Sure, New Year’s Day is in January. But somehow I always feel like the true start of the year coincides with the start of fall. I don’t know whether it’s instinct left over from 21 years of school (21?!? I feel old!), or whether the arrival of cooler weather signals the end of my beloved summer and the beginning of the next long waiting period til May.
Regardless, it seems that for our family, the fall has always signaled the start of new events, new experiences that change our lives. Witness:
- In the fall of 2002, I’d just moved away from home, to a new country, new school, new environment. I also had a new boyfriend, who, as you may have guessed, is none other then the Man.
- In the fall of 2003, I was still at school and in the same apartment, but the Man, who graduated before me, had moved back home to a different state while waiting for his bar exam results and the start of officer training. We had to do the long distance thing (and the waiting thing). Both sucked.
- In the fall of 2004, we were newly married and living in Florida, trying to settle into our new house, and adjust to a new job (the Man), a new school with a killer commute (me), and a new climate (both). We were also hit by two back-to-back hurricanes, which knocked out our electricity for weeks. It was amazing how possible it was to survive without power, but a diet of cold canned soup got old very fast.
- The fall of 2005 was huge. First, I became pregnant with the Maiden. (Any comments connecting “huge” and “pregnant” will result in your slow and painful demise). We also found out we would be moving to Alaska the following summer– just a few weeks after the Maiden was due. Most of that fall is a blur of nausea and vomiting, but I remember crying when we found out about our upcoming move.
- The fall of 2006 came early; we were now in Alaska, where seasons move quickly towards the winter. We had settled into our new house in a small town not far from Anchorage, and were adjusting to parenthood and Alaskahood. Both were trying at times, but both, we agreed, had their benefits.
- During the fall of 2007, we learned that the Man was being deployed to Washington, D.C. The Maiden and I planned to join him, which meant some big changes were ahead; we were keeping our house and belongings in Alaska, so we’d be living without the majority of our stuff. I was a little anxious, but it turned out to be a wonderfully freeing experience.
- The fall of 2008 found us moved into a new house in a new place: Louisiana. It was a short-notice move, especially since once we returned to Alaska from D.C., we had less than six weeks to pack up and leave. We were dealing with climate shock, culture shock, and three-weeks-in-the-car-driving-down-here shock all rolled into one. Still, Louisiana looked promising. 80 degrees in October can mask a lot of faults!
Now it’s fall 2009, and I’m waiting to see what changes are ahead. The Maiden’s much older than she was a year ago– not just age-wise, but maturity wise. She’s started preschool at a Montessori school, and we’re anxious to see what that does for her developmentally this year. With her in school a few days a week, I’m able to devote more time to my writing– and I’m hoping the freelancing takes off a little more quickly this time around! We’re all waiting (with a mix of anticipation and dread) to see if we’ll get a call this year telling us it’s time to move, yet again. We love it here and are pretty comfortable, but the uncertainty of the military lifestyle has its good points, too.
What will this new year bring for us, our families and friends? I’m excited to watch it all unfold.
Have a wonderful first day of fall!