I'm sitting on my couch next to Ender, huddled together under the blanket that my friend Andy's dad gave me before I left for college. It's black and white with fringe around the edges and a Norfolk Southern train weaved into the center. "So you don't get cold," he said with what I'm pretty sure was a tear in his eye. It's been ten years and I still break it out every winter, because Jim Ed doesn't want me to be cold and you just gotta listen to Jim Ed.
Can you believe December is here already? I know we moved at the end of September but I still keep telling people we've been here a month, as if time stood still the moment we turned the key of our Silicon Valley townhouse. But the holidays are upon us and our tree is up, decorated with lights and ornaments (including several hilarious ones with baby pictures of me and my brother); and our stockings are hung not on the mantle (we don't have one of those), but along the edge of our staircase.
We're finding our routines--it takes time usually, so I've tried to be patient about it. Sneaking out of bed in the dark for an early barre class, coffee at the computer as I start my workday, a mid-morning break to take Ender to the dog park to play. I joined a book club and am reading again for the first time in too long (and stocking the bar with Baileys for next weekend, when I'm hosting). Thanksgiving in Half Moon Bay with my side of the family was exactly the low-key, relaxing, and fun first west coast holiday we needed to really start feeling at home here. It takes time usually, so I've tried to be patient about it.
California still feels like a different world sometimes. But December feels like an old friend.