Peanutbutter Cheesecake...on the outside...a journey of self examination on the inside

October, a month filled with a flurry of activity at our Nehemiah Homestead farmhouse, was punctuated by the swirling and whirling of leaves of all shapes, sizes, and colors as they released themselves throughout the days and nights and gently settled in colorful fluffy piles all over this land.

So much has changed this year.  So much of it good.  But, so much was about change.

Some of those more profound changes this year cannot be undone, shouldn't be undone, but define those bittersweet moments in life that make us all pause, reflect, and consider.

As the seasons flip over the calendar pages up here in New Hampshire bringing the drama of wild winds and the passion of intense colors to the landscape, my own life seems to be like a kite that has become caught up in their stage production in the sky.

I feel like I'm standing rooted to the ground holding fast and hard to the kite's tiny string that is the only thing keeping us connected.  I know the winds of change will eventually snap the kite from its tenuous string and carry it off into the swirling winds.  

But knowing that change is good, change is necessary...and moving steadily through those changes can be a challenge.

Kearsarge Mountain, Lake Sunapee Region, New Hampshire

The question I am asked most often lately is, "What is life like as empty nesters?!"   It is asked with looks of concern, hints of curiosity, tentative tones of jubilation, and borderline tearful shakiness. 

Amazingly, I haven't discussed this most significant change in our lives ad nauseum here on "Thyme".  It's a difficult topic to discuss.  It is a jubilant topic to discuss.  If it were a bowl of ice cream, it would be symbolized by a big messy scoop of rocky road with a rounded scoop of tutti frutti perched on top.  No, not scoops one on top of the other.  They would be side by side...because it seems as if I reach into the bowl with my spoon and I take a spoonful of one flavor and then the other flavor...back and forth.

After years of homeschooling, hours of meticulously researching and wading through dozens and dozens of curriculums, carefully laying out yearly school schedules just so, lining up field trips to museums, visitation to farms, tours of historic sites,  roaming from ballet lessons to fencing lessons, and tennis lessons, and french lessons... back and forth...back and forth... my days are filled with wide open spaces, big gaping question marks, dreamy daydreams about my future, all set off by the sounds of our new antique wall clock sounding off each tick tock...tick tock.

The wood has been carefully stacked for the winter months ahead.  The leaves have all been tamed and swept into the woods.  It seems as if each sound of nature during the day is amplified.  I have stacks of reading material that has been building for years.  I pull on my down jacket and pull on my warm boots and walk out into the woods...sometimes for minutes...sometimes for hours.

Kearsarge Mountain in Lake Sunapee Region, New Hampshire

I see change as good.  I see change as positive.  I see life as positive.  I must see things this way or I would become engulfed in the reality that life is barreling forward and there isn't a thing we can do about it.  

Fortunately, I am a dreamer.  I am struggling with this year's roster of change that demands an element of dreamy deliberation.  

Both children are now in college.  Both children are now in college.  Where in the "What to Expect when you are Expecting baby book did it tell us this demanding book would come to an end?"

Our son was fortunate enough to come home from college for the weekend.  Making a birthday cake surprise was woven with new emotions, new realizations, and new reflections. I went straight for a peanut butter no bake cheesecake.  He and I share a deep attachment to the healing powers of peanut butter...combined with the potent addiction of cheesecake.

My days now are completely changed from what they were for the last 21 years of my life.

One day, I find myself diligently working on a marketing plan that requires the click clack of fingers at the computer from sun up to sun down (which is 4:30pm in New Hampshire!) The next day, I find myself itching to call both kids and discuss their college lives from sun up to sun down (and as we can all imagine...with young adults...that doesn't happen!)

I look at my stack of reading material.  I look at my lengthy Netflix queue.  I know I can take off in the car or hike along a trail...with no pre-planning, forethought, or rearrangement of multiple lives.  

Change is good.  Change is positive.  I'll get there.  I'll pick off the first book of that reading stack one day. 

But...gosh darnit...change is hard.
{Probably nothing another little slice of cheescake can't solve.}

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