85 N. Main St., Norwood, NY 13668
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Blog“Just Over the Hilltop”

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Welcome to the gracious grateful month of November. Known for its gray, overcast, almost gloomy days, November can become a sunny month of the heart by concentrating on all the marvelous things I am thankful for. That is my goal for November.

When our children were quite young, one year we started a blessing canister in which each day everyone wrote something they were thankful for on a scrap of paper and put in the canister. On Thanksgiving Day after dinner, we read them aloud. I remember fondly the joy and grateful hearts of our children, ages five through seventeen, as we shared those experiences and things dear to us. The most popular blessing that first year was Katherine, our lovely white cat. She got her name because Kate wanted to call her, “Kitty, here kitty, kitty.” So we gave her the formal name of Katherine spelled with a K to match Karen’s and Kate’s names. She was a delightful cat that we had for many, many years.

Season changes

It’s the time of the year where I’ve noticed larger flocks of geese following the Raquette River beyond the hilltop, watched snow flurries fall simultaneously with the leaves as the temperature drops, and enjoyed the last roses of summer that finally died this week. My little rose bush produced three bloomings this summer with six deep red flowers and two buds in its final beautiful end to the season. We still have some leaves clinging to the lower branches of a few maples, yet the Norway maple is still turning and has most of its leaves still intact. Oh, we have six deer crossing the property now! There are so many changes during this season and so many blessings to behold.

six deep red flowers and two buds in its final beautiful end to the season

Our friends, Erik and Naomi, gave us two tickets to the Army Field Band and Soldier’s Chorus performing at Hosmer Hall last Thursday. That was a highpoint of the week and so many gray and white haired people enjoyed the gifted musicians. It was a magnificent performance and definitely a great blessing.

Our weekend guests were here for Clarkson’s Family Weekend and for a son’s football game at SLU. We visited in the evenings over apple crumb pie and once again find that “practicing hospitality” is another blessing in our lives. Dick who was not so sociable when we met has become an excellent host and together, I think, we make a great duo. I really love working with him.

Neighborhood changes

The empty house next door has been looked at twice in the past couple of weeks by the same vehicle. Maybe if it comes again, I will take over some cookies and get more information. I have been praying for a young family to move in next door so there would be life and lights once again in that beautiful old house. I sometimes wonder what kind of stories the walls hold and just may find out more next spring. The granddaughter of the original owners of this house called the other day and wants to visit with her sister here at our bed and breakfast and also share pictures and stories of both houses. That is very exciting and I look forward to spring even before winter sets in!

is very exciting and I look forward to spring even before winter sets in

Dick picked up some lumber from the Amish on Saturday and yesterday put up shelves in the garage. He certainly didn’t waste any time in helping me with my dilemma of storage. To me, he is the cream of the top. The absolute best. Sunday after church we had lunch with several people from church at the Hometown Cafe and then went to visit at Eric’s in the afternoon. We wanted to say “Happy Birthday” to Danielle who is now seven years old and growing much too fast.

My neighbor, Mary, had told me of the gift of pictures given to Maplewood in Canton from their family after her mother had died earlier this year. So, after singing there last time, I went into Oak to see the lovely paintings and memorial plaque. Though I didn’t know Mary’s mom, she had been in the room when we sang at Maplewood and so I had seen her a few times. Anyway, they had also given a plaque that had one of her mother’s favorite sayings on it which brought a smile to my face and a warmth in my heart because my Grandpa Bills used to say something similar. “I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.” One never knows when or where a fond memory will break into your thoughts and bring joy for the day. I have found myself repeating it often to myself so I won’t forget it. Maybe I should start telling it to others instead.

“I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!” Have a blessed and thankful November from just over the hilltop in Norwood. Sharon