Mainers like to talk about which winter month is their favorite.  And by “favorite,” I mean the one they hate the most.  For we are a state full of Puritans and we have no interest in happiness and comfort when misery provides so much more conversation.  We could talk about how glorious September is, but why would we when January is just sitting there being so much more awful and interesting?  Think it through, people.

Anyway, there are lots of options for the worst month.  December doesn’t really count, because of all the holidays.  January is a perennial favorite, as it is usually the coldest.  Personally, I find that the nostril-freezing temperatures clear the mind and January sunlight is marvelously sharp.  February is pretty bad, what with the dirty snow and the dark, but Sam’s birthday is at the beginning of the month and mine is at the end, so that’s cheering.  March is a mess of thawing and refreezing, and as it comes at winter’s end everyone’s will to live is pretty much shot to begin with, so it’s an excellent candidate.  It would probably be my choice if it weren’t for November.

I hate November.

I know, it’s not really winter.  Even in Maine November doesn’t count as winter.  But November is when I have to stop pretending that winter is some far-off, distant concept that will never actually appear in the here and now.  November is when I have actually break out the coats with linings and root through the giant Box o’ Winter Crap until I find that elusive second glove.

November is when I first start complaining about being cold, a low-key, endless whine that will stretch until May.  November is wet leaves stuck to my shoe and driving home from work in the dark.  November is desperately wrapping up yard work and hurriedly locking down windows and looking around your tiny little house, realizing that you will now be trapped in it with two small children for months and months and months.

November makes my dooryard look like this:

Gray and dreary and covered in leaves.

And do you see all those bags of recyclables and other assorted trash out there?

November is shameless.

Or perhaps that is my husband.

Hard to tell.

No, definitely November.

Thanks, November.  Thanks a lot.