November seems so innocuous. It seems like such a pleasant, in-between month, a time when no real expectations are laid, and nobody really has any major plans until waaaaaay late in the month when Thanksgiving comes and then there's a crush of OMG holidays until about the tenth or so of January. And then everything goes back to normal.
This is my sixth November in Chile, and as I bust out the shorts and other assorted summer paraphernalia, I notice it is the first time I have not gotten weather sick. Weather sick is like homesick, missing something you can't access, can't truly experience. Weather sick in November is triggered by talk of kids running through piles of leaves and zipping up coats over Halloween costumes. It's fanned by tales of hunkering down and thick stews and picking up cast-aside knitting projects. Because that's fall.
Here in the southern hemisphere, my spring allergies are raging (still have not bought that nutmeg necklace I say I'm going to get), windows are flung open and berries and chermioyas flood the markets. And while I still find it unsettling that it stays light until so late in November and summer holidays will be in January and February, the draining whiny nostalgia of what fall feels like in the northern hemisphere is absent this year.
You might think it was because I've gotten over it.
Or you might know that I have in my greedy little email account confirmation of a ticket "home" for día acción de gracias (Thanksgiving). And while I will miss the chance to plan a very gringo thanksgiving, complete with a fight over the last remaining sweet potatoes at the Vega (go in on the Dávila (back) side and find the middle-eastern veggies and stuff, there's a guy there that has them this time of year), and combing the city for celery (Jumbo is a good bet right now), and lamenting yet again that although they grow cranberries in this country, nearly all of them are exported, only to be reimported in small quantities in gelatinous goo contained in cans, well in spite of all that, I'm really glad to go see my people, and my people's people in a new/old tradition that we've been celebrating for the past three years. (did you see that sentence? and I call myself an editor!)
The tradition is called "Aunt Eileen comes home for Thanksgiving." I think everyone is pretty happy about it, particularly my nephew, (2.5) who says on the phone, "een bring suny" (suny is soft caramel candy not unlike fudge, but without the chocolate), as I'm told his supply recently ran out. Did you hear that? He calls me "een." Please cue heart-achingly saccharine music and then see if you can speed up the next two weeks a bit. There's a little boy that needs his aunt (or the candy she brings, so what?) way up north. Thanksgiving, indeed.