The Quiet Time

Husband and I were struck by how quiet it was as we travelled to South Dakota on Saturday. It is a remote area, so there never is much traffic, but it seemed as though there was much less than normal. We saw herds of cattle and sheep, a few mule deer, and some eagles, but people were absent. Wheat had been harvested, and hay was put up. There were a few fields of unharvested sunflowers. There wasn’t much activity at any of the farmsteads that were close enough to the road for us to see. It was as though everyone was inside taking it easy.

Husband commented that the weeks between the middle of October until Thanksgiving in November is his favorite time of year. Everything seems to slow down. There isn’t much snow, the garden is done, and we have time to sit and breathe after a busy summer and fall. Yesterday I was able to take stock of my Christmas baking supplies (I needed glacéed citron, orange peel, lemon peel, and cherries, as well as sliced almonds for Stollen). As a child, I suppose that December was my favorite month because of Christmas, but now I appreciate a time that I can stay home and be a little more still. We have decided to not put up a Christmas tree this year, as we will not have any company and are spending Christmas in South Dakota with our son and his family. That will make for a more peaceful December.

What are your favorite times of year? Got any holiday plans in the works?

43 thoughts on “The Quiet Time”

  1. I like fall, and January if there’s plenty of snow and it’s not too cold for skiing or skating. May is my favorite spring month. November not usually so fun, nor April (or March some years). But, ’tis the seasons, so I deal with whatever comes my way.

    Chris in O-town

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  2. It is soon lefse time, probably in the next couple of weeks. I like to have it done by Christ the King Sunday, which is on November 21. I also need to get a bottle of German brandy and some dark rum for the stollen. Sometimes I feel like a squirrel this time of year, packing the freezers and shelves with garden produce and restocking the cupboards with baking supplies. I blanched and froze the last of the garden spinach yesterday. We are going to see if the spinach plants still in the garden live up to their promise to winter over with adequate mulching, and produce next spring. It is an Italian variety called Gigante D’inverno.

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  3. i’m in chicago and there are a few people here
    it’s raining today as it did yesterday afternoon and evening so many of them get wet when they go outside as we did but luckily emma (youngest wanted to get a new coat at the thrift store and we walked around and i found a raincoat that in addition to the one i had along will keep me and debbie dry as we finish content swap on car swap while here
    we are asking girls what’s up for holidays
    emma’s school takes a big break from thanksgiving til new years but she needs to figure out where she’ll be
    olivia has chicago based acting gigs lined up so we’ll get timing straight
    july 4th will be coming right up
    i’m thinking brats and potato salad
    the new plant based brats and italian sausage by impossible burger are fantastic

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    This very week, when colors peak in the autumn, is my favorite. Yesterday we made a quick trip out to the Arboretum just to sit in the shimmering yellow of maples and the dark red of the oaks. When parenting a little one, I loved making Halloween costumes and watching my son’s pleasure in being whatever (monster, robot, butterfly, clown) for the day.

    I love Thanksgiving, as well. The food, the gathering and the gratitude all suit me just fine, thank you very much. Christmas—not really my holiday. A few years ago my son asked not to exchange gifts, but rather to do something together—play, concert, etc. We put a tree up and we love VS’ gift exchange, and some other traditions, but I am much happier since we dropped the extended family gift exchange and gathering at Christmas. It seemed that invariably, it would snow and storm on our way to Iowa, which made for a stressful drive. Driving through I35 on ice and dodging skidding semis near Clear Lake, Iowa, became an experience I do not miss.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We will slip and slide to Brookings, and then slip and slide to Sioux Falls to pick up daughter at the airport. Central and southern Iowa gets rheir share of ice, don’t they.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If Buddy’s ghost was there, the tourist industry would have capitalized on that one! In the upper Midwest of the USA there are some places where weather systems seem to demarcate areas. Clear Lake seems to be one of those places in which winds blowing from West to East blow across I35, blowing semis all over the road. Then the wind polishes the ice or snow cover on the road, so those semis end up on their sides in the median or in the ditches. As a driver of a car, you do not want to be in way of an out-of-control semi turning over. I always slow down so I go through that area far away from semis.

        There is another one of these demarcations around and in Rochester (near our Ben) that allows it to be warmer or colder or moister than other areas. Winona where Barb lives is near the Mississippi River and predictably warmer than other parts of MN or Wisconsin due to the protection of the bluffs and the Big River.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. My favourite time of year is late May, through maybe early September. Hay and “corn” harvest in Devon. Oh, I forgot. I don’t live there.
    “Corn” in the UK means oats, wheat, or barley.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. OT: opinions welcomed. I may not like them.

    Isaac started at Colegia this term. Where twelve year olds go. He kept coming home smiling, having enjoyed his day. Right from the first day. We were amazed, and so relieved. But then, soon, everything was great except for his English teacher. Her accent and grammar were terrible, and she constantly made mistakes. Says Isaac. We can see both sides. Isaac’s English is no doubt better than this lady’s. On the other hand, as a teacher herself, Jane sees what it must be like, having only one English pupil, and one who doesn’t hesitate to put her right over every little thing. When he’s been warned to be silent, he sits there rolling his eyes and making facial expressions. Obviously,she’s going to hate the sight of him. Meanwhile, he feels it’s not right that he doesn’t speak up, as his classmates will be receiving the wrong information. He genuinely does have a strong moral sense and we’re proud of that. However, he knows well enough that he’s going to get himself marked down, which will translate into being held back at the end of the year, and having to do the same year over again. We said, we know how you feel. But you have to get off her back. By the way, she’s his science teacher as well. Last week Jane was warned, he’s got to stop undermining his teacher. Who, by the way, is not admitting to not being great at English. Making Isaac the worst person on earth.

    Sandra said she would bribe him. Every time he let a mistake go by, she’d give him a euro. I said, “Yes, but….” He’ll think he’s being paid to be bad. He won’t do it. (None of us have ever doubted his honesty). But Jane talked to him while I was washing up the other night, and I didn’t hear a word they said, but there was no yelling. And the deal was done, he’d get a euro a time. Friday he made 23 euros, and Sandra got a jar and put the money in. Today he made 29! I said, I want to go back to school! He’s making more money than any of us! Teacher is yelling at others, but not him. She can’t fail to see he’s making an effort. Who knows, as Jane says, teacher might get to the point
    where she says, Isaac, what do you think?
    Isaac is happy again at not getting into conflict, but it must bother him that he’s letting all these mistakes go by.
    This all sounds terrible, yell at me if you must. But not TOO much, please.
    And please, don’t doubt Isaac’s honesty. We trust him.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The school is apparently very disorganised, though intentions are good. They’ve proved their disorganisation in other, administrative ways. Isaac claims they know he should be in a more advanced class, but haven’t done anything about it. But he’d still have the same teacher for sciences.

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        1. I agree, Isaac needs to be in a more advanced English class, or he needs to test out of the one he’s in. Why do you and/or Isaac think that it is a problem that he would have that same teacher in science? Is he in trouble in the science class as well? Are you thinking that the teacher has him pegged as a trouble maker and won’t be fair to him, and/or that he thinks she’s incompetent as a teacher in general?

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    1. It doesn’t sound like there are any good options. But I would think at the age of the 12, Isaac is starting to get smart enough to understand that if he doesn’t knock it off, he’s going to get held back and then be in her class again next year. That scared the bejezzus out of me.

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  7. Now I did answer you, PJ, and I sent it. But it’s gone. I’ll try again. Then my original answer will pop up, and the two will no doubt conflict.
    I did understand about the science class problem. Or I thought I did. I can’t for the life of me, understand it now. Isaac’s had two classes with the same teacher since the new deal, and both have gone OK and they’re off each others’ backs. Whether they were English or science I didn’t take in, in my relief at his good mood. I would assume that the science class is conducted in Valenciano, with which neither party has a problem. I really need to go back to the drawing board about the science class.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right. The English teacher is good at English but is bad tempered, and Isaac answers back. The technologia teacher is qualified at technologia, but her English is poor. The class is conducted in English, because many scientific terms are in English. And I had forgotten that. The warning was specifically about the problems with the English teacher, nevertheless Isaac has to tone things down with both teachers.
      He likes the idea of the money, but is concerned that Grandma can’t, or won’t want to, carry on indefinitely.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I really like “sweater weather” – the few days in spring and fall when you can just grab a sweater… on up to when you start taking things off because it’s too hot.

    But I’ll bet if you ask me in the middle of winter, I’ll say I like to hole up in the house while it’s snowing outside.

    We’ll be staying put for the holidays this year, so will have to create some new traditions. Will get together with friends for holiday meals, no doubt.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. After spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family via Zoom last year, I hope there will be some in person celebrating this year. But my niece’s fiancé was recently diagnosed with Covid (despite being fully vaccinated, probably exposed at work, mild case) so who knows?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanksgiving… you know how there’s that one in every family? My family was together yesterday and that one made a comment about Thanksgiving and how “one of the boys” made a “snarky comment” last year and it “Pissed her off!”.
      Me? Snarky? I can’t imagine. Yeah. I can. That one is still mad we wouldn’t get together for Thanksgiving last year…personally, I’m not so sure we’d go to that one’s house this year either.
      Been a problem since high school. I can’t keep my mouth shut. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. OT – I’m a little under the weather, and husband is cooking dinner. He’s making Pho. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to set off every smoke and fire alarm on our first floor while making soup, but he has. This had better be good soup. Now I have a headache in addition to everything else that hurts at the moment. Wish we had ordered pizza.

        Liked by 4 people

  10. I like spring and the grass greening up and the smell of the dirt and the birds returning and all that. I don’t like hot humid weather, but summer is nice. And fall is really nice and the crops being harvested and fieldwork and the smells. And winter is nice because it’s just such a break from everything.
    Turn Turn Turn!

    Liked by 5 people

  11. In Brittany, November and December are the months of Toussaint, when you are supposed to tell scary stories every night. The dead are thought to come back for visits during this time. Spooky!

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  12. I’ve actually been thinking about this most of the day. And every time I think I’ve gotten my favorite settled, I think of some thing else. I don’t think I can have a favorite. I love all the different seasons when they start and then I love the next season when it starts and I love the holidays. I don’t know what to say.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I like the last part of August and September the best of all. It’s the part of the year when you’re least likely to need either air conditioning or heat to be comfortable. It’s a colorful and peaceful time of year. And there are tomatoes, and sweet corn.

    Liked by 2 people

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