturned richness embraced the sun and the rain, sometimes both in the same day. Didn’t that just happen, too?

As a fundraiser, the youth group from our church picked up winter’s debris deposited by gale after gale. I’m glad we didn’t have to pay them per pinecone. I thought we just wrote that check.

I remember distinctly how long, chilly and wet the spring was. It seemed like it hung around until last week. Obviously it didn’t. We haven’t had summer yet. Or did we?

A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers began to raid the peanut butter suet feeders in the backyard. I was astonished the huge, shy birds would even come that close to a home. But they did. A few weeks later, mother and dad led their youngster to the free food. I’m positive it was just the other day that happened.

Maybe not.

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Once the field corn sprouted, it shot up, the tallest corn I can remember. The ears were long and full, and now they are being picked. Did I miss something?

I know our energetic granddaughter spent a few glorious days with us just before her preschool started. We had loads of fun together before I returned Maren to her Virginia home. Was that really at the end of August?

How is it that I distinctly remember sitting on our favorite porch in Lakeside, Ohio, playing dominoes with our usual gang, and yet, the calendar says it is November? Something is not right here.

I can still taste those amazing homemade glazed donuts at the customer appreciation day at the produce stand we frequented time and again during growing season. Yet, checking my records, that was at September’s end. That can’t be right.

I do remember October was filled with meetings and appointments and celebrations, all intertwined around a little travel. In fact, without looking it up, I can tell you exactly the time and date of my last doctor’s appointment. I didn’t have to wait long, and I recall it went really well. But that was a month ago.

Someone please tell me, how did we get to November already? Anybody?

A November sunrise in Ohio’s Amish country.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2013

Author: Bruce Stambaugh

Writer, marketer, columnist, author, photographer, birder, walker, hiker, husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, township trustee, converted Anabaptist, community activist, my life is crammed with all things people and nature and wonder. My late father gave me this penchant for giving and getting the most out of life, my late mother the courtesy, kindness, and creativity to see the joy in life. They both taught me to cherish the people I am with. I try and fail and try again.

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