I’m happy to be back from vacation, though I’ll confess that I’m a little whiplashed by weather. Forget jet lag (I was in England). What really hit me, returning to my two US homes, was moving from wet fall weather in the UK, into humid hot summer — with cicadas wheezing in the trees — in Washington. And then into what feels like very early fall in Warwick, NY, with the air warm in the day and cool by night, and the leaves already turning, lying red on the ground.

We were in England for three weeks, and our little Rafa, now 10 1/2 months old, made amazing use of the time. He mastered crawling up flights of stairs (under close supervision! he’ll miss a step sometimes), and, most impressively, standing up, which he’ll do with a huge grin on his face. “Look what I can do!” He’s worked out the balance fabulously well. He’ll bang his hands on whatever he’s holding on to — he can’t stand without holding on — and just started almost dancing with his feet. Can walking be far off?

Here I am with him in Barbondale, against some of the most striking scenery I’ve ever seen. It’s part of our drive to the supermarket. We never forget how lucky that makes us. But we’re far luckier to have Rafa.

I’ve got a lot planned for the blog — and the rest of my work — for this fall. Starting with my next post, in which I’ll offer a plan of action for people in classical music. If, that is, they want to give our art form a future, by reconnecting it with the world around us.

Stay tuned for lots more.

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