warm nights

I give Omaha a lot of shit, because for three months every year I drive on snow-covered streets in white-knuckle terror. Then in the summer, I dread going outside for fear I will faint from heat stroke, or else just sweat so bad I leave a trail of sweat droplets behind me.

But for as much as I hate winter and summer here, I love fall and spring. Sure, these are the two most overlooked seasons here, as they tend to be week-long segues from extreme heat to extreme cold, but I love those very short seasons nonetheless.

Tonight I stood outside in the warm early fall air, closed my eyes. It felt like fall ten years ago. Ten falls ago I moved to Omaha to begin college. I was young and innocent and excited for whatever the world was about to bring me. I thought I was on my own, even though my mom and dad paid for my dorm room. But in a way, I was. I could be myself completely, without my family interrupting.

In college, we would stay out in the warm nights, at a park or just go for a walk with the sounds and smells of Omaha swirling around us. Those nights are when Omaha became my city. And as each summer turned into another fall, there became more and more reasons to love it.

Tonight Steve is out watching football somewhere while I have some alone time. Steve and I married each other without any intentions of changing the other. We liked each other for who we already were. So when he is not around, I am not moping around (unless I’ve watched too many Criminal Minds and scared myself shitless). Without him, I am me. With him, I am me. I believe every couple should be individuals.

So in the fall, he watches football on Saturdays and Sundays while I go for long walks or watch tv marathons or put together jigsaw puzzles or read a book without getting up for hours. And sometimes, I just stand outside in the warm Omaha air, and marvel at the falls that have been and the falls that will be.

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