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On Settling In

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's that time of year when I wake up with a shiver, giddy over the chill in the air and that smell of autumn that may or may not exist outside of my own imagination. I put on a scarf or a sweater, make coffee, and proceed to ignore the afternoon as it warms up, because it's still summer, but I'm ready for it to be fall.

I was running this morning and it was a damp and comfortable 60 degrees, but the sun was shining on parts of the sidewalk and I thought about how amazing it is that I could be running in Virginia (in Farmville or Roanoke or Charlottesville), or I could be running in Minneapolis, and although I am not the same person I was seven years ago, I can feel almost exactly the same at this moment that I did at that moment.

I made a turn on a new loop and was surprised by the smell of coffee coming from a shop on the corner. The coffee shop is right by our apartment building, but looking at it from a different angle; coming at it from a different street, startled me. It looked different, and I felt disoriented. I'm still getting to know my new neighborhood.

It reminded me of the time my old roommate Caroline, our friend Maggie, and I sat on the steps of a building on Longwood's campus before classes started our freshman year. I remember the cold roughness of the cement steps and the sort of horizontal platforms that jutted out on either side, and how later, one afternoon, I walked past that building on my way to something like I always did and realized that it was the same place we had sat that late summers night, weeks before.

I have moved almost every year since starting college in 2006, and each time, it has been at the end of a summer. August awakens a nostalgia in me, and I want to start over in some way every time autumn nears.

The promise of unfamiliar corners becoming ordinary fixtures is something I like. Settling in feels good.


  1. Beautiful thoughts. I love fall too and I cannot wait for it to come. It finally cooled down a bit in Germany and I could wear a Cardigan. That is something I also miss about fall: fall fashion, cardigans, scarfs, blazer, boots... cannot wait!

    1. Thank you! The fall fashion is half the fun, don't you think?

  2. What a beautifully written post! I am there with you, I've always moved at the end of the summer. Here I am now, moving at the end of the summer, but it will be for the last time in a LONG time.

    p.s., how lucky are you that it's 60 degrees outside! WOW!

    1. Thanks, Diana! It's a bit warmer out right now but this morning was perfect!

  3. I absolutely love this- it is so beautifully written.
    I too am already looking to autumn. Today, I wore thick black tights and was startled by the fact that it was too warm for them. Because of course, it's only August- but it feels so much later. And your run sounds lovely- I'm glad you're getting to know your new neighbourhood well already. xx

  4. Just wanted to welcome you to Minnesota! This place is the land of hidden treasures, epic beauty, and continual fun. Having been born and raised here, I still find new adventures every weekend. Have fun exploring :)

    1. Thank you so much! There is so much to explore! Right now I'm focusing on the farmers markets ;)

    2. Great place to start! If you do a little searching, you will find that there are small ones in almost every city around the metro, not just the main Minneapolis and St. Paul ones. There is even a Greek farmers market!

      Minnesota pride :)

  5. Ah this all sounds so good and I have to admit, I'm a bit envious of your move. I was secretly hoping we'd have a new place in the works by the beginning of autumn. It's the best time of year and it always reminds me of moving into a new place. Enjoy it!!!

  6. What a lovley post, I can really relate to this. I spend all winter longing for it to be summer and then when it finally is I'm aching for it to be Autumn.

    We've actually had a proper summer in England this year, in the last 8 weeks I think I have worn jeans just 3 times! It's been skirts and shorts all the time, and flip flops. I'm dreaming of scarves, boots, and my vintage leather jackets.

    I love how you describe the feeling of nostaligia when autumn arrives. I've been living in my house for 8 years now and my whole being is aching for something new, a new adventure, a new challenge, new scenery. For now I will settle for my new (vintage) sofa and the challenge of re-uphultering it!

    Glad you are enjoying eploring your new surroundings.

    Em xx


  7. This post couldn't have more perfect timing because I feel the same way! My husband and I are moving into a new apartment in downtown Portland this weekend and I'm so excited to get know my new city over the next few months! Glad to hear you are settling in to life in Minnesota! :)

  8. Ditto everything you said! I have not done any of those things, but I have experienced all the same emotions. Well done, Freckles!

  9. I'm so happy for you and Rob!
    What an exciting new adventure.
    I love your picture of your new bookshelf on instagram.. I just thought "aw she's so nice to let him have his video games visible." haha.. my husbands are hidden away in the media unit!

    I cannot wait for fall. Last year I was pregnant and miserable after childbirth so I am going to enjoy it this year! Mostly because I will not be a whale or tore up from the floor up.. but also because baby will be able to enjoy all of the things we love about this time of year. I am already planning her Halloween costume!

    Oh and pumpkin... mmm. Isn't pumpkin everything one of the best things about this time of year? I am going to have to search for paleo pumpkin goodies. I found a recipe on pinterest for paleo pumpkin spice donuts!


  10. I loved this post! And yes...I'll be 23 in a few weeks and yet so many days I still feel 17 or 18. I'm not a runner, but when I walk or even cook an old recipe sometimes it just strikes me, like you said, that years have passed, I'm not exactly who I was, I have had different jobs, and lived different places and yet nothing has changed.

    I love fall and the fresh start too! So happy for you - with each move you've been getting closer to where you are now! And you have some great memories behind you too. :)

  11. It's still warm here in SD/doesn't feel like fall, but I sure do love autumn.. It reminds me of new beginnings too. I also always can't help but think of a line from "You've Got Mail" (my fav movie) -- "Don't you just love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I'd send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." :)


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