I think August (Maine!) is my favorite month. On the other hand, September is perhaps an even more wonderful time to live in New England. For that matter, October often has September beat for autumnal beauty. May and June are usually glorious, too. Perhaps it's best if you can't make up your mind — that way, it's your favorite month for half the year.
December is another No. 1 favorite of mine. Of all months, it has the most cheerful, hopeful spirit. People are generally nicer, as if they've just reread A Christmas Carol. Then there are the lights, so magical in the early darkness. They make me as happy now as they did when I was a kid. I used to wonder why some houses had blue light bulbs in their window candles instead of white, yellow, or red. Were scientists living there? I knew what a Bunsen burner was at a young age. I also love December's decorations, special holiday food, pretty store windows, shopping, and all the music except "The Little Drummer Boy." I'll be switching the iPod over to my Christmas music playlist very soon. I'll be adding more Gregorian chant because I'm in the mood, and Possum and Snalbert enjoy it, too.
I just brought out our two Advent calendars — another December tradition I love. We bought the first one in Vienna during our first year together, and it's the most beautiful one I've ever seen. Naturally, it has no label on it. I think the scene is 17th-century Dutch skaters. There are tiny details of old paintings behind each door. We greet them every year like old friends.
Our other calendar is newer, and is the standing kind, showing Venetian palazzi along the Grand Canal. The pictures inside are not as charming as the old calendar. But it's Venice, and we loved every minute we spent there.
It's a happy time and I hope to keep it that way. I'm pleased to report that Snicky seems stable, despite the vet's declaration that she probably has only weeks to live. She's spent her last three, despite that prognosis, doing fine. She eats a lot, wants to play a bit, and sleeps with us in her usual way. She's a little stronger, and can jump up on low chairs to nap. She figured out how to get on and off our high bed using the footstool I found for her at Upstairs, Downstairs on Charles Street. I covered the steps with that spongy, perforated shelf liner that comes in rolls; it helps keep her weak little legs from sliding off, so she no longer crashes to the floor in a heap of fur and bones. My wish is that she stays with us for the holidays and beyond. We'll need her around to cheer up January and February, too. They are not my favorite months and will never make my list, although there's something to be said for hibernating.