I've written this post in my head a thousand times, the post where I explain where I went for nearly two years while this place sat empty, where I tell you all of the things that have happened while I've been away, where we catch up.
The truth is that there is both much to say, and little.
We moved to Virginia. We bought our first house. We cooked many meals and took many more walks in this strange new place. The baby puppy girl discovered rabbits, deer, and black bears, the joys of barking at groundhogs and running about in the snow.
My mother mailed me a small cross stitch kit she found and to my surprise, I discovered that I missed it, that quaint past time of a different era. I knit a great many socks. I finished my green sweater and knit another. I made granita for the first time- watermelon and basil- and I already know that I will make more this summer.
I've settled here, put down roots that I wasn't quite sure I was capable of. I have my small calendar of activities that I look forward to every year here now- the local library book sale from which I emerged with armfuls of books and old puzzles with pieces so thick you'd think they were made for a child were it not for the fact that they make your brain ache when you try to fit them all together; the Shenandoah Fiber Festival, full of yarn and sheep, where I purchased a long after sheep mug to hold my coffee while I write to you; a giant 40 mile long yard sale, or crawl as they call it here, where I found an old chair perfect for my small office, a chair that reminds me of studious old me who smoke cigars and read Aristotle by lamplight; the candlelight tour at George Washington's Mount Vernon, where flames flicker and dance, the cold chills you and the fires warm you, where haunting strains of carols I don't know drift on the air and people dance in a way that I've never seen outside of films. There is cider, too, around a roaring fire and gingerbread biscuits, heady and full of spice, the way that they should be.
For all of their trials, the past couple of years have been good to us, the husband, the baby girl, and I. We feel spectacularly blessed despite the furnace that broke less than a month after we moved in, in the cold of winter; despite the frozen pipes of this past year when arctic wind chills made us hold our breath and invest in warmer coats; when my eyes went fuzzy for reasons still not fully understood, when I could not read and lost depth perception for a short time. Over the course of nearly two years, however, these and the other troubles not mentioned are small trials, easily clouded over in memory by the happier and quieter moments of summer days and autumn mists.
It is not easy to sum up the course of years, and so I've tried to paint them for you in photos from my instagram account (username: in_the_ravenswood), frozen moments brought to you in an attempt to fill the distance between us, to tell you all of the things that words fail to capture.
I hope this finds you well.