Waking up to bright sunlight, blue skies, and temperatures in the sixties is certainly not a hardship, but it also can’t possibly be November. When I go for my California morning walks, I look for evidence of the season and find plenty in the elaborate harvest wreaths on front doors, but no signs whatsoever on the front lawns. Palm trees, agave, flowering hibiscus, cactus, bougainvillea, and roses are definitely not signs of the season! I am quite sure the Pilgrims never set foot in this land of sunshine and citrus fruit (and isn’t it interesting to speculate how different our national identity might be if they had…). The only trees wearing autumnal colors are the plane trees with yellow-brown leaves still clinging to their branches, and the red-orange sweet gums, both varieties that I suspect were introduced and adapted to this environment. There is one indicator of the season here that does surpass the East Coast, though—the bounty of produce in the grocery stores. Fruits, berries, and vegetables, many of which I never see at home (Satsuma mandarins are stacked high everywhere) expand the possibilities of Thanksgiving dinner. My daughter-in-law is planning three pies (pumpkin, apple, and chocolate cream), and our free range turkey will be ready for pick-up at the local specialty store. The most necessary ingredient for the feast is already here—family. We won’t have to travel far to share our gratitude with the ones we love.