Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Here In the North

(Continuing on a theme started over on Echoes In the Wind, continued on AM, Then FM, and most recently over on The Hits Just Keep On Comin'. There's something about the brisk chill of November-- a month in which the weather is truly in flux. Old Man Winter might be visible on the horizon but he's still not quite close enough to come a knockin' and the sweltering humidity of summer is but a memory.)

Weekends are marked by comfort foods cooked for hours on a stove or in a crock pot; the ambers, auburns, and oranges of the autumn leaves; and the A/C in your car is gradually replaced by the heater. We're in the window of time between when the pumpkins of Halloween are gradually replaced by Holiday music and the trappings of the late November-December holiday season.

When I lived in Ohio, I grew to be a fan of Pat Dailey, a folk musician who had made Northern Ohio his home. He was the Great Lakes answer to Jimmy Buffett. One of his songs, Here In the North, really captures the overall feel of November:

Here In the North

Now here in the North, you'll hear it told
Nothing much changes when the weather gets cold
No, nothing much changes
We're just further from the sun
But the geese still fly
And the rivers still run

When the cold wind blows
And we're covered up in snow
I'll be out on the ice
Fishing through a hole
And when the ice goes out
And the days get hot
I'll be out there fishin' in the very same spot

Because nothing much changes
We're just further from the sun
But the geese still fly
And the rivers still run

I spend my time
With a sweet love of mine
In a cozy little cottage
Nestled in the pine
We cuddle in the covers
While the winter nights pass
We do the same in the summers
But we do it in the grass

You see, nothing much changes
We're just further from the sun
But the geese still fly
And the rivers still run

Now you might grow up
And you might grow old
But your life won't end
Just 'cause your feet get cold
No your life won't end
It just keeps gettin' better
So, Honey, put on a grin
And, honey, take off that sweater

You see, nothing much changes
We're just further from the sun
But the geese still fly
And the rivers still run (repeat & fade)

There's a certain coziness to these Midwestern autumns, wearing a light sweater, enjoying the pleasures of a bowl of tomato soup filled with a handful of crushed Saltines and a grilled cheese sandwich. And while Dailey's song speaks to the changing of the seasons "here in the north" the music has a rather autumnal feel to it which just contributes to that cozy fall feeling.

I remember growing up, on the weekends my father would make these 3-cheese grilled cheese sandwiches and these excellent homemade soups ("excellent" for the most part, he did commit a few culinary faux pas over the years but they were few and far between). I especially remember enjoying his homemade split pea & ham, broccoli & cheese soups and his corn and potato chowders. And many times the bread he'd use for the sandwiches would be homemade as well. I remember, he'd store the pot of soup in the garage where the sub-zero (Fahrenheit) Northeastern temperatures were cooler than either our fridge or freezer happened to be on any given day.

There's just something about these chilly overcast November days that conjure memories of my adolescence. I do look forward to this time of year because it's usually marked by Toni & I getting out the crock-pot and perpetuating that tradition of homemade soups on fall and winter weekends started by my father in my youth... a tradition I hope to pass along to the children Toni & I will someday have.


Dantallion said...

I'm always on the lookout for great crockpot recipes...

Susan as herself said...

I like the lyrics to that song.

And I love a good bowl of soup on a cold day...

The Phoenix said...

That's the nice thing about this time of year in the Midwest. We get a real Autumn before winter hits.

Awareness said...

I have never heard of this singer and I have a feeling I would like him a lot. Great lyrics. He surely does sum up November crockpot weather.....

I love this time of year as well, being a sweater person :) Savoury sauces, soups, fire in the fireplace, scented candles, and good music.

Tomorrow they are calling for snow and ice pellets......messy weather. I WISH it would snow so much that the whole city would have to shut down for the day!!
Instead, it will most likely be a wet day (no holiday here!) of slogging through, wishing and dreaming for a bowl of hot homemade soup and bread....mmmmmmmmmm.