SIx weeks today, Rob said this morning when we woke up, we will be in an altered state. You, she added, holding up a finger and twisting it in the light so it could be seen from all sides, will be wearing a ring. Yikes! I said.

But truth is, I guess, we have been in an altered state for some time now. It is hard to believe we have only been back in South Africa for 2 1/2 months; hard to believe that we moved finally and conclusively out of the Emmarentia house only – just a minute, not even six weeks ago. As we were saying last night, Emmarentia seems another lifetime, and our new home seems so settled and, well, homey, that we might have lived here for years.

Last weekend we were in Cape Town with my mom, visiting the wine farms – Meerlust, Rustenberg, Thelema and finally Tokara where we had a fine lunch in the restaurant and bought wine and olive oil. Rob went down early, and spent a day with my mom, taking her out for dinner at Greens and buying fish – a fine kabeljou – for dinner on Friday night when I joined them for the weekend after my meeting in town. It was the first time Rob had seen my mom since she returned from Canada, the first time, I guess, since last December, although of course they have spoken on the phone. Already they are old friends, talking about the wedding next month, my mom’s visit to Johannesburg, family matters – the easy discourse of family and belonging.

Meanwhile I am working away, trying to keep on top of multiple projects, trying to make sure that I make at least a little time, most days, to work on my novel, so that, come mid-December, I can shut down shop and turn my mind to other things.

The changes have been coming, in endless waves all through the year, and soon the year will close with a change to remember.