Monday, November 9, 2009

November Days





November has always made me uneasy.  As someone who tends toward the melancholic, I am lured even deeper into my moods when November's salt marshes bleach to shades of bone and its sky to shades of grey.  Don't get me wrong, I rather enjoy this feeling of teetering on the edge of winter's ice and sleet.  Besides, November is the month of counting blessings, of gathering our strength and supplies for the coming months of dark and cold.  It is the month I remember my father the most, gone now for a quarter of a century, but still present in the ocean's spray and the shiver of fallen leaves.  Even as I type this, I am almost back there, riding beside him in his tomato-soup red GMC down the old beach roads on a drizzly day.  The heater steams my wool socks.  Between us on the seat rest a jumble of receipts, a Stanley tape measure, and, as always, a pack of Wrigley's.  He is singing Roger Miller, "Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let--fifty cents . . ." and I settle farther down into the seat, lean my head against the fogged window, let my thoughts drift.  Outside, houses and trees rush past, but we are in no hurry, my father and me.

42 comments:

  1. Awe- this is just lovely. Thank you for taking me there.
    Your blog is wonderful.

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  2. Lovely golden shimmers on the photos Gigi...
    You are so right,counting blessing, of gathering our strength & I might add lovely fond memories as well... I'm sure your father is so very proud of you to honor his memories~
    xo*

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  3. your descriptions of seasons and colours and senses and family are always so lovely - beautiful post gigi, I hope you get through november okay.

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  4. We must be close to the same age, for my memories of my father are so similar...right down to Roger Miller. Except for him, it was always Juicy Fruit. My dad passed away two years ago this December and I miss him so much. Having a wonderful father is such a blessing to a girl throughout her whole life.

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  5. Laurel: Thank you. It's nice to see you here! Come back any time.

    Lenore: Ah, I am thinking right now of the lovely golden shimmers of your train post!!

    Sammy and Glenn: Thanks so much. I'm so excited about my lanterns, btw!!

    Pamela: Wow, our dads sound like they were cut from similar cloth. I'm sorry to hear of your dad's passing. Two years is so little time that the missing must be very present for you. Sometimes I feel like no time has passed at all since my dad died. Other times if feels like another lifetime. Either way, I miss him just as much. xo

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  6. Love Fall and love the photos. Your blog is lovely!

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  7. Beautiful photos and what an awesome memory about your dad. It makes me think of so many wonderful stories about me and my dad! I, too always feel a bit melancholy this time of year, but it tends to pass as the holiday season kicks into gear with wonderfully uplifting films,holiday music and time spent with family and friends. Thank you for this - it made my day! :)

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  8. Your story is so touching, it almost makes me cry... It feels as if I ´m sitting in the car with you two...
    Thank you,once again, for sharing your memories, this time of, your father. I get the feeling, you ´re thinking of him with a lot of love and warmth. He must have been the greatest.

    Your images are wonderful.
    Have a nice evening(?).
    Love/
    Luiza

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  9. So lovely! Great reminder- November is the month for counting blessings!

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  10. many talented artists are melancholies...they feel deeply. your story of your father is so sweet. i remember that old song and once in a great while, sing it. thank you for sharing. your pumpkin photos with the sunlight behind is beautiful.

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  11. Thanks for the very touching post. November holds some of the same feelings for me as my Mom died 33 years ago the Nov. 28th which also happened to be my Dad's birthday. Fast forward 20 years later and it was his turn to die on what would have been her birthday had we not purposely kept him on life support and extra day.
    I usually have a few days in Nov. that I feel really depressed but then I snap out of it.

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  12. Gorgeous tribute to your father, "...still present in the ocean's spray and shiver of fallen leaves". Beautiful imagery! Love the glowing pumpkins photos, too. Blessings, xo, gg

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  13. Gigi,

    This really touched home!

    Twenty years ago, I was living in Boston and couldn't make it home for Thanksgiving. I reached into the oven to take out the turkey, and badly burned both my hands. I sat down on the kitchen floor and wept. At that very moment the phone rang, and with the news that my father had died. I believe this was a sign from him.

    My father and I were very close. We took long walks and read poetry to each other, he taught me about the local natural history and to love telling family stories. I feel his closeness still.

    Marjorie

    P.S. Please forgive if you get multiples of this. I have had difficulty posting this comment.

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  14. I can't imagine that losing your dad would be something you ever "get over" or that one would even want to. It sounds as if your memories offer you a peace...and help you fill that spot that your dad once filled.
    Sue

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  15. Oh Gigi, you literally made me shiver with joy at your lovely memories of your Father. My Dad died this time, last year and I miss him a lot but we all have our happy memories and that's the most important thing.
    Beautifully written Gigi and a father fondly remembered. Lots of love to you, XXXX

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  16. Thanks, everyone, for your amazing responses. My heart and thoughts are with you folks who have lost loved ones in the past few years as well as in years long past. xoxo Gigi

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  17. Dearest Gigi,
    To be a "Daddy's Girl" is one of the greatest gifts in the world (if you ask me!). I truly adore my father and consider him one of my very closest friends. Just reading your eloquent words of sweet memories riding alongside your 'hero' reminded me of my Dad and the way his truck always lulls me into a dreamy state because I feel so secure and right there. The scent of his musk cologne is a permanent existence in the old worn seat covers, his Rolaids sitting in the cup holder with the steam coming up from his dashboard stainless steel mug of black coffee with a lot of sugar, and the Allman Brothers playing on the classic rock station. We don't say much, but rather, we just enjoy our time together, just being. I know this memory of your dad warms your heart, and I hope it continues to do so as the winter months grow colder and darker. No doubt, he loved his Gigi more than all the stars in the sky.
    Bises,
    Melissa

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  18. These memories are wonderful things to have: some to mull over often and infuse the present time and the even more precious ones that appear in a flash after being dormant for years, but that are immediately recognized as being authentic and a part of oneself. And the melancholy, I think, is of value, and may you continue to be in no hurry, your memories of your father and you.

