I was thinking about autumn before it was here. Not to over-romanticize it, but I thought about its arrival as the arrival of an old friend. But I had a slight hesitation wondering whether I’d love it as much as I remembered. As with an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time, you remember that you got along well, but many years have passed and you aren’t quite sure how you’ll get along as the “older and wiser” versions of yourselves.
Well, I have reconnected with both autumn and actual old friends and so far all experiences have been pleasant! We are loving autumn, the beautiful change in color, the crisp fall mornings. I’m even enjoying the days of temps from the 40s to the high 70s and having to remember to wear layers!
Since we moved back, we have already had the privilege of seeing several old friends. Several of our friends live here in Blacksburg still, and some have swung back through for a visit. Ironically, we moved to the land of Disney and everyone said, “Make sure you have room; people will all want to come visit you.” Aside from a handful of visits including our parents, this was not very true for us. But we moved back here, and in the first couple of weeks we were getting notice of friends coming through week after week.
Many of the friends we’ve been able to reconnect with, though we’ve been parted by miles and very different experiences, there is much common ground in our lives. So we’ve been pleasantly surprised at how our “new selves” connect with each other, and we can appreciate our past relationships as well.
This past weekend, we reminisced and newly enjoyed our friends the Thorsons who were in town. Distanced by several states, and then 1/4 of the globe for the last few years, we’re finally within a few hours drive of each other, and they were visiting Blacksburg for a wedding. We had a very fun night talking at the good ole’ Macados restaurant here in Blacksburg. While nothing seemed to have changed in that eclectically decorated restaurant, our conversation throughout the evening (mostly regarding parenting and children) has definitely changed. But they were moments I will treasure along with memories of our old friendship.
The Thorsons left Sunday morning, and in the mood to embrace autumn again this past weekend, we forsook the house projects (and church in the traditional sense) and headed out to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The drive out Route 8 is beautiful itself, and only sparsely populated. The inviting town of Floyd was here and gone quickly and in about 10 more minutes we were to the familiar entrance to the Parkway.
We pulled off a few seconds later at the first of many scenic overlooks and enjoyed looking out over “The Saddle.” We took in the view, chatted with other visitors, and Josiah walked along the rock wall several times. Itching to stretch our legs, we took a path just off to the side up an incline to a small frame structure with a beautiful view. We were surprised how daring Josiah was climbing around on the incline and the rocks, and he actually walked the way back down the trail, which was steep in places – like most trails it had many challenges of roots, rocks, and slippery spots. But he was an amazing little trooper.
Then we drove a little further to Chateau Morrisette Winery. They were having a bit of food and music starting soon, and we just wandered around, did some wine tasting and let Josiah walk all over. He found a couple other toddlers to play with, running around in the grass, and the enjoyed the store at the winery. Then it was time to pack up and head home for naps.
It was a lovely day. I look forward to treasuring interaction with more old friends, including the beautiful places around this area that are part of what kept us in love with Southwest Virginia even after we left.