Here in South Carolina, the growing season is all year long, so we don't have much of a change in seasons. The flowers that are in bloom change periodically, and right now, one of my favorites are in bloom-- azaleas. It seems to be a tie between what the most favored flower is here, azaleas or magnolias. Luckily, they seem to bloom at alternate intervals, so I don't have to choose. I miss the scent of night-blooming jasmine that seems ever-present during the summer months, but now the university campus is covered in colorful blossoms. It's really nice.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, I got a phone call that my grandmother, who was diagnosed with cancer in early August, had passed away. I was in the car two hours later, drove all night, and arrived at my parents' house just after dawn. It all happened so suddenly, and everyone was in such a state of shock, that a lot of planning and errands fell to me. It was stressful and I didn't get much sleep at all while I was there, but I wanted to put a lot of time and care into it because my grandma had always put such time and care into helping me. I can't really say much more without upsetting myself. It has really been a transitional time in my life. It's very difficult to not be able to talk with someone you usually talk to 2-3 times per week.
On top of that, I've started my thesis research and my travel plans for my research trip in December are pretty much hashed out. One of my friends will be joining me as a travel buddy/research assistant, and I'm really excited about that. She hasn't been to Japan in a long time and I think we'll have a blast. I've even made some internet friends who are willing to help me with research once I arrive in Japan. I can't believe it's only two months away now! Staying focused on that project is helping to keep my mind off of other things. The scary part is that I will be doing my research proposal oral defense next month. Yikes! It'll be a relief next semester when I only have to attend one class and I can officially devote 3 whole credit hours to thesis work instead of the measly 1 I'm enrolled for now, on top of my full course load.
I have a feeling the rest of the semester is going to fly by.