With four driveways, two guest bedrooms, two Walmart parking lots and one state park, October 2018 was not a month of scenic trails and beautiful sunrises. Instead, it was a month of much sociability, at least by my standards. I started in Boston, went to Cape Cod, Maynard, and Allentown, and eventually made it back to Florida, with quick stays in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Autumn color

But I’m struggling to come up with highlights. In my journal writing, day after day begins with “nice day yesterday” before I start writing about Fen, brainstorming where she is and what’s she doing and character motivations within the scenes I was working on. I know I ate some good meals; I had some good conversations; I took time for breathing and meditating and appreciating my life as it was happening…

And I guess that’s the summary of the month — “Nice day yesterday.” I count my blessings, everyone should be so lucky as to have a month or two that can be summarized that way.

Things that I’d like to remember about the month:

Hanging out with my niece, watching Doctor Who and discussing books, writing, politics, life, social conventions, school. Watching her discover the world as a passionate 8th grader was amazing & so rewarding. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get that with R because he wasn’t nearly so interested in having actual conversations at that age, probably especially not with his mom. Talking with an aunt is not the same.

Going places with my brother. Out to lunch, to a coin show, running errands. It’s so nice to get to be part of his life in a mellow way. Not visiting, not packing a year’s worth of conversation into two days, just hanging out.

My incredibly peaceful, pleasant, warm day in Georgia. I was exhausted but a day spent puttering around the van, with the sun shining and a light breeze blowing through the windows, birds flying by, the sounds of wind rustling tree leaves, was so much what I needed. Nature rejuvenation.

Enjoying autumn, eating apples from my brother’s apple trees, taking brisk walks — and then getting to drive into summer instead of sticking around for the quick hit of winter. As I write this, it’s too hot in the van: I’m either going to have to turn on the air-conditioning, or go inside, and while three months ago that would have frustrated me, today I don’t mind. Nothing like a taste of winter to remind me of why I prefer to be warm!

autumn colors

The same tree, two weeks later, from a different angle