Last week I stood in my back yard and noticed that we've reached the time of year for that subtle shift to set in--where summer starts to nod to fall as it dozes off around the edges of the day.
Sure, it's still 90 degrees in the late afternoon and you have to peel yourself out of your car, but in the morning the air is refreshing and you begin to think about taking your coffee hot again. In the evening, when the sun starts to go down, Ender and I play fetch in the yard and the grass is cool beneath my bare feet.
Rob is currently home for a twelve day stay but last week before he had returned from California I found myself reminded of a time before Ender, before we had Charlotte friends, when the thought of moving to the Bay Area was just a vague dream we sometimes talked about. We were so focused on getting settled in North Carolina that everything else was unclear. Now he's back for over a week and it's like he was always here.
When our neighborhood as we knew it was just the walk from our apartment to Pike's Soda Shop, and the smell of fried dough in the air from the Honey Bun factory down the street. Rob would take the light rail into Uptown and I'd walk to the station with him before going back home to unpack boxes and write and drink coffee and talk to my mom on the phone. I had nowhere to be so I would often pack a bag and hop on the train later in the afternoon for a latte at 7th Street Public Market, and I'd sit and write and Rob would walk down from his office and meet me for lunch.
And then there are the newer memories that feel so much like home: the cute house we will have to leave, the smell of fresh-cut grass every Monday morning after the landscapers come, our big open kitchen where we've entertained so many of our friends, Ender snoozing in the sun on our back patio. I finally have an office here but didn't unpack it until last week because I didn't want to get too used to it.
There are rowing workouts early every Tuesday and Thursday morning followed by an iced latte or an almond milk cappuccino with my friend Kristen--we sit outside and feel the cool morning air on our sweaty shoulders and once again I'm back to that almost-autumn magic state of mind, where anything is possible--even another autumn spent making a home in a new city.