It’s almost two months since we left for England — and what long months they’ve been. We lived through several weeks without furniture, and then our movers dumped 100-plus boxes on us before making a fast getaway, leaving us in moving-box chaos. Add a half-finished kitchen to that, a box-spring that wouldn’t quite fit up the stairs, and disturbingly wonky plumbing, and you can see why it’s been tough keeping things on an even keel for Sweetpea. And there’s been no time whatsoever for writing, which means my own keel is sadly off-kilter.

Late one weary night, my husband said that if he’d known how hard this move was going to be for our family, he probably would have voted against it. And I couldn’t help but agree.

But there are moments, already, when the whole venture feels worthwhile. I’ve never lived in a house that was so full of light. Some mornings I feel almost as though I were living by the beach — or maybe in an aviary, since the birds here sing all day long! On the way into town, I’m haunted by the scent of flowers I had half-forgotten in New England: jasmine and wisteria, and long golden chains of laburnum. And today a little boy in the local playgroup picked daisies for Sweetpea, who smiled and smiled and smiled.