Yesterday was the first real day of my Thanksgiving break after a weekend of commitments, and I reveled in a day where time was my own for the most part to begin checking off a long list of to-do’s that have stacked up during a busy and stressful semester. I took Sophie in for a teeth cleaning at 7am after luxuriously sleeping in until 6:30am (a rarity!), made a grocery store run, then settled in to write a bit before helping Dan out on the decks.
We had already put the plants into the greenhouse for the winter, but needed to remove the sun sails so that we could get the fire pit out and safely use it. I told Dan that it is so sad to perform these rituals knowing that our comfy evenings spent out on the decks covered with green plants, grilling and enjoying being outside are waning as winter approaches. Ever the positive soul, he reminded me that that’s why we got the fire pit- to be able to enjoy being outside in a different way, to enjoy another perspective of our home. Take away something, but add a bit of fun to take away the sting of loss of spring and summer’s beauty. Then again, fall has a beauty all it’s own as the leaves change and then drop, giving us more of our city view, and the weather gains that indescribable crispness in the air…such a welcome break to the oppressive heat and humidity that we often have in Alabama.
The weather was perfect for being outside, and it was gratifying to sweep up the few leaves knowing that the deck wouldn’t be covered up again in a mater of minutes, as we’d dealt with the past couple of months. The trees have about relinquished all of their leaves, so the battle is finally winding down. Fall brings change, but it also brings the comfort of these rituals; preparing our home and yard for colder temps, holiday gatherings with family and friends from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the craziness of the end of another semester approaching, and the ultimate gift of some time to recharge as we enjoy the break at home. Such a wonderful time of year and so many things to be grateful for on many levels.
When it came time to pick Sophie up from the vet, we took Shiva with us to have her microchipped. What we thought (knowing our crazy Tortie) would be a miserable experience turned out to be easy as can be. We let it be her decision to get into the carrier and gave her some treats. She curled up inside and was good as gold on the car ride, during the painful insertion of the chip, and when two yapping puppies came in as we were checking out. We were expecting the Tasmanian Devil…Wonders never cease!
My sweet, groggy girl.
As we brought the animals into the house, Shiva carefully sniffed our groggy Sophie from stem to stern, seeming to be happy that all was right in her world again, before tearing down the stairs at top speed. I thought she might hide for a while after her vet adventure, but Shiva seemed even more eager to be with us, getting on Dan’s fleece pullover and kneading up a storm. It seems that each day she becomes more and more a true part of our family.
I love this time of year, and always will. I am so very grateful for this week of Thanksgiving break, a time to recharge my batteries and prepare for the frenetic and hectic last weeks of the semester. I sometimes still pinch myself when I take a moment to think of my gratitude list; life is never perfect, but I am deeply grateful for the gifts of love and laughter in my home and in my life.