in the past week, i have come to realize... i've settled. i've been here less than a year, but this is definitely my town, my house is definitely my home, and my friends are true friends... not just on loan.
i think hosting the 5th annual (1st one here) wine and cheese party last friday sealed the deal. i had to (finally) unpack the last few boxes that had been living in various corners for months. i (finally) took all the empty boxes lying around up to the attic. i finished hanging pictures, many from once familiar, now distant, sites in africa. i even hung up my "mali mud cloth" that i'd been waiting to collect from rhett in dc, but finally caved and asked him to send it to me. my house looks like a museum of artifacts from all over. add to that the very grown up grass rug, leather dining chairs and real (versus hand-me-down) sofa i just obtained (it's my new form of investments... buy furniture i'll keep forever while the stock market struggles). it's all very adult and not temporary and slightly contrary to my nature.
and it's becoming my town too. i know people everywhere... the movie theater, grocery store, waiters recognize me and say hello. it's a little different from knowing all the bouncers and bar tenders in baltimore. 30 people were crammed in my kitchen friday night (the living and dining rooms were much less popular), and 30 more couldn't make it (out of town for the long weekend). how did this happen? in 8 months? less than 4 seasons?
makes me look forward to what this next season, spring, will bring.