Returning from vacation is always a pain in the ass! After not thinking about work for two weeks I have to dig for the ambition to tackle all the work that has piled up while I was away. Of course that takes a lot of effort considering I’m still exhausted from everything I did on vacation and coming home to the mess left by the house sitter was no help.
To compound the problem is this beautiful fall weather we’re experiencing here in Oregon. There hasn’t been much rain but the temperatures have dropped and the leaves are turning without abandon. The colors and the coolness make it difficult to head into the office each morning. My drive to work is along a winding forested road in the hills above Portland and I get so caught up in the beauty surrounding me that I just want to keep driving. Unfortunately that is not an option and I have to force myself to make that last turn down the hill toward the university. Fortunately there is a window situated across from my desk that looks over a hillside full of trees and native shrubbery so the colors stay with me throughout the day.
The weather in New York was unseasonably warm while we were there and the trees in Central Park hadn’t begun to change. When we arrived home to cool temperatures, a lawn full of leaves, and trees of red and orange and yellow and gold I felt as though I’d missed the season. I wanted to pick apples and bake a pie. Thankfully the seasonal change had just started so I really didn’t miss much at all and I did bake that pie.
We shared the pie with the neighbors in celebration of Mark’s birthday and spent the cool evening enjoying a fire and their company. Our summers are usually so busy with gardening, yard work and canning that we don’t seem to have as much time to really visit with our friends. Sure, we have barbecues and potluck dinners but those are usually larger events with many people joining in the revelry and you get very little quality time with one individual. This night it was just the four of us and we were able to catch up on each other’s lives in more detail. These are dear friends and we see them regularly but we don’t always get the time to just sit and talk so it was a good night and a nice warm celebration.
So, it’s time to catch up. Catch up on work and catch up on raking the leaves. Yes, the leaves will fill the lawn every couple of days and we’ll mow them up and use them to mulch the garden. Time to catch up on movies, books and all the other little joys things that take a back seat to the short Oregon summers. But most importantly it’s time to catch up on our friendships, friendships we are fortunate enough to enjoy every season.