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  19. Heck Gigi, I've got tears in my eyes. What are you doing to me girl!

    What fantastic memories you have of your father, just so so beautiful.

    love to ya,
    xxx
    ps the light in the first photo is surreal!

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  20. Wow! what a snapshot. what powerful images. this is just beautiful. much to consider in that scene - the smells outside, inside the vehicle, the color of the sky, your father's hands on the steering wheel...just magical.

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  21. You raise some very good points about November. I really love these photos. The sun coming in is beautiful!

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  22. Beautiful photos, and beautiful memories, Gigi...I'm there with you too. November is a hard month for me as we well. I live 3,000+ miles away from my family and miss them ever more so during this month of Thanksgiving. Fall & winter are hard seasons where I am living--the very weather is something substantial to contend with daily. I find I must draw more strongly on inner resources to keep going--my optimistic spring/summer side dissolves into melancholy in fall/winter. I try to remember this is a time of celebrating, and it very much is, but I get caught in the web of memory. Your post has stuck a chord with me and many, I think. May we all draw strength together at this time... ((HUGS))

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  23. This made me cry - what memories you conjured up. November was the beginning of the end for my dad - when I realized this was really it, although we would have a few more weeks. I remember that last Thanksgiving. Beautiful words. Thank you.

    Debi

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  24. Your writing, like your photography, finds beauty, humanity and comfort in experiences (like island life) that to some seem very bleak and difficult.

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  25. Thank you so much Gigi for sharing this moment with us. It is easy to see why you became a poet... Your story really touched me, and you managed to inspire images in my head of your father and you in that car back in "the good old days".

    About your melancholy - I can relate to that. I also belive that people who sometimes feels melancholic, feels stronger when it comes to the positive sides of life. I am not sure if you understand what I mean, and I really wish my english written was better so I could express myself better. But I hope you understand most of it :-) Anyway, I am happy that I found your beautiful and inspiring blog! Take care of yourself - and your good memories with your father.

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  26. Wonderful memory of your dad dear friend. I hope you do find smiles and solace in this gray month. As gloomy as it can get, there is something in a gray sky that consoles me. It's sunny in Florida currently, but metaphorically it's the grayest it's been all year. I really am greatful for the online friendships formed--yours being one of them. :)

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  27. Beautiful photos....and it's true, as the weather gets colder, it's time to count our blessings :)

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  28. Oh thanks for the comment honey :)
    xoxox

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  29. How wonderful to have such vivid memories and to be able to write about them so beautifully - time seemed to stand still as I read your beautiful words. Leigh

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  30. This is such a deeply moving post, Gigi, you've got me slowing down and counting all of my many blessings, one by one, and savoring each of them this magical November. Thank you for all your beauty and insight and depth, your wonderful words.

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  31. this is such a beautiful post gigi. a few weeks ago i was home in montreal when my parents(divorced) but best friends where in the front seats of the car and i was in the back, i remember thinking to myself how it felt like a little girl and how i liked being there wi th my parents than a malencholy thought did come to me would this be the last time..

    i love your writings very much.

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  32. Gigi
    I'm prone to melancholy and now you've churned it up for me...sigh. Truly a beautiful thing to be a daddy's girl. How lucky can you get? You write so beautifully, thank you .
    xo

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  33. This is so beautiful Gigi, the images and the words and the memory itself. What is it about November, I wonder. The fading of the daylight and approach of the sometimes emotionally-wrought, stressful holidays? Because the last three Novembers have been very difficult for me too - first my mom being diagnosed, then last year my dad having to be moved to the assisted living home, and this November my mom has been moved from my brother's house to hospice. So I am right there with you in November's melancholy...

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  34. What a sweet tribute to your father's love, Gigi. I came close to losing my mother a few years ago. It isn't easy, and while I know that we are all on the road to death, I am selfish and wish our parents and loved ones would never leave us.

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  35. ...Yes November is a month of grey melancholy...maybe that is why I have not felt like posting or taking many photos...Your memory of your dad is a happy one though...and your pics are warm, sunny, golden:)

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  36. dearest gigi ~
    thank you so much for this little bit of you and your dad ... for the sights, sounds, smells and touch of a time when a little girl's heart was so big and safe and secure next to her dad ... that's an indescribable warmth ... that hugs your heart like no other ... very much your very own 'king of the road' ...
    i never really understood when people would say 'may memories comfort you' ... never really 'got' that until my dad passed away ... and i can't really describe how comforting each and every memory truly is ... sometimes i pray that i will dream about my dad just so i can hear his voice ... and sometimes i do and i think that is what keeps this earthly sadness at bay ...
    in this little time i have known you, one thing is for certain, that your dad would be bursting at what a beautiful person his little girl, wet woolen socks and all, is ...
    prairiegirl xoxo

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  37. i adore these warm rays and these warm words. i have felt this kind of love. it's beautiful.
    xo

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  38. From one melancholic soul to another, I send you love and hugs. You describe how November feels so poignantly. I am so moved by these words and memories that are rich with vivid pictures. You touched on all the senses, and made this memory come to life again.
    Beautifully written.
    xoxoxox

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  39. This definitely touches my heart! Sweet memories!

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  40. I don't know how I missed this post! It is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

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