Shhhh…

Shhhh…

BootCan I share a secret?

I broke out my boots.

Yep. It’s September and I’m not keeping them hidden in the closet any longer. The sweaters may have to wait a few more weeks (I do live in in Virginia Beach after all, it’s a little warm for this northern girl). And while I do drink tea all summer long (at least one cup in the morning and another when I get to work), fall brings on a whole other realm of tea-drinking for me. It becomes my constant companion. And I daydream about the lovely flavors of tea I can indulge in this fall.

And, I’m even contemplating a haircut.

I haven’t really gotten my hair cut since my 19th birthday when I chopped off somewhere around 10 inches and donated it to Wigs for Kids. In the 8 years since then I’ve had 3 or 4 trims. A big part of me is just saying “It’s time.” Time for the cut, time for the change, time for the relief from the tangled mess of curls that falls to my waist.

Do I like having long hair? Yes. Do I like the daily upkeep and time required to maintain it? Not at all.

Even Husband is in favor of a cut. He didn’t used to be, but he tires of me wearing it up all the time–pony tails, buns, braids–it’s rarely ever down. And what’s the point if I don’t wear it down? Plus, it takes so long to wash. So. Long.

Another part of me is a little afraid to get it cut. A part of me tells me that my long hair is a statement. A part of my identity. It sets me apart as unique. If I cut it short, I’ll be just like everyone else.

That’s when it really hit me. Identity. Is my identity really in my hair? Because hair is just hair and there are far more crucial aspects of my identity. For instance, I am a child of the King. And that is really all the identity I need.

I think shorter hair will free up my time and decrease my level of frustration every morning. It will likely even cut down on the number of headaches that I get so often. And honestly, all of that will help me be a less stressed wife, friend, employee etc. Is that worth giving up the (false) identity of long hair? Methinks so.

Boots, tea and a new look for fall? Sounds fun =).

Back to school

Back to school

All the “back to school” buzz this time of year reminds me of the many times I returned to school each fall. A friend of mine has a boy starting middle school, 6th grade.

I remember my first day of 6th grade. I was starting at a brand new school, going to public school for the first time, riding a bus, switching classrooms and using a locker–all for the first time. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but exciting.

My big high-school brother helped me find our bus in the confusing lineup after school, and even saved me a seat, I’ve never forgotten that.

My favorite memory though? Social studies. My least favorite teacher, ever. But that first day? She told us to get the name and number of the person next to us, homework buddies or something like that. All around me, kids began chatting with their friends and I remember feeling pretty alone. But I turned to the girl behind me and said something like, “Well, I guess we need to trade phone numbers.” She told me her name was Laura. She even offered to help me find our gym class the next period.

That day was the beginning of a wonderful friendship that lasted all seven years we were in school together. Laura and I were inseparable. We did everything together for seven years. It’s a friendship I cherish with hundreds of memories.

I have struggled at times, knowing that our lives have headed in separate directions since then. We kept up fairly well during college, visiting at least once every summer. But since then, we’ve hardly spoken. In my mind, I immediately begin to wonder if our friendship really meant as much as I believed. But then I remind myself that relationships are living things–they change and evolve and grow, wax and wane, come and go. And none of that determines the worth of those moments spent fully present with each other.

Even though Laura and I haven’t spoken much in the past five or six years, I know that she reflects as fondly on our years together as I do. I know that we shaped each other, molded each other, reflected each other. I know that she was part of my becoming who I am, and I believe I was for her as well. In that way, I carry her friendship with me. And that is a truth I will always cherish.

Back to school…

{Quote}

{Quote}

I love collecting quotes, especially from authors I admire and enjoy. A lovely turn of phrase can change the most dreary day into one of beauty. On Saturday we move, and I’m trying not to think about it. So instead I’m thinking about fall. Autumn. The beauty and enchanting quality of the season soon to come. We’ll be settled, or at least landed. Back to living life, rather than watching it race by while we pack, and pack, and pack.

I can feel autumn coming, in the light breeze, the refreshing rain, the gentle mornings. Sure, it’s almost 90*. But that won’t last. August never does. Soon it will be September and I will begin pulling out sweaters and boots just because I can.

George Eliot, aka Mary Anne Evans, was a like-minded soul, apparently.

Autumn quote by George Eliot

Flying south

Flying south

Geese flying south
The geese are flying south already. The days are still long, but a little cooler. The garden is winding down–fewer tomatoes to pick, fewer plants producing. It’s time to till in. Time to can what’s left. Time to begin the process of hunkering down.

Except not really. This move has us completely off kilter. We still aren’t sure where we’re moving to, and only a few short weeks left to finalize that. The house is mostly packed. But mostly isn’t good enough and right now it looks like a twister went through.

Meanwhile we’re living among boxes and too much dog hair on the floor because vacuuming just isn’t a priority right now. (My apologies to anyone who steps foot in our house right now.) Ginger is on the brink of another anxiety episode. We’re trying to pretend like it’s totally normal to be packing up the whole house so she doesn’t have anything to worry about. Moving day is going to be a hard one for her.

I’m beginning to really yearn for fall–my favorite time of year. More so this year than most, I think, because with September will also come relief from this stress, a settled-ness, another opportunity to nest. As the air becomes crisper and the leaves begin to change, life will also change and evolve. We will be flying south in our own way.

This move may not be what we wanted, but we will embrace it for all it is worth and boldly move forward in our lives toward the next thing. Whatever that next thing is.

A bittersweet autumn

A bittersweet autumn

Finally. Finally autumnal color fills the world around me–foliage in all it’s glory.

Autumn colors

But I look upon it with bittersweet joy. So anticipated. So loved. And yet, now so much less than it was.

An autumn sunset

Because everything is less. Joy is diminished. Hope is hard pressed. The sunset less glorious. The being together less merry.

While we push on, continue to live each day, it is a lackluster living. I hope and pray the Lord’s peace upon us as we enter into a season of thanksgiving and of celebration.

Sunset at Northwest River Park

And we will continue to smile, to laugh even. Because we know it is our business to keep living. But underneath there is a deep sadness that I can hardly express. Lord, comfort us in our grief.

For the love of pumpkins

For the love of pumpkins

I love pumpkins. I truly do. Is there anything more indicative that fall is in full swing than a trip to the pumpkin patch?

Pumpkin

Last year, the cold wind was whipping around and I suited up in jacket, gloves and toted hot cider with me. The pumpkin patch, which is within walking distance of our house (but no, we didn’t walk–pumpkins are heavy), was nearly empty.

This year, not so much.

It was a beautiful 78* and sunny–an altogether gorgeous day to be outside, one of those vestiges of summer that pops up before the real chill and rain set in here in Virginia. So families were out at the pumpkin patch in droves.

Thankfully, there were still nice pumpkins left and Husband and I managed to find three pretty ones to take home.

Picking pumpkins

Picking pumpkins with Husband.

We set the pumpkins out for decoration, a few under the bird feeder that can be seen from the road–giving everyone who drives by a little bit of fall. The others went with the white and beige pumpkins we’d gotten last week, they sit on a bale of straw along the walkway to our door. A great big welcome to guests (and to ourselves as we return home every day).

My decor this season is hardly worthy of photos, but in the end happy pumpkins make for happy people, I’m convinced.

Have I mentioned how much I love fall?