It is absolutely wild to me that we have reached the end of November and there are only a few weeks left until 2021 comes to a close, as well. We all say it every time the holidays sneak up on us again- but time truly does fly by- especially as you’re getting older! I’ve already started drafting the beginning of a lengthy and detailed look back on this year that was, which will be shared before New Year’s Eve- but it feels like so many of the headlines, cultural moments and memes we all frequently reference happened only yesterday instead of months ago!
The next few weeks are going to be busy and more than likely a little crazy- what with Christmas, New Year’s and all the parties/gatherings and gift exchanges leading up to the end of the month and year soon approaching. So, before I focus on finalizing my shopping list and wrapping the things I’ve managed to pick up for friends and family so far- I wanted to talk about November 2021- a month that was filled with a good amount of Northeastern travel, a humbling health issue that I went through and maybe one of the best Thanksgiving long weekends I think I’ve ever had.
I had kicked off November with a short trip to Salem, just days after the Halloween rush had died down and the streets weren’t nearly as crowded. I managed to see the remnants of over-the-top Halloween décor on and around some of the city’s most historic landmarks before it was scheduled to be replaced by wreaths and Christmas lights- and I grabbed a coffee with my longtime friend Phill who lives in the area.
And while I’m familiar with and absolutely love Salem, it was a trip to Troy, New York just a few days later where I got to explore someplace entirely new while enjoying great food, good wine, the last of the Fall foliage- and do a little shopping for my own Troy, whose birthday was earlier this month. I found a couple of fantastic gifts for him that he seemed to truly appreciate when I had the opportunity to give them to him- which I’ll get to in a moment!
Around the time I was sharing my Fall skin and hair care collection– I was also coming out of the other side of a health scare and minor medical procedure/surgery that I had kept private with the exception of my family and a couple of close friends until I knew for sure that I was in the clear and on the road to a full recovery. I has first shared the details while also sharing a coffee cake recipe (typical me, honestly) and then discussed the follow-up while talking about my favorite New England burger joint. Food helps with stress and trauma, y’all- at least for me!
The experience was stressful, terrifying at times, and also strangely humbling as I pondered/reflected on my life, my mortality and my future- and I’m so happy to report that I was able to confirm that I officially have a clean bill of health and have been feeling more like myself again as I healed and was able to sort of relax and breathe many sighs of relief.
I am so, so grateful. I can’t even explain how much.
And being grateful and humbled was fitting given that Thanksgiving was also this month. I had planned to spend the holiday with my family- immediate and extended- as is the tradition every year, but this year I also had a surprise guest when Troy showed up at my mom’s house to visit. Opening the front door and seeing him standing on the porch was definitely a Top 5 moment of 2021 for me.
He’s staying with me through this week before he has to return back to California, which has been, as it always is whenever he visits- so much fun. He’s so wonderful.
And with November now done and in the books, it’s time to gear up for December! Apart from the obligatory holiday events, recipes and festive outfits I intend to share over these next few weeks- I also have a little more travel in and around New England planned and will be briefly looking back at 2021 before looking forward into 2022!
Here’s wishing you all a wonderful and peaceful month ahead as we get a little closer to a New Year!