Even when the weather is bleak, November is happy because Thanksgiving Day arrives. It is a day of feasting, a day of gladness shared with loved ones. The meal warms the soul of each of us as well as the taste buds.

And what’s more enjoyable than a day in November, with just warm enough weather like we have been having, to be outside picking up pecans or pine cones for holiday decorating.

I discovered not long ago that pine cones, apart from ornamental qualities, speak to me…They have voices…really/

It started when I was picking up Pine cones from a limb that had fallen from the huge pine tree in our yard.

I noticed the cones were not quite ripe, and still clinging to the tree limb. The scales of each cone were tightly closed…not budded out. Nonetheless, I didn’t throw them away because they were unusually large. I put them in a shallow cardboard box, and placed them inside near the floor vent of the central heating unit.

In the middle of the night I awoke to strange noises. I first thought it was the patter of a fleeing mouse. I slipped out of bed and went into the room to investigate. Switching on the light, I saw the pine cones moving around in the box, each one making a different noise as it’s scales popped open. The warm air had streched theri scales, causing them to make gossipy sounds as if they were talking to each other…or me? After observing them for some time, I went back to bed with the discovery that…”yes, pine cones do have voices.” Just as I know for sure that the big pine tree they fell from whispers. I’ve heard it’s whispering lots of times.

We planted our huge white pine tree that’s in our front yard, in the early fifties, bringing it from North Carolina. The pine cones cones it produces looks as if someone spent hours with a tiny bursh, dabbing the end of each scale of each cone off white.

I ignore the ugly stage our pine tree goes trough early in November when it loses it’s needles and they are piled high on the driveway because I know in a few days warm November sun bears down on the chatting cones, I’ll listedn to the tranquil whispering of this beautiful old giant, and pay close attention to what the pine cones have to say to me. They have “voices.” Really.

I have a huge pine cone sent to me by our oldest son, Michael, whiloe he was in basic training in Ft. Polk, Louisiana, along with a special letter of a very homesick soldier son. Now tell me…is this not special pine cone?