Family Magazine

Uzbek Fall, Take Four

By Sherwoods

 The children have been back in school now for three weeks.  Our routines have settled back into their usual groove, and order and sanity have resumed their usual supremacy in the house.  Our summers are a welcome break from the rigid schedules of the school year.  Everyone is happy for a chance to do some relaxing, spend more time playing, and not be so ruled by routine.  Summer always ends in the climax of our yearly trip to the US where the routine and predictability get entirely tossed out in window in a wild month of staying up late, seeing friends, and partying non-stop.  So by the time we get to fall and school, I (and perhaps the children) am happy to be embraced by the routine again.

This is our second last fall in Tashkent.  All last year I spent thinking that it would be the last fall, winter, and spring we spent in Tashkent.  When pumpkin somsas came into season in the fall, we ate as many as we could because this was the last time we'd get to enjoy the delicious mix of sweet and savory inside a flaky crust (if you've ever had them, you'd know exactly the heaven I'm describing).  After going sledding once last year, I bid the mountains farewell because we wouldn't be visiting them again.  And in the spring, everyone gorged themselves on the last season of amazing Uzbek strawberries.

But here we are again, and it's fall again, and we're still in Tashkent.  Sometimes I imagine a parallel life where I'm in DC right now, settling into a tiny little apartment while Brandon learns Kazakh and we enjoy a Virginian fall.  And then I look around and see the same fall I'm having for the fourth year in a row.  

That's not to say that I'm unhappy about another fall here in Tashkent.  And when compared with the alternative - hemorrhaging money while sleeping on top of each other and waiting to see what the next place will be like - I'm very happy to be here for a fourth year.  I haven't seen four falls in the same house since I was a teenager at my parents' house.  And I'm not likely to see another string of falls until Brandon and I retire and we finally settle down, whenever that will be.

This fall has been the usual September of Shattered Hopes.  After a long, hot, dry Uzbek summer, everyone is desperately waiting for a breath of cool air so we can all stop sweating the second we walk out of our houses.  And as is usual, the beginning of this month offered a false hope, a string of crystal-clear, blue-sky days that never got hotter than the low eighties.  I opened the windows, pulled out my cardigans for date nights, and looked forward to the next two months of beautiful weather.  Then, as usual, it got hot again.  Yesterday Brandon had an office farewell/welcome party, and it was outside next to his co-worker's pool.  Nobody said anything, but I know at least a few of us were looking longingly at it as we tried to hide in the shade from the 97-degree heat.  Eventually it will cool down for good, and then I will really have my last Uzbek fall.

We have grand plans for this fall, with camping, fishing, and horseback riding planned.  I've been scouting out some hikes to go on, and we might even try to make some friends for our final year here in Tashkent.  After all, if we don't have friends, there won't be anyone to have Thanksgiving with.  

I'm happy that this is our last, last fall in Tashkent.  One day I look forward to settling down and not having any last seasons at all as I actually don't like moving around very much.  But although we live in Tashkent, this isn't our home and we've always known that we would leave at some point.  So when it's time to leave, I'll be happy to go and explore the things that Kazakhstan has to offer.  Every place has something good about it, so I'm looking forward to finding those things out.

But for now, I'm happy to be here and have another year of stability.  And also, pumpkin somsas.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog