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November in the North Country

When the trees have lost their leaves and only bare branches remain,
When the sun hangs low in the sky, the ground is frozen, or about to freeze, When smoke curls up from chimneys
And the dew turns to ice on the car windshield,
That is when I feel at home in the world.
I am a November child.

I’m writing this in August, remembering a sign I saw near a high school as I was driving around somewhere north of Ames, Iowa, during one of those hot and muggy summer days some years ago. The sign read: “Remember these days next winter!”