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I just got back from a ski weekend away with my family. We stayed at my nana’s house, a straight-from-the-70s, wood paneled and green and orange colored schemed type of abode. A mix of old and new with a heavy emphasis on the old. And so familiar that I love it that way.

I said goodbye to the family and boarded a bus back to NYC this afternoon, as always a little wistful that I couldn’t instead hop in the car and drive back to Connecticut. My family house there is big and spacious, light and comfy. I’d love nothing more than to wake up in the morning and pad downstairs in sweatpants and slippers and pour a cup of coffee and sit on the couch and talk for hours with whoever else happened to be awake.

But today I went back to Brooklyn, to unpack and grocery shop and get ready for work. Maintain my “household,” do things that signify I’m an adult but really just mask the fact that I’m at a very transient stage of life. I don’t always know where I want to be, I just have to adapt to wherever I am. For tonight, it’s Brooklyn, and I’m actually surprised by how good it feels to be back.

Brooklyn looked beautiful tonight when I walked home from the subway. It was sunset and the sky lit up pink over a darkening park, reminding me how much I love runs at twilight. The air smelled slightly of spring, fresh and clear, and I got excited for spring in the city. I thought about the times when I decide I want ice cream at 10:30 at night and can just walk outside and down the block to get some (and then sit on the stoop to eat it and people watch).

And the times when I wake up in the morning and realize we’re out of coffee (or milk or eggs or oatmeal) and it’s not a disaster, we just head next door and are back in 10 min, food supplies in hand. Or maybe we do have the coffee grounds, but decide we want someone else to make it, so we head across the street for a tall iced drink, or take a stroll to our favorite orange food truck, parked outside a bustling farmer’s market, and get a coffee with the perfect amount of “just a little cream.”

Sometimes it’s hot and sticky, or mouse-y and buggy. Sometimes Often I’m frustrated by the lack of closet space and counter space and bathroom sink space and just about every kind of living space you can think of. And not having a car when you want to get away for a weekend (or even just go to Target!) is a big. huge. pain. But it’s okay, because Brooklyn’s a home. I love it here.

When I think of Fall, I think of one brief moment in time. I’m in the house where I grew up, sitting at the kitchen table next to the sliding door that leads to the deck, wearing the dungarees, hoodless sweatshirt and purple Keds that prove I’m a child of the 90s.

The glass is cool with the crisp breeze and sunshine pours into the room, illuminating the little dust particles that dance around the air. My dad is in the backyard on the tractor, my mom is at the counter making turkey sandwiches on Wonder Bread for lunch, and jack-o-lanterns sit just outside, ready for Halloween.

This scene encapsulates the entire season for me. It’s pure and content,  viewed through the prism of childhood sights and sounds and senses, and full of promise for the carefree things that must have happened later that afternoon. Did we jump in leaves? Push each other on the metal swing set? Ride bikes and play basketball? Or perhaps drink some hot chocolate and watch a movie, cozied up?

New England Fall is setting in, defined as those days after Labor Day when the sun sets a little earlier, the oaks and maples turn a little grander, and it becomes bearable to pull out a fleece and maybe even a light scarf to walk around the neighborhood.

I know that on those cool, bright afternoons, when the faint scent of chimney smoke is in the air and the orange leaves are dropping from the trees, I’ll think back to that simple minute in the kitchen. Like I do every year. Nostalgic, and a bit bitter that I can’t reclaim it. But hopeful that there will be hours and days and years just like it, still to come.

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I’ve found the keys to feeling refreshed on a hot summer day.

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A tall glass of lime water

A fresh-made apricot lavender frozen fruit pop

A walk through the (botanic) gardens

A stop at the zoo


Spending time with family

Books I’m Reading

Wuthering Heights

Mrs. Kimble

Little Bee

Tinkers

My Life with the Saints

Brave Companions

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Help

Lunch in Paris

Committed

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Pride and Prejudice

Rethinking Thin

The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Friday Night Knitting Club

Best Food Writing 2009

Let the Great World Spin

The Middle Place

Northern Borders

In Defense of Food

Emma