Late-Fall Shorts

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Adjusting to an Empty Nest

Anna left for her year abroad on September 3rd. Nothing quite prepares you as a parent for leaving your youngest at the airport, knowing she will be across the Atlantic for the next year. As I watched her make her final steps through security, I felt my smile start to quiver and my throat begin to constrict. I made it as far as the parking lot before the tears came.

Thankfully, she arrived safely to her school, despite a six-hour flight delay and navigating different trains before making it to her final destination. Since arriving in England, she started a blog and tells the tale of her travel adventures in her first post. Check it out. You can also see some of her amazing photography too.

The house is certainly quieter these days. I’m sure the transition has been made somewhat easier as the fall season is a busy one for Brad and me. While we miss both of our kids, we also feel immensely proud of them and their endeavors. All of Jake’s classes this semester relate to his major and it is exciting to hear about his film and playwriting projects. Anna has been able to travel and just returned from her first trip to Prague and Sweden. She spent three nights in Prague by herself. Whenever Brad and I talked with her during the trip, we both marveled at her common sense approach to travel and her willingness to explore new places. I never would have done anything like this when I was eighteen.

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What I’m Into These Days

Lately, I’ve been on a nail polish kick. Not sure what started it for me, but I’ve enjoyed pulling out my caddy of colors and doing some at-home manicures. Sometimes, I can make the polish last for a week. It helps that I don’t do many dishes with eating in the dining hall. In the midst of this busy season, it has been a fun treat for me.

On another beauty note, I’ve started to straighten my hair again. After wearing it curly for the past couple of years, I decided it was time to bring out the flat iron again. A couple of years ago, I discovered The Small Things blog in an issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I’ve learned a number of beauty/fashion tips since following Kate. Recently, she did a piece on “How to Flat Iron Your Hair for a Soft, Volumized Look.” Watching her tutorial was really helpful. I have fine, thin hair and her suggestions made all the difference.

I’m late to the party on this one, but I recently finished watching Victoria, season 1, on Amazon Prime. I missed it last year when it aired on PBS, but am so glad I watched it. I’m a sucker for period pieces. I love the spunkiness of Victoria’s character. Any woman who bears nine children and runs a country has my respect. Speaking of period pieces, Season 2 of The Crown airs on December 8 on Netflix. Just in time to distract me from grading finals.

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A Poetry Recommendation

Last year I swapped books with a writer friend and received a copy of his poems based on the Psalms. Opening King David: Poems in Conversation with the Palms by Brad Davis has been part of my devotional reading for the past year. I’m on my second go-around with the collection. I think I mentioned here before that I read the Psalms year round. Once I finish, I start over. I did the same with his book. Reading the day’s psalm and then Brad’s poem has enriched my Psalter reading. Brad and his wife have worked in boarding schools for the past thirty years. I’m particularly drawn to the poems that reference boarding school life. I can relate. I also like that Brad doesn’t make the life of faith a neat and tidy package. His poems are real and honest.

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Thanks for reading! I hope your November is off to a good start. Until next time….

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About alwaysorange

Writer, teacher, wife and mother. Lover of the good, the true, and the beautiful. Also, dark roast coffee, home-cooked meals, good books, spending time with my family, and planning for vacations.
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