Rocky Gap State Park, Maryland
Fall is my favorite time of year, without a doubt. It is filled with things I love: crisp weather, pumpkin-flavored anything, warm drinks, sweatshirts, knitted hats, fires, corn mazes, pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, brilliant colors against vibrant blue skies, and those last ditch efforts of outside activity to enjoy the last bits of nice weather.
B, her sister, and her nephews at a pumpkin patch / corn maze extravaganza
October is also a bit sad for me, as I torture myself with the remembrance of Gracie’s death, and try so very hard instead to remember her life. I wrote as much as I could in the past about Gracie’s death, but I could only bring myself to read this one right now. Gracie’s ashes, collar, and one of my favorite pictures of her sits in china cabinet in my dining room. This cabinet, and the buffet that goes along with it that is also in my dining room, belongs to my great-great grandmom, so it was built in the late 1800’s. This may seem far off but her daughter, my great-grandmom, is still alive, so I feel very close to these wooden pieces of furniture. I can picture the life that lived around them, and I spent many hours in the home that they lived in. I like having Gracie’s ashes there. They are not in my face daily, but I know they are there. It just all feels so very right.
My nephew SG (my best friend's son) at the pumpkin patch
B graduated school around the middle of August, then applied for a job at her top choice company a week later, and then a few days later began the interview process, which was long. She was hired (hooray!) and by the 12th of September she started her training – which (un)fortunately for her, was mostly trips to D.C. and Baltimore – hellish for a truck driver, obviously, but great training nonetheless. Practicing in places like that means she should be able to handle almost anything. The most negative part of her training is that because there are only male trainers, she wasn’t allowed to do any overnight trips (company policy), and her job will be mostly all overnight trips. So, she wasn’t happy about that, but there’s not much she could do. Last week they released her from training with confidence, and she went on her first overnight trip AND her first run by herself to INDIANA. Which really seems so far away. The country pretty much falls off the map for me after Ohio, and starts back up again around Utah, so I had to get online to see where Indiana sits in relation to Maryland. What? I’m not embarrassed to admit it! We all know the east coast is the best coast so that’s all I try to worry my head with : ) Anyway, it was a straightforward run and she did great and all is well. She has more runs out that way this week. I’m excited for her and proud of her. She’s awesome.
I could never drive one of these things, but I sure do look cute in 'em!
Roller derby has been occupying most of my free time. It’s been quite a labor of love. It is some of the hardest exercise and skill building I’ve ever had to do. Learning how to do things on skates that I haven’t even done off-skates has been quite challenging. But I show up, every practice, and work. It’s been three months and me and another fresh meat skater are scheduled to take our minimum skills test on Thursday the 27th. I am so nervous about it that I feel nauseous, DAILY. No kidding. I know I’ll be fine… really, I will. They wouldn’t have scheduled us to take it if they weren’t confident in us, and I know that. Still, it doesn’t make it any less nerve-wracking. I’ve also settled on a derby name, which is quite a big deal, especially considering there’s a roster of over 10,000 names and you can’t take another skaters name or have a similar name. I won’t announce my name until things are official (I pass my test and get it registered with no problems) :)
Some of my teammates and I at an all-girl's after school program <3 Here I'm demonstrating single knee falls
So, have you noticed the “Gracie Mac Photography” watermarks on the pics? I changed my photography website from Studio 24 Photography to Gracie Mac Photography. I wanted a change, and as you know, Gracie Mac is a more personal name for me. You can check out the new look on my website, http://www.graciemacphotography.com
On a wagon ride. Somebody's tired.