Yesterday I celebrated my third birthday here in Vallo, and was lucky enough to spend the evening in the company of my family. It was a far cry from how I spent my first birthday, a mere month after I'd arrived here.
It surprises me sometimes that I've already spent two years of my life in Vallo, and equally surprising that it has only
been two years. So much has changed from those first early weeks, not least of all that I now spend my evenings with my kind, thoughtful husband and can watch Temeraire excel at his studies (even as I regret that I can provide him with very little instrumental help). I've made a good many friends, to whom I'm very grateful, and whom I hope I will never learn to take for granted. And while Vallo's whims have removed a great many people from my life as well, I am glad, very glad, to have known them.
I am not often so sentimental, and I hope you'll none of you hold my sudden loquaciousness against me. I just mean to say that I am filled with gratitude, to the bottom of my heart, that I am fortunate enough to spend my fortieth year here with all of you.