Here in the Northeast, November is among the bleakest months of the year. Autumn, with its vibrant colors and fresh, crisp air has essentially come to an end. The leaves are off the trees, and the weather is becoming too cold to be enjoyable. Winter, with its snow and the sports that come with it, has not quite arrived, although this year is an exception. Winter storms are hitting the Eastern part of the United States and much of Europe in an unprecedented fashion. Those who love winter sports may find they are truly in their element, for this could be the beginning of a little ice age.

Children are back in school, trying to figure out ways to not have to be up early every morning, as well as ways to avoid having to spend an hour or more with homework every evening. We must remember that the planning and conniving our children do, helps them to develop their creativity. Bleak as this sounds, there is a lot more to November than first meets the eye.

November 2 is All Souls Day. In Mexico it is known as El Dia de los Muertos. In that country, the entire month is dedicated to praying for the dead.

November 5 is Guy Fawkes Night in Great Britain. This one is interesting. The fellow was with a band of young Catholic men, in the year 1605, who planned to blow up Parliament. After all, members of that August institution had been nasty to Catholics for a long time. You have to remember that these were religious men. They managed to acquire and store thirty-six barrels of gunpowder in a cellar beneath the building in question, and then could not make up their minds as to when to light the fuse, as innocent people might be killed in the explosion. Poor Guy was caught, red handed, so to speak, and tortured by James I minions. These young men were truly terrorist with a conscience.

November 10 in New Zealand is National Hero’s day. It is also the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.

November 11 is Veterans Day. Throughout Europe the day is known as Remembrance Day, to commemorate World War I, or as it was known; The War to End All Wars.

November 14 is Children’s Day in India. What a nice concept! A day to celebrate our children. We need things like that. It is another way to let our children know that we really do care about them.

November 14 is also World Diabetes Day. It almost makes diabetes sound like something to celebrate. Get your diabetes here, folks...

November 19 is International Men’s day. It is a day to honor all men, not just fathers.

November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance.

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

And this year, November 27 is Thanksgiving Day, one of my favorite holidays.

The month of November is Homeless Youth Awareness Month. That is something we all need to be aware of. On a lighter note, it is also Sweet Potato Awareness Month. Not to be left out, adoption agencies have adopted the month to be National Adoption Awareness Month.

November Elections in the United States are held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday of the month. This year, they land on November 4. Do you still vote? With the changes in the political climate, and the lack of response or even respect on the part of our politicians towards the voting public, coupled with the jimmying of the counting process, what does voting mean to you? Personally, I feel it is a waste of time. I strongly believe that if our grandmothers and great grandmothers, who fought so strongly for women’s right to vote, saw what was happening now, they would all be marching in protest again. They did not work so hard, merely to have everyone’s rights, along with our Constitution, trampled into the ground.

For writers, this is also known as National Novel Writing Month. With everything going on in our world, there is so much grist for the novel writer, it would be a crime not to make people aware of it with our stories.

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