Autumn has officially begun! In Oregon, the early fall is a lovely time of year. The air is crisp in the mornings, but the days are generally sunny and breezy - perfect weather for going for walks (as we all know is my newly rediscovered past-time).
While I am looking forward to watching the leaves change color, celebrating Halloween and pulling out all my favorite cool weather recipes, I will miss the long, sunny days. It was a good summer, one that passed all too quickly. Looking back, I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. So, before I forget, I want to look back at some of the high points.
1) (Re-)Discovering that I live within 20 minutes of one of the most gorgeous sunset views ever.
2) Seeing Pink Martini at the zoo
3) Getting a new camera (technically, it wasn't really summer yet, but the weather was summer-y, when it wasn't cold and raining and I did use the camera a LOT over the summer!)
4) Seeing a friend I hadn't seen in nearly 10 years and realizing that I've actually changed a lot more during the ensuing years than I thought
5) Being reminded what good (if weird) friends I have. Not everyone has friends who give them free airline tickets and introduce them to everyone as "my best friend Martina" or who would travel 4 hours just to go to a 2 hour picnic.
6) While I'm not exactly conductor of the Be-Born-Again-to-Our-Way-or-Get-a-Free-Pass-for-the-Eternal-Exursion-to-Hell train and will always have a pretty open view about following diferent spiritual paths, this summer taught me that not all organized religion is as scornful as I'd previously decided. Sure, pockets of scornworthiness exist. Can anyone say Pat Robertson? And don't even get me started on the unfeeling evangelist who informed me just before my father's funeral that I was doomed to never see him again because it would interfere with God's plans for me (and all other heathens who don't embrace said evangelists beliefs) to rot in hell. You probably don't want to get me going on the pastor across the street who stopped talking to me after I refused to sign his anti same sex marriage petition either. Anyway, my point is that it was nice to be reminded that there are insitutions out there that genuinely try to do what is good and right and are decidedly worthwhile.
7) Realizing that I haven't lost all musical ability, even though it's been years since I've done anything with it formally
8) Discovering the Decemberists, seeing them at The Bite (a major disappointment of an evening through no fault of theirs), but STILL leaving really liking them
9) Learning that while I have no formal dance training, being half German apparently has gifted me with genetic memory of how to polka. Thank God I went to the Oktoberfest last night (the final night of summer), or I'd never have discovered this!
10) Finding that my hair has just about grown out of its awkward stage just in time for fall
As for the first 22 hours of autumn, so far so good...