It smells wonderful this evening.

It was warmer today than it has been, so I opened a few windows and welcomed in an autumn breeze. Now it is dark and someone across the lake is burning wood. This rural, smokey smell mixed with cooling air makes me miss home so bad I can feel it, as if my homesickness were a thing I could touch and hold.

The summer bugs have not died yet (the open window also brings in their chorus), but autumn is fully here. The leaves are changing. Halloween is in three weeks. I've never thought of this season as a lonely time, but I suppose it is, or maybe I'm just more aware of it this year: alone, some 6,400 miles from Theseus.

I don't mean to be depressing. This season just also makes me spend a lot of time inside my head.

Something nice happened today. Waiting in my mailbox was a notification from the VA office in Buffalo, NY - they have paid me my housing stipend and have also paid the school for this semester.

This is really, really good news. I wasn't worried so much about getting paid myself (I'm pretty used to waiting and getting back pay for most things the Army has ever owed me for), but I was getting nervous that the school had not been paid yet. Early registration for next semester begins Nov 1, and I was afraid the school would prevent me from registering for new classes because I still had a balance due. I can't even tell you how relieved I was to receive the notification of payment today.

Well, I suppose I should get to my homework, so I can go shopping tomorrow and not have to rush back to my books. I'll leave you all with this, which as nothing to do with anything other than I've always thought this was a beautiful song:
A bottle of red, a bottle of white,
whatever kind of mood you're in tonight.
I'll meet you anytime you want
in our Italian restaurant.

- Antiope

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