The Raleigh World: Eleven Months

Wow. We’re closing in on an entire year in Raleigh. It still blows my mind that I actually moved across the United States.

With two cats.

(Who hate car rides.)

I have yet to get over to the beaches but at least I no longer have to constantly remind myself that the ocean is EAST and the mountains are to the west.

Although the power bill was actually the harbinger of winter here in Raleigh, the changing of the seasons came at us hard and fast (and cold). One weekend, it’s a balmy 70 degrees, a few days later everything is coated with snow.

It occurred to me that my California Boys had never experienced snow before. I filled a dish with fresh, clean snow and brought it in. Clancy got in close for a sniff and decided that was a big bowl of NOPE. Charlie, naturally, tried to eat it.

Soccer In December? YASSSS!

I FINALLY made it over to WakeMed Soccer Park to see some college soccer. I covered the Women’s College Cup for Prost Amerika. The UNC Tar Heels were the de-facto home team, since they played their home games about 30 steps away at Koka Booth Stadium. Alas, this is the last season that UNC will be playing in my ‘hood, since their new stadium should be ready for next season.

UNC and Florida State met in the championship final. The first half was tight and tense and the two teams were scoreless at halftime. The Seminoles broke the deadlock early in the second half and held on to win the title.

NCAA Women's College Cup
It felt great to be back at Sahlen’s Stadium!

I was quite impressed with all four teams in the tournament, not only as soccer teams, but the leadership and maturity these young women showed, on and off the field. Mark Krikorian (Florida State) and Anson Dorrance (UNC) are incredibly intelligent soccer minds, but they are also committed to supporting these young women and helping them develop into leaders. They don’t micro-manage players: Dorrance, in fact, makes a point of remaining outside of the pre-game team huddle, preferring to have his team leaders take ownership at the outset.

(Two weeks later…)

Fam, this update has been a struggle to plow through. Month 11 wasn’t my best month. A lot of the reflection on that part of my journey has been inward and not really what I feel inclined to share.

As you probably noticed by recent posts, I’ve done a lot of work in the kitchen, especially as I’ve further explored “vegan at home”. I find myself cooking and baking my way through my funk: it’s a way for me to be creative and mindful.

I am also, apparently, now a person who bakes bread. I really am my Grandpa’s Girl.

Funny thing baking that first loaf of bread, though. It stirred up some deeply-buried muck from nearly 30 years ago. Amazing what a scent can trigger.

Vegan Whole Wheat Bread
My first loaf of vegan whole wheat bread

So, yeah. Month 11 revealed some struggles, but it ended with soccer and then snow, so I appreciate the high points.

No spoilers for Month 12, though. We’ll just have to check in here in 9-10 days.

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