I love fall. Mount Ogden rests behind my home, and I enjoy watching the hillsides become alive with changing colors as I wash dishes, clean up my kitchen, help kids with homework, and make meals and treats. I missed it last year. By the time I got home from the hospital the colors were gone. One more thing I missed out on. But aside from the bright, changing colors, I also enjoy the crisp in the air. It's not hot, but not cold either. Vegetables are harvested, canning is completed, meals change from sandwiches, salads, and grilled meats and veggies, to stews, soup, chili, roast and potatoes. We pull out our sweaters and jackets. And we pull out the throws and blankets, and snuggle together as we watch tv in the evenings. We prepare for the long, cold months ahead by making our homes into cozy places to retreat to.
We also send children, and maybe even ourselves back to school. In our house, the boys are heading off to 1st and 4th grade, Elizabeth is going to preschool 3 days a week, and Corey is preparing for his last semester and graduation. I had thought about going back to school this year, and taking just one class while Libby was in school. In the end I decided I wanted to give myself at least one more year to get better at walking before trying to get around a busy college campus -- especially in the ice and snow. I'm okay with it. I plan to use the time when I have no children at home to get my home better organized, and then maybe learn some new skills, such as crocheting, or knitting, or even using it as a time when I can actually play the piano in peace. :) I actually may spend time with the piano, since pedaling is good therapy for my ankles.
August is still summer, and it's still hot, and I'm enjoying it. But I think of August as the prep month for fall. I update everyone's wardrobes, get new school supplies, get ready to start canning and freezing veggies and fruit, and sometimes even start on some things, I get kids ready to begin a new soccer season, and this year, Libby will start dance lessons.
I tend to recognize the beginning of the school year as a time to sit down and set goals for myself, the kids, and the family as a whole, rather than New Years. It's also a time when I look back over the previous year and ask myself what things I did that were good, and what needs to be improved upon.
As far as what I did that was good, I feel like I climbed a mountain this year. I'm not quite to the top just yet, but I have climbed a significant portion, and I'm proud of myself. I have found that I am much stronger than I ever thought I was. Still... there is always room for improvement.
I think I have decided that since I am not going back to school this year, I am going to use this year to become closer to my Father in Heaven and His Gospel. I have felt Him so close to me through this past, very hard year, and I still fall short in so many areas. I want to make reading my scriptures and the Ensign a habit. I want to become more diligent in my prayers. I want to be a better journal writer (through this whole experience, this past year, not once have a stopped to write any of it down in a designated place. It's all scattered everywhere! And I hope that it is something that I can continue to learn from, and my children and their children as well). I also want to become a better spiritual teacher to my children. And I want to go back to the temple. I haven't been since before I went to the hospital almost a year ago.
I also want to continue in trying to take better care of myself, get rid of the excess pounds, stop putting so much junk into my body, and using my body to be as active as I possibly can. Never again do I want to take the body that I have been blessed with for granted.
Going back to school is not the only thing going on around here this month that makes one stop and reflect. I have now been in my calling -- Ward Music Specialist and Choir Director -- for a year. I am enjoying it and have some ideas for improving the choir that I plan to implement in the next month or so. Sometimes I do miss being the performer. I would rather sing with the choir than lead it any day. But I am still grateful for the opportunity I've been given to run the choir this past year. I have gained some leadership skills, and have been drawn out of my shell a little bit.
On August 19th, my sweetheart and I celebrate 11 years of eternal marriage. I think if this past year doesn't break us, nothing ever will. We don't always agree with each other, but our love for each other is as firm as steel. He has been so good to me this past year, and I can't say how much I appreciate having a worthy priesthood member in my home. It makes such a difference.
Finally, August 20th will be one year since I was affected by Transverse Myelitis. I still find it ironic that it happened the day after my wedding anniversary last year. We don't really know what we are doing that weekend yet. I just don't want to be given much of a chance to dwell on my situation, so I told my dh that whatever we are doing, we won't be home. He actually has been asked to help work on a film the evening of the 19th and the morning of the 20th in Alta. So we will probably go out there for the night, and then ..... I don't know.... What exactly is out in that area??? We may head back to Salt Lake to spend another night. We'll have to see. If you suddenly became paralyzed when no accident or anything like that was involved, and then spent the next year learning how to dress yourself, learning how to get around in a wheelchair, learning how to transfer to a bed to a wheelchair, learning how to catheterize yourself, learning how to stand, learning how to walk with a walker, progressing to two forearm crutches, and then to one, and then finally walking around short distances with no assistance and using a cane the rest of the time???? How do you celebrate that? It's a major feat. I feel like the day needs to have some time spent in remembrance. But it also needs to be a celebration of all I've accomplished... I need to think on that for a while...