Our Autumn

We have had an incredibly busy couple of months so this is going to be a bit of a “catch up” blog post that jumps from subject to subject.

My oldest son moved to Rochester, New York, in the middle of August in order to attend college and then the other boys went back to school on 1 September. This was their first time attending in-person school since March 2020. After 18 months of virtual learning and only seeing teachers through screens, they were very much looking forward to a more normal school year. However, not long after they got home on that first day, our community was hit by a tornado. Some neighbourhoods were devastated and community buildings, including the High School, sustained damage. My two High School aged sons, therefore, had to pivot back to a few weeks of virtual school again. As deflating as that setback was, we were very thankful to have not personally endured any lasting damage to our property.

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In October, my in-laws came to visit. Having not seen their grandsons for almost two years, they decided to risk travel and international flights. Their visit inspired us to return to some seasonal family traditions we had skipped last year because of the pandemic. The first of these was apple picking. We went a bit crazy picking a variety of apples. Over a month later and I we are still eating those same apples and I am still baking apple cobblers for dessert. I never thought I would get sick of apples but …

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Our second son turned 16 in early October. What he wanted to do was take his two best friends to Shady Brook Farm to hang out and eat fair food. We all went together and then we set him and his friends loose to do whatever they wanted while we did the visited the Halloween themed barns, found our way around the corn maze, and visited the pumpkin patch. Mr Pict and our youngest son even took a ride in the monster truck hearse.

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My in-laws wanted some time at the shore while they were in the US so they rented a beach property in Lewes, Delaware, for a week. We went down to stay with them for the weekend and properly explore Lewes, having only dipped in there before. We took a wander around the historic town centre. I enjoyed seeing all of the vintage architecture. Even my kids enjoyed seeing a cannonball from the War of 1812 still lodged in the side of the building that now serves as the town’s maritime museum. We took a stroll past the lightship Overfalls and played draughts (checkers) on the waterfront. I also managed to meet up with a friend who moved to Lewes over the Summer.

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My in-laws celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary at the end of their visit with us. We went for an elegant and delicious brunch at the William Penn Inn.

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Finally, in the last weekend of October, we took a flying visit up to Rochester to visit our oldest son. He had attended the open day on his own – the weekend before we went into lockdown in 2020 – and my husband had dropped him off in August so this was actually my first time visiting the RIT campus. Our son took us on a tour of the campus and to his dorm room. He is actually sharing with one of his best friends from High School so that worked out perfectly. He seems very happy and settled there and it was reassuring for me to see with my own eyes how comfortable and confident he is and how successfully he is managing everything.

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It was cold and rainy while we were in Rochester so, in search of something indoors to do, we went to the Strong Play Museum. It was a terrific museum focused on the history of games and my kids would have had an absolute blast there when they were younger. There were lots of interactive exhibits, indoor playgrounds, and even a miniature supermarket. With our kids all being much older than the target demographic, we spent most of our time on the upper floor which was focused on board games and video and computer games. We are a big board gaming family with an extensive collection and Mr Pict and the boys all love computer games so we all found it pretty engaging. It is always amusing and mildly disconcerting to see things from our own childhoods now being curated in museums as vintage and classic items and there were abundant cases of that in this museum.

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It was so lovely to have all six of us together again and the perfect way to round out a very busy couple of months. I am now looking forward to things slowing down and getting quieter for the remainder of the year.

13 thoughts on “Our Autumn

  1. As always, you have the best pictures, especially the apple picking. So nice that your sons could see their grandparents after so long; you never know how many years you get to make memories with them. I’m so used to seeing pics of the boys with such short hair, so it’s a nice change to see their hairdos grown out. As you know, my son has also gone off to college, so big hugs to you, Mom. What a world they’ve had to endure! It’s masks in all classes, and then a free-for-all in the dorms with a dozen folks hanging out in one room. So it’s an odd game to play for now. Best of luck to him in his new chapter! At least you’ve still got quite a nest! And it wasn’t damaged in the tornado…

    • Thank you. I hope your son is settled and feeling established in college. Have you visited him? It was definitely reassuring to me to see, with my own eyes, my son in his new context and to see him thriving.

      The hair thing is funny. I let them do what they want with it and two like to keep it short while two just let it grow without styling it. It bothers me that my 16 year old has hair over his eyes because that would really annoy me but it doesn’t seem to cause him any difficulty. All four boys have the same hair as my husband so they are all probably going to bald in the same way too so they may as well enjoy their hair while they have it.

      • LOL I wonder that as well for my son, as my father was balding in his early 20s, so I just let him enjoy it. It was in his face last year, but trimmed up when college started. Fortunately, he’s only about 30 minutes away in a nearby city, but we are absolutely not allowed to visit him, as he would be horrified. He has come home a couple times to grab more jackets and clothing, but he’s off quickly. So odd how they transition-although the balance of social life, studies, and finances are proving challenging. I guess that’s part of being 18. I thought I would be a sobbing mess with him gone, but as you say, I’m so glad he’s thriving in a new context. The order of things if we did our jobs correctly, no?

      • You are absolutely right. It’s a sign that we’ve done our jobs correctly that they don’t need us on a daily basis. My son is a 5 hour drive away so no nipping home for anything but we’ve had to mail him a couple of things.

  2. Delighted to hear that your oldest is doing so well!! I’m relieved your property wasn’t harmed by the tornado. It’s good to hear that you had a good visit and outings!! Applause to you all!!!

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