A Splash of Red in an Odd, Gray November

There are no two ways about it—November has been an odd month. In the midst of the pandemic, which sticks its ugly spoke in everyone’s wheel, November in Maine has been the warmest I have ever seen.

Recently, my cousin posted a picture on Facebook of a snow turkey that she, her sister, and a cousin had made in honor of Thanksgiving. When I commented on all the snow, my cousin responded, “Back then, we had snow by Thanksgiving every year.”

Back then was the 1960s, and my cousin lived about fifty miles north of where we live now. Not that far away, really.

This year, in central Maine, we’ve had only a dusting of snow that was soon gone. In deference to the pandemic, we have left four chairs and two little tables out on the patio. We have never had patio furniture out this late, but needs must as the saying goes.

And by gum, my friend Judy came over yesterday for a socially-distanced patio visit. She brought me this beautiful poinsettia. (Or poinsettah, as we would say in Maine.) What a lovely red splash on a gray day or any other day.

Another friend is coming over mid-week to pick up a copy of my YA fantasy Out of Time for her grandson. She told me he has read the previous two books and is keen to read Out of Time.Β  I always like to hear this, of course, but it especially pleases me when a young boy likes a series that, let’s face it, is girl-centric.Β  Unfortunately, this is not always the case with boys, who often prefer stories where boys are the main characters. From grandparents and parents, I have heard this sentiment repeated many times at the fairs where we sell our books. Even a brave, spunky character like Maya will not entice some boys to read my novels. Sigh.

But yay for my friend’s grandson!

52 thoughts on “A Splash of Red in an Odd, Gray November”

  1. Those boys don’t know what they are missing! Your stories have a lot of action that I’d think would appeal to boys.
    Nice that you have a poinsettia to add to your festive Christmas decorations – a mood booster for sure.

  2. I remember Thanksgiving time was about the time we had a first big snow growing up, although could be it happened once, and that’s what I remember. It is a beautiful red poinsettia.

  3. That’s right – leave those chairs out until the first threat of real snow that requires Little Green because having a friend visit and bring a beautiful Poinsettia is worth it. πŸ™‚ We’ve had rain and more rain although I won’t complain because we still have drought conditions. Plus, I don’t have to shovel rain. πŸ™‚

    1. An acquaintance of mine who works for the local power company told me that while we don’t get as much snow, severe wind and rain storms have increased. In fact, we are in the middle of one right now. This exactly goes along with my memories of growing up in Maine.

      1. They sure do! Because of yesterday’s rain and wind storm, more than 100,000 customers lost power. In a state with just over a million people, that is significant and becoming very common. Unlike when I was kid. Don’t remember having storms like this, and the electric company’s data supports my memory.

  4. I haven’t had a poinsettia for years, because of the cat. But this one is gorgeous; it’s tempting me toward getting one, just because. One of these days we’ll turn gray, and it certainly would be a pick-me-up!

  5. Our neighbour has a large poinsettia tree in our garden so I can enjoy the flowers from my side too. Reading the comment of Shoreacres and your response has made me curious about the relationship between these flowers and cats. I have never cut the flowers to bring indoors – what IS the issue?

    1. A poinsettia tree. Holy cats! I might faint with delight if I ever saw one. Poinsettias are poisonous to cats—and perhaps to other creatures—and many cats have a tendency to nibble plants. Best not to have poinsettias if this is the case.

  6. There is so much less snow in my part of the world also. Temperature is doing down but not much snow. I miss the light from snowy days πŸ™‚

    Good to see the beauty of poinsettia. Have a white December.

  7. This winter has started warmer and wetter than usual here too – only one frosty night so far. That splash of red should lift your spirits and hurray for friends! I wonder if girls still read books with boy heroes? In my day we had to – the boys did daring things and the girls mostly tagged along and did the domestic things!

    1. I, too, read plenty of stories where boys where the protagonists because as you noted, the boys did the daring things with the girls—if they were there at all—mostly tagging along. But nowadays there are lots of books that feature girls as plucky heroines. Harry Potter appealed to girls as much as to boys, but that was a while ago. I shall have to give this some thought. Worth writing about, too. Thanks for bringing up this question.

  8. Ooh, I need a poinsettia. A bit dangerous at the moment though as I’m having to keep all cats inside while they acclimatise to their new abode and I don’t think there is anywhere my cats can’t reach 😸.

  9. Beautiful poinsettia. It’s been an unusual November here, too. Very warm. The tomatoes kept producing up until the recent first frost. We still had mosquitoes bugging us yesterday. The storms that moved through yesterday, with a cold front, have changed things a bit. How nice to have friends stop by for some physically distancing company. πŸ™‚

  10. What a beautiful splash of red to brighten up the year ❀️ I love that your friend’s grandson is interested in the books 😊

  11. Your poinsettia is absolutely gorgeous! And good for you, writing exciting books that appeal to girls, there was probably a time when girls where expected to read only ”at home” types of books.
    On the topic of reading, I spent my childhood in Africa reading books about snow at Christmas, so I’ve always had a romantic idea about snow, but now I realise that living with snow storms could be just as bad as heat waves!

    1. Thanks so much! As for snow…in Maine, we are used to it, and we can get up to a foot of snow without being fazed by it. Occasionally there are storms that bring more than that, but not very often. As a Mainer, I’ll take the snowstorms. πŸ˜‰

  12. Wasn’t November’s weather bizarre? Your comment on the woman’s grandson who enjoys your books made me think. My brother-in-law loved “Anne of Green Gables” when he was young and his librarian tried to steer him away from such a “girl” book. In contrast, I can’t remember any of my favorite books having a boy as a main character when I was young. I devoured books with spunky girl heroines (Anne Shirley, Emily Starr, Laura Ingalls, Sara Crewe, Jo March).. I also loved those with close families (mine wasn’t) such as the the E. Nesbit and Edward Eager books. I read every single Nancy Drew and had no interest in the Hardy Boys. I’m not really sure why I preferred books featuring girls, perhaps because I felt like I totally understood them. I branched out in my early teens and now I can’t stand most of the women-themed book club books!

    1. It surely was bizarre, and and another big storm is coming our way. Sigh. Great that your brother-in-law wanted read “Anne of Green Gables.” But too bad that librarian tried to steer him away from it. Your own story illustrates that some girls prefer stories about girls.

  13. Isn’t it curious though? that girls will read books with Male protagonists, but boys don’t enjoy Female heroes? I wonder if that is a cultivated bias. I think we can’t have enough stories which feature girls.

    My books are on the way – soooooooooo excited.

  14. Phooey on boys who won’t read a book with a girl protagonist. And thus begins a life of entitlement! I’m glad for the exceptions. I hope your milder weather continues to you have have safe visits. Per the news, though, you may have had your snow?

    1. Sad when boys won’t read stories with a girl protagonist. We did have snow. And wind. And lots of power outages. Fortunately, our home didn’t lose power.

Comments are closed.