I have a sort of love/hate relationship with this time of year.
Fall is amazing here in the PNW, and I LOVE the fact that we don’t get much snow. The cooler temps mean rain (and lots of it) along with all the pretty colors of “home.” The reds, oranges, and yellows take over all the green (although a lot of the green sticks around all year… lots of evergreens and all), and when there’s no cloud cover (which let’s face it, is rare), you can see clearly the mountains all around.
I LOVE the fact that this means baking weather in my house. Well, cooking weather of all kinds. I find more motivation to be in the kitchen concocting some sort of something or other for the people I love to eat. Muffins, cakes, cookies, breads, stews, soups, the sweet and the savory meals just come POURING out of my kitchen from now until WELL after the beginning of the year. Which is a very good thing considering American Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and then we have Christmas after that. And if you’re REALLY feeling froggy, there’s New Year’s dinner, too.
I HATE the fact that I’m so far away from my family. All of them. Because as much as I consider the very few, super close friends D and I have family (and the family members HE has here), I miss my very own. The people I’ve known my whole life. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins (including my newest second cousin), my step siblings, and nieces and nephews. I even miss my mom’s dog (though don’t tell HER that). Around this time of year, my insides start to feel grumpy. I feel like there’s a hole at my table that just can’t be filled by anyone other than my very own family. I wish there was a way I could be two places (or even three or four) at once… here AND there (and there, and there since there’s like 700 places to be during the holiday season in my family).
However, this year I am very lucky. I have my boys. And although it’s not my parents, or my extended family, they’re mine. And I love them. And this year, I’m taking a moment to remember that I came very close to losing them all. And how different things are this year. And how oh so very, VERY thankful I am for that. So while I may not be in Castle Rock with my dad, step mom, step siblings and all the kids, or in North Carolina with my mom, step dad, grandparents, and aunt, or in Denver with my uncle, aunt, and cousins…. I WILL be with my boys. Here, at home. For the first time in a LONG time… I feel like maybe there’s a chance this year, my insides will feel whole. I have the perfect little family, full of love and life, and I couldn’t ask for more.