I am having a hard time with the fact that Thanksgiving is upon us. Having spent last weekend at what has become an annual Friendsgiving dinner celebration, as well as at a Thanksgiving brunch with some of my great coworkers (there were Thanksgiving carols involved. Yes, that’s right.), I’m a little more mentally prepared. I brought this pumpkin cream pie with coconut-pecan crust over to our Friendsgiving dinner, and let’s just say I hadn’t gotten all the kinks out yet….
I turned 32 this last weekend. And 32 feels strikingly more adult than 31. I can’t really put my finger on it, but there is a definite difference, I’m sure of it. Maybe it comes with feeling more settled, not so transient anymore. Having come back to my roots a couple years ago, I finally feel home again. We have great friends, family, and co-workers here. A house that we can call ours (with stuff on the walls!)….
The arrival of fall this week has had me daydreaming of NYC. In grad school, I would walk during the autumn months from my tiny studio on the Upper East Side of Manhattan across Central Park, to the Upper West Side for class. I was finding my way in the city at that time, and this ritual let me soak in my new surroundings. The park and its changing colors provided calm from the constant hustle and bustle. This was fall….
Scones. To me they scream, “Come on, sit down, take a break, have some tea.” My school year schedule is back to full warp speed. Coaching, work, orchestra rehearsals, swim meets. These days my favorite ritual to decompress is finding new podcasts and listening while baking. Hearing stories about what makes people tick; their passions, their struggles, their loves, and everything in between, is grounding and inspirational. Human beings are pretty incredible, aren’t they?
School is back in session. It’s exciting, really. Although I love the freedom that summer brings, the new academic year always feels like a fresh start. A reboot. A chance to take what we learned in the previous year and better ourselves in the future one. A chance to try new approaches. Listen better. Laugh harder. All the mistakes, successes, and the in-between: a primer for the new year….
Strawberry shortcake has always symbolized summer for me. As a kid, strawberry shortcake was an exciting departure from the more common cookie or ice cream treat. At the thought of it, I am instantly transported to our family dinner table on a hot summer night. My little sister, sitting across from me chattering away, curls balking against her ponytail, shooting off in directions one didn’t think hair could go naturally. Me, quietly trying to hide (unsuccessfully) the day’s sunburn from my mom on my fair, not-made-for-summer skin. The ice cream truck and its jingle approaches, taunting the neighborhood outside. Normally, upon hearing this I would have shot outside with as many quarters as I could scrounge up, but who cares when there’s strawberry shortcake for dessert!…