Three years ago I returned to the Capital Region after living in Ithaca, New York for the same amount of time. I had moved away in 2010... in October. Then, in October of 2013, I moved back. I wasn't away that long, but I was surprised to see things had changed in that short amount of time. Not tremendously, but enough for everything to feel slightly different. Neighborhoods that were once familiar all seemed a little bit foreign; new restaurants had opened and a few old favorites had closed. I bought a house in the woods, at least, as much in the woods as one can get in this area. Now, it's been three years here, and I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. Looking back on the three years in Ithaca, my perception of that timeline is glacial by comparison.
My first night back in the Capital Region with my family was Halloween, three years ago exactly. Our house wasn't ready to move into yet, so we set ourselves up in a temporary situation until the real estate details were finalized. Movers dropped off a fraction of our belongings - the rest were diverted to a storage facility for the time being - and without so much as opening one box, we got the kids into their costumes and headed to the nearest neighborhood for Trick or Treating. It may have been one of the most memorable Halloween nights ever. A month later, after the very first snow dusted the area, we moved into the home we've been in since. I remember walking around the yard on the day the movers came, exploring the perimeter, and taking this picture - wondering what the next three years would bring.