my new favorite season

I blinked, and summer was over.

Cliché? Yes. Totally true? Also yes.

Students are making themselves at home up on Western’s woodsy hill. They’re flooding Target in search of fuzzy bean bag chairs and microwaves. They’re standing in long lines around the periphery of the student bookstore, their arms filled with textbooks and highlighters. Classes begin tomorrow (as will the wave of swine flu, if last month’s influx at Washington State University is any indication).

Me? I’m here at home. Still in pajamas. With not a single thought about courses, classroom locations or uncomfortable desk chairs.

SAL_WWUSehomeHS16

Glory be.

I used to say that summer was my favorite time of year, but this was by default–for most of my life, it was the only season I had a break from school.

This autumn is a new sensation.  This is the first time since J and I were married that doesn’t involve school for at least one of us. And though it takes everything in me not to compulsively buy an armload of school supplies (insert favorite You’ve Got Mail quote here regarding bouquets of sharpened pencils), I think I’m going to like this very much.

Our summer was fantastic and busy and stressful, in that way that seasons without a discernible rhythm can be. We hiked. We visited and had visitors. We camped with dear friends and lit off fiery bacon bombs. We spent a week writing and making friends with other writing nerds. We survived weddings. It’s quite possible that we spent more weekends away from home than at-home. This was fun, but it also gave me an eye-twitch after a while.

Things aren’t any less busy now that the leaves are turning crimson outside my window. My little business, Lawlis Creative (website coming soon), is growing steadily, and I’m never out of work to do. This is a blessing and a learning opportunity at the same time as I try to balance LC against my “real job” and spending time with my favorite person. The adjustment is worth it: I absolutely love this work (and I love getting to say that I’m USING MY ENGLISH DEGREE, THANKYOUVERYMUCH).

It’s also football season. Major time suck when you’re in two fantasy leagues with your even-more-fanatical husband.

j&Shawksweb

(This is us at the season home opener last weekend.  See how hopeful we look?)

It’s not that I’m less busy. I’m just home more, in my sanctuary, in my own element, which is a relief. The two of us are slowly settling into a new rhythm: married life without school and also without kids (sounds kind of ridiculously simple, right?). With the air starting to get colder, I’m already in baking/cooking mode, poring over new recipes. It’s getting dark earlier. We read together in the evenings, or Justin games while I work/play in front of my Mac.

It’s just cozy. And Justin and I are good at cozy. I yanked a scarf out of my closet for the first time yesterday, and sighed. We’re mere weeks away from hot-chocolate & Scrabble tournaments.

I like it.

What’s more, I’m taking it just slow enough to really savor it. Happy Autumn, everyone.

fear and gratitude

A quick glance at the news loop reveals things to be afraid of:

Swine flu pandemic

Recession

Unemployment

Home foreclosure

Twitter and Twitterers (is the proper terminology “twits”?)

Obesity

Salmonella poisoning

Creed reuniting

North Korea

Divorce

Fox News

Aging

Low-flying planes

A quick glance at my life reveals things to be thankful for:

My husband, who puts his whole heart into our marriage

My husband, who knows how to fix a computer when it’s on the fritz

Family and dear friends

Medical advances that allow lives to be saved (like my dad’s)

A roof over my head, and then some

Two jobs that I enjoy

A Bellingham Public Library card

The Office

My diploma, which arrived in the mail yesterday

My student loan bills, which have not arrived yet

Books that help me not give up on faith

My yellow bicycle

Grace to try again

snow!

We got our first snow of the year last night, and boy, was it pretty!  It’s been a while since we’ve seen a snowstorm and high winds at the same time.

Justin and I headed out around 4:30 pm yesterday to finally go get our Christmas tree.  At this point in time, it was about 25 degrees with a feel-like factor of 9 degrees due to the gusty wind.  Looking back, this may not have been the best time for Christmas tree hunting: we ended up going down to Fred Meyer and purchasing one of the first trees we laid eyes on.

It’s a good thing there was only room for the tree over in the corner, because this tree only had one good side.  Also, it’s center branch was chopped off about four inches below the top of the tree, so I had to MacGuyver something (using a metal bookend and some elastic hairties) to the top of the tree so I could tie the bow up there.  Oi.

It smells good, though.  And it was fun listening to Perry Como’s Christmas album and badgering Justin into helping me hang some ornaments.

Around seven, I took a look outside and it was snowing like crazy!  The cool thing (no pun intended) was that the snow was super dry and the wind was blowing it all over the place in these huge gusts.  Beautiful.  We steamed some milk for some hot chocolate and watched Edward Scissorhands (interrupted at half-hour intervals when I kept jumping up to go look at the snow).

We only got a few inches, which is good because the temperature isn’t supposed to rise above freezing for at least a week — whatever we have, we’re stuck with for a while.  I’ll have to post pictures once Sunset Pond freezes over in a few days.

Hopefully the snow will sweep off the steps easily so I don’t end up breaking my neck or various appendages:

We’ll see.  In the meantime, I’m going to try to talk Justin into a walk to Starbucks in 28/13-degree weather.  I’ll let you know how it goes.