November is not messing around this year. The first day of the month brought high winds and heavy rain in the morning. It cleared up for awhile in the afternoon, long enough for me to finish raking the lawn. But as dusk fell — so, so early, around 5:30 PM — we got our first snowfall of the year. And it actually piled up a little! It can make my heart feel sad, when November asserts itself so powerfully. But I’ve learned things go so much better when I decide to persevere. The weather can’t keep me from hoping, dreaming, and rejoicing.

My mother had a tradition of playing Andy Williams’ rendition of “White Christmas” on the day of the season’s first snowfall. Initially, the music was scratched from an old LP drawn from the crease of a worn red cardboard record jacket in the living room of my parents’ house. In the late-1990s or early 2000s, Marci and I acquired our own personal copy of the album on CD (still with Andy Williams’ grinning face on a simple red background), and we continued the tradition with our family. Now we use online services to stream the music throughout our house. But it still feels the same way, every year, when he starts crooning those words, “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…” Beautiful. Magical. Dreamlike.

I don’t know if it’s all Sentimental Slush, or if there’s something inherently powerful about the music. But it can really change my perspective. I was irritable throughout the day. Angry at the weather. Frustrated by the COVID pandemic causing the weather to be even more problematic than usual. Even when the snow started falling, the smart sound system in our house was giving me trouble as I tried to queue up the song. The kids kept asking me to play it, but I felt fated to futility! But finally, I broke the log-jam. I played the song. And the rest of the evening went so much better afterwards.

We’re dreaming of a White Christmas, over here on Bryce Road. It’s more fun to celebrate it than to whine about it. I honestly don’t know about our chances on December 25th. But for November 1st, our chance of celebration is 100 percent.

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