Joyful Travels

As I write this, I’m sitting at my kitchen table, getting a little work done from home before heading to the airport. By the time this goes live, I will be in Minnesota.

With all the darkness in the world this week, it’s nice to have something to be really, genuinely happy about – one of my best friends from my bible college days is getting married, and I’m so glad my partner and I are going to get to celebrate with her and her soon-to-be-husband.

Here are a handful of the things I’m most looking forward to over the weekend:

  1. The wedding. I’m not always the most excited about weddings, but I’m looking forward to this one. This friend and I have been through some things together, and I’m happy to bear witness to anything that is making her happy.
  2. I’m getting coffee with one of my professors from bible college (the only one I still talk to at this point), who I haven’t seen since before I moved to Chicago five years ago. She’s been through a lot recently, and I’m grateful that she’s taking the time to see me.
  3. I get to see my dog and my nephew. My little old lady dog is 15, and she’s slowing down. Every time I’ve seen her this year has felt like the biggest gift, because it was only a year ago that I thought I would probably never see her again (since I wasn’t back in communication with my family yet). I am painfully aware that every time I see her from here on out may be the last, so I’m not taking any opportunity for granted. Our visit to my parents happens to coincide with the time that they’re watching my nephew, too, so I’ll get to hang out with him a bit. From what little contact I’ve had with him, he seems like a bright, creative kid, and I’m looking forward to seeing him again.
  4. This might be the least-packed weekend in Minnesota we’ve had in…well, in a long time. I’m sad that we can’t see everyone, but I’m also looking forward to just relaxing a bit. And I’m hoping it’ll make going back to work on Monday a little easier.
  5. On Sunday, after we get back, we’re going to meet up with a friend at an apple orchard in Wisconsin. Despite my allergies to almost everything outdoors, I love autumn, and apple picking feels like the quintessential autumnal activity.

Happy Autumn Thoughts

I realized something this, as the temperatures finally started to descend: I think fall my have replaced winter as my favorite season. When I was a kid, I had pretty awful seasonal allergies, and since pollen is a non-issue in a Minnesota December, and since I really do find snow pretty and peaceful, and since I tend to overheat easily, I was always a big fan of winter over any other season.

Now, I don’t mind winter, but I can’t deny the general inconvenience of it. Waiting for the bus in a snowdrift is no fun. Trekking to work over unshoveled, icy sidewalks is no picnic, either. And now that the arrival of fall doesn’t automatically mean sniffles for me, I’m coming to enjoy it more and more. Sweater weather, and apple cider, and leaves changing color…it’s a really beautiful time of year.

I’m glad that I’m going to be recovering from surgery at a time of year where I don’t need to be running the air conditioner to be comfortable, but can have the windows open and enjoy the crisp fall air.

And speaking of surgery, this week has brought with it the most exciting news I could have received: insurance has agreed to cover the procedure. This is still a pretty unbelievable thing: most of the people I know who have undergone this surgery have had to save up and pay it all out of pocket.  I really wasn’t sure how I was going to make it work without insurance. I got the news at exactly two weeks until the big day…waiting was awful. But now it looks like it really is going to happen, and things really are going to work out the way I’ve been almost afraid to hope they would. So happy thoughts all around.