The other morning, though the kitchen window everything was still. This past week I have felt a shift in myself. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by how much is different, I have started to appreciate what is special.  White fences framing little Victorian houses on Richardson street, dogwood trees announcing themselves with a flush of pink. I have settled into a routine that feels comfortable, instead of just foreign. This place has changed since our arrival. When we first got here it was still 90 degree days and warm nights, and we reveled in how our house stayed cool despite the heat. Now we are always bundled up, anticipating when it is time to turn on the thermostat, my L.L.Bean slippers have become my new best friend, I look forward to slipping them on more than most things. Last night I stopped at the back door to look up at the sky lit with stars, but it was too chilly to stand there, hair wet from the pool, longer than an instant. The days are short and they will continue getting shorter until our first Christmas in this new home.

I find myself excited by the light, which tends to happen this time of year. When I round a corner on foot or in the car and see a spot that would dance nicely in the background of a photo, I look forward to returning with my camera and a beautiful subject or two. 

Ava has started calling out for me, "Auntie!" and when she does, I find myself ever so attentive. "Yes, Ava?" The child has me wrapped around her little finger, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I am starting to feel emboldened when I talk to strangers, which I expected to happen much faster than it has. It's easier to strike up conversation than it was when we first arrived, and every time I do I find my world expanding. It gives me more to contemplate than the contents of my own mind. 

The number of living things in our care continues to grow, as we get more plants in the ground and fill rooms with greenery. I've been reading more, and it feels good looking forward to turning pages, followed by an emptiness when a book I'm enjoying comes to an end. It makes me eager to find the next one.