Catching Up

Since we’ve been back from Paris (a month ago!), we’ve had visitors, gone to London a couple of times, and settled back into our “Oxford normal” routine, which is really not normal at all.  Now that the last of our guests have left and the students leave tomorrow, so we’re settling in for the last days here.  It’s bittersweet.  On one hand it’s been lovely and magical and quite the adventure, and I don’t want to wish any moment of it away.  We have lots of fun things planned in the next three weeks and many more things that we won’t get to do, but would love to.  On the other hand, it’s dark and damp and a time for family, and I want nothing more than to be home.  But it’s Advent, so I’m working hard to lean into the waiting.

But here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been up to:

My dear friend Susan came.  We headed to London to see the poppies one last time, visit the German history exhibit at the British Museum, wander Selfridges, and even see the Columbia beat the US in a football (soccer) match at Craven Cottage.  We toured the Bodleian, went on a literary walking tour of Oxford, and spent an afternoon at Blenheim Palace.  Mainly, though, we wandered the streets of Oxford catching up on our lives over the past four months.  I’m looking forward to much more of that when I get home to Abilene. On her last day here, we were treated to an amazing sunset.  Granted it was at 3:45, but the sky was glowing.

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The girls and I started an Oxford Alphabet to help countdown our days here and revisit some favorite places.  We’re quickly moving through the days and letters. (C was for Christ Church.)

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The Paunans came to visit from Chicago over Thanksgiving.  The girls LOVED having friends their age and it was such a blessing to spend Thanksgiving with friends who are like family.  We went to the Harry Potter Tour at Warner Bros Studios (post forthcoming on that day), had a posh afternoon tea at the Randolph, saw the (very cute) Padddington movie, and wandered Blenheim Palace on a perfect autumn afternoon.  I loved getting to share Oxford with their family.

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Meanwhile we continue our waiting — saying sad goodbyes to people and places while gladly anticipating the hellos (and hugs!) that are coming soon — trying our best to savor the now.

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