Kids all over Hampton Roads went back to school yesterday. I was right there with their parents, breathing a huge sigh of relief. The world was a more beautiful place yesterday. The line at Chick-Fil-A was non-existent. And my walk with Hermione looked like this.: It was perfect. There were a few people on the beach… I’ll round up, and say five. There were a few other people out walking their dogs. It was humid, but not too hot. And Hermione and I walked three peaceful, perfect miles.
The official first day of fall isn’t until September 23, but for me, fall starts the day after Labor Day. I had no desire to walk Hermione yesterday. It was so humid. I was so tired. But I was also so excited to see my favorite place in Virginia once again deserted. The parking lots were empty, the beaches were quiet, and it was just me, Hermione, and my thoughts.
I love fall. I always have. Hands down, it’s my favorite season. I love the cooler temperatures, scarves, sweaters, and boots. I love pumpkin flavored baked goods, and pots of simmering chili. I love the colors, and the crunch of the leaves. I love it all. But more than anything, I love that fall is OUR season. It’s typically been a season that has been very good to G & I. He’s returned home from two (soon to be three!) deployments in October/November. We got engaged in October. We’ve taken fun vacations, beautiful hikes, and spent as much time together as possible. We walk Hermione constantly in the fall… He’s not whining that it’s too cold, and I’m not whining that it’s too hot. It’s the perfect time of the year. Walking Hermione yesterday, I felt very thankful that I survived the summer. Silly, I know… Everyone one else counts down the days till summer, and I’m just grateful to survive it in one piece. Walking with my favorite dog, letting her swim, and watching her chase small, furry creatures… I felt so content. I felt happy. I felt like this quiet, peaceful, perfect walk, in my favorite place, was my reward for surviving the heat and the chaos of a southern summer. I thought about this a lot while we walked. I normally don’t get to think that much on our walks. Hermione isn’t good with people, so on a busy day, I’m constantly focused on her, and the people around us. But yesterday I had the opportunity to do a lot of thinking. About summer. About all of the things I was looking forward to with fall. And I thought a lot about how things were changing . And things will continue to change once G gets home. I’m excited about that. And nervous about that.
While I’m so glad summer is over, I’m also so thankful that it’s been such a good one. Surprisingly, it’s been one of the best summers of my life. Full of long days in the pool with friends (when it’s been too hot to do anything else), countless hours of dog parties in the dog park, girls nights, too many jello shots, sushi dinners, visits from my favorites in Charlotte, and so much personal growth. This summer was unlike any I’ve ever had, and seeing it go is much more bittersweet than I anticipated.
Friends have/are moving. We’re moving. Friends are having babies. We’re buying a house… Our house in Arkansas was our first house as a couple, but this house will be the first we buy together (to be honest, after car shopping, I am NOT looking forward to house shopping with G)… Change is coming, and while some of these changes are fun & exciting, others are sad & so scary.
My mind is still going a 1,000 miles a minute. So, while I try to wrap my head around all of my thoughts, I’m just going to sit here and enjoy my first pumpkin doughnut of the season.