One fall morning at home in Maine. Welcoming November with a focus on the season, home, the beauty in the moment, and gratitude.

Welcome November

It’s November!

And I have to admit I am happy to see it

October was a difficult one — locally, nationally, globally. And while I and my loved ones are, fortunately, safe and sound, the unimaginable peril, strife, and sadness which so many others are enduring hurts my heart and dampens my soul.

I spoke in my post last week about the importance of home as a source of comfort. Of looking for the beauty in the moment.

So, instead of rushing from fall and Halloween into Christmas, I am choosing now to pause. To look around. Savor the beauty of this unique moment. And be grateful.

November is, after all, the month of Thanksgiving.

Let us also make it a month of thanksgiving.

One Morning In Maine

“One Morning in Maine” is the title of a picture book written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey. Published in 1952, it won the Caldecott Honor in 1953. The book tells the story of McCloskey’s family, focusing on his elder daughter Sal, on a regular old extraordinary ordinary morning at their home on an island in Maine. It depicts a slice of everyday. And is a tribute to the beauty of a quiet simple life.

In this post I am sharing a slice of my everyday.

One regular old extraordinary ordinary simply beautiful quiet fall morning in Maine.


I highly recommend One Morning in Maine and also Blueberries for Sal (awarded the Caldecott in 1949) for your children, grandchildren — or you! I am linking them below for purchase through Amazon for your convenience. But I hope you will look for them at your local independent book store instead!

Mornings at Home

One of my favorite things about retirement is spending mornings at home.

For 34 years I worked at a place where it was a badge of honor to get into work at the crack of dawn.

Even better if it was before the sun rose.

Sometimes the early start was necessitated by mission. But usually it was just because people liked to get off work in the early to mid afternoon.

If you lazed into work at 8:00, you would be hard pressed to find a parking spot that wasn’t a good 15- minute walk (or if it was really bad, a shuttle bus ride) from the building.

This fact, combined with DC Beltway traffic (some of the worst in the country), made for a very stressful morning.

I would rush around the house getting myself, kids, and pets ready for the day, then fly out the door to sit anxiously in traffic.

So, now that I am retired, one of my greatest luxuries is to rise when I feel like it and spend a quiet morning at home.

Fall Mornings

I like sunny fall and winter mornings best!

Because this time of year the sun shifts, so that it rises directly across the harbor, its rays shooting straight into the house.

I brew a mug of decaf and settle in to take in all the beauty for a few moments before starting my day.

Outside, sparkles dance on the water. Seagulls soar overhead. A tiny boat moves far on the horizon. The last few leaves cling to branches. Bright orange pumpkins dot the stone wall. Frosty crystals glint in the sunshine. A few summer blooms linger. And the silhouettes of two familiar spruce trees say good morning from across the harbor.

Inside, the sun illuminates the downstairs from the back windows all the way to the front door. Maddie and Cisco doze peacefully in their favorite swivel chairs. The sunlight plays with objects around the room — bathing some in bright white, while casting others in shadow. And, as I enjoy each sip of coffee, the sun’s warm rays wrap themselves around me in a cozy hug.

I sit and savor the moment, thinking how very thankful I am for the beauty — big and small — which surrounds me.

Throughout today’s post I have interspersed photos of one of these cold-and-sunny-outside, warm-and-bright-inside mornings in Maine.

Tell me in comments — what are your small morning comforts?!

This Week Into Next

This weekend I am missing my cozy mornings in Maine.

Instead, I am enjoying the comfort of my daughter Zoë’s bright home in Washington, D.C.. And of course I am eating up every single joyous moment with my sweet little Poppy.

I haven’t yet started decorating for the holidays, but I am starting to think about it. This year the whole family will be gathering in Maine, and I can’t wait!

I actually loved what I did last year, with the pinecone theme in the living room and the oranges in the dining area and kitchen. I feel under absolutely no obligation to do something new every year, so this year will probably just be a slight variation on last year.

Since I will be reprising the pinecone tree in the living room, I have purchased a King of Christmas tree for the bedroom to decorate with all the collected family ornaments. I have never had a full-sized tree in the bedroom. It will be so festive!

Next week on the blog I will be sharing sources for and items similar to what I use to decorate. So while I don’t yet have my jingle on, I will be able to fulfill my blogger’s duty to help you decorate your home!

And if you are looking for Thanksgiving inspiration, check out my blog posts:

Abundant Harvest Thanksgiving Table Setting

Our Family’s Mostly Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

The Best Laid Plans

An Outdoor Harvest Table Set With Fall’s Bounty

That’s it for this week, friends!

I encourage you also to take a pause. Look around. Savor the beauty of this unique moment — whether you are surrounded by pine or pumpkins, tinsel or turkeys. And always be grateful.



Highlighting coastal decor and lifestyle, Maddie and Cisco, and the way life should be...