Farewell to November

December 1 – All my life from a child on, I have felt really sad when the beautiful blue skies of October have given way to November, reminding us that the time has come to be inside most of the time, with those chilly days of November and onward for so long through December and then on until spring. This year we have been so thankful, though, that November was fairly kind to us, that we have had temperatures in the 80’s, and that no snow has come down. When I listen to the weathermen talking about the tons of snow that have fallen throughout the East, and also in the states just north of us here, I am glad that we moved to Missouri, leaving the winter woes behind!

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[ Super Moon over Branson ]

November has also brought us so much beauty in the skies! First of all, that strange moon that has not been that large in the sky since 1948, drew both of us out onto the porch for lengthy viewing. Unfortunately, my camera isn’t able to shoot close-ups when the subject is so far away. However, our granddaughter Beckie, who is a nurse down in famous Branson, MO, took a number of them, and we are enjoying her pictures of the golden orb from time to time.

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[ Pathfinder Star honor patch ]

Even without the moon, however, there are so many beautiful stars and constellations to study and learn about. In the old days I used to teach the kids about these heavenly bodies when I worked with them at junior camp. Today, since practice makes perfect, and I have not practiced for a long time, I have to rely on our son David who is into star gazing as he walks every evening for an hour or so. He keeps track of his distance and has walked over 1100 miles in the last nine months (or roughly the distance from Kansas City to New York)

However, I can still find the “easy” stars and constellations in the sky: Ursa Major and Minor, Cassiopeia, the Pleiades, Orion, Cygnus, Arcturus, and others. As I wrote about Orion just now, I was reminded of a couple little boys who were in my class on stars and constellations. When I mentioned that one of the main stars was Betelgeuse, they looked shocked and asked, “What kind of beetle would be spitting out on Orion? And how did they get there to do it?” Kids are really neat and add so much to life.

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[ Leaves on the Biz Tree ]

One of these days, we’ll clean up the clematis along the fences, cutting off the gone-to-seed flowers and pruning the plant right down to the ground. Also need to mow over the tons of leaves lying on the lawn just behind the house. No point in doing that job so far because all of the leaves have not yet fallen. “Biz’ tree,” still has most of its beautiful red colored leaves, and as we look out across the pasture beyond, we are so thankful for her cousins who bought it for us in memory of her five years ago. – CHRIS

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