Quick car update: Turns out the timing belt snapped. It’ll be a pricey fix, but it’s a long way from “your car is ruined” — so I’m feeling cautiously better.

Also, my total lack of car knowledge is obviously written on my face, because every dad in my life is giving me advice about this situation. My own dad, yes, but also just everyone I know who happens to be a dad. If you are also a dad, please feel free to give me advice.

Now, on to an Instagram update and some happier things.

As mentioned, I spent last weekend up in western North Carolina with my best friend, Hannah. I’ve been dying for fall in the mountains, and 48 hours of tangy-sweet air and crackling leaves were enough to tide me over.

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Something I remember from living in the mountains, right in the heart of fall color and glory, was a strange kind of hurt the whole season. I knew it was going to go fastfastfast, so I tried the whole time to grab on and soak up “enough.” I spent every fall feeling glutted and hungry at the same time.

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We spent Saturday wandering around downtown Asheville, and it was everything you want a day of exploring to be. Leaning shelves in dusty bookstores, the weirdest assortment of people crowding the street, a chocolate lounge with fresh pumpkin ice cream and chocolate snickerdoodles, vegan food with a view of waving yellow trees. Atlanta has neighborhoods like this, but in Asheville it’s the whole city.

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Before I stop talking about leaves, I’ll slip in really quickly that I spent a few days in Athens for work last week and spotted this barely-turned tree against a gorgeous fall sky. I’ve been to UGA a few times before and wasn’t particularly blown away, but it was so much prettier in fall. Plus, all my previous visits were in summer, and I don’t think you can overstate the injection of life that comes with all those students wandering around.

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These pals came to Atlanta for a weekend recently (as usual). We went to the aquarium in the morning, but it was the day of the Outkast concert, so as soon as we were done with the fish it felt like time to get away from Downtown. We spent Saturday wandering around downtown Decatur and then Phipps Plaza (for some Real Housewives-style people watching), and Sunday in a food coma at Flying Biscuit, as tradition dictates.

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Mostly, lately, I’ve been soaking up little things (and counting gifts).

Like this hot sunset streaming in through my train window

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And a coffee-shop porch overflowing with gorgeous green things

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And a quiet night with a stack of things to read and a caramel apple spice. (Side note: that issue of Harper’s has a really good piece on feminism and credibility called Cassandra Among the Creeps. It’s hard-paywalled online, so you should get to a bookstore and drop the $5. Worth it, I promise.)

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And then a few scattered things…

1. I’ve been running! Pretty frequently, too. This is a big development since, until recently, I was actively avoiding exercise whenever possible. Here’s a Greenway view from a handful of weeks ago.

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2. My apartment is covered in baby pumpkins and I don’t even know how to stop.

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AND 3. I got glasses! It turns out my right eye is damaged from my surgery. Overall not the worst side effect because I got to pick these out, and I’m pretty sure they make me look a little older, which is basically the goal over here.

The girl at the eye doctor was a master salesperson — I told her I wanted the cheapest pair she had and left with these, which are Lilly Pullitzer. But I love them & I don’t even care.

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SO that’s more or less it. I’ll be back in a month or so with another stack of pictures :)

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