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You know you live in a small town when...

This move has taken us into a whole new world, really.  We both have always lived in a city big enough to have "household mail delivery," or mail delivered directly to your home, and that is why we failed to ask about how we might be getting our mail in our new house, and that is why we spent an entire week trying to figure out where our mail was going.  There are no boxes on the houses here, not even curbside boxes, and the banks of boxes the entryways to the subdivision didn't have house numbers on them (and we had no box key).  We finally gave over to the embarrassment of not knowing such a thing and called our local post office where the nice postman replied "oh yeah, the first owners left their key here at the desk in an envelope marked with a C."  And if that isn't small town enough for you, then how about this:  when we went to the post office to pick up the key there was only one person working, not because the others were on break, SmallTown1.jpgbut because there's only room for one person to work behind the desk (or in the whole building for that matter), AND... there was no line.  That quick visit left us with not only a key to our box but also with a hand drawn map complete with instructions, and a coloring book for Calvin.  So after naptime we embarked on a journey, hand drawn map in hand, to locate our box.  It has a nice location nestled between a neighborhood pond and the grocery store, and after a little additional exploring we stopped in to pick up fresh ingredients for dinner.  How very European of us.  This could become a habit.

And how about one more small town anecdote?  Before our actual move we called what we thought was the listed number to put the waterbill in our name and were gently told that in order to take care of such a thing she would need to "call Brenda, down at the town hall" or some such a thing.  And when she did call "down to some such a thing," SmallTown2.jpgBrenda turned out to be a real person with no automated answering system and didn't' even put us on hold.  And she also turned out to be a wealth of friendly, if unsolicited, additional information.  Before hanging up the phone (five minutes later), not only was the water bill put in our name, but we also knew when and how our garbage would be picked up, when and how to do recycling (although they are out of containers and don't know when they'll get more in), and the best route to get to several choice parks in the village.  Thank you Brenda, for reminding us what real personal customer service is all about.  We love it here already.


The house does not make the home

A good friend warned us that moving is rated as one of the AHouseIsNotAHome1.jpgmost stressful moments in life, ranking right up there with getting married or having a baby, but we have to disagree.  We think that's a deplorable understatement - moving seems way more stressful than marriage and childbirth combined.  It could be the monetary strain, or the physical one, or maybe it's the act of condensing one's whole life into boxes AHouseIsNotAHome3.jpgand hoping it makes the transition in tact, but we think it goes even beyond that.  We think it's less the act of moving and more the process of being between homes that elevates the stress level so greatly.  With our old house, once familiar and comfortable as an old shoe, now stripped bare and left for the taking, the new house has become our family base. But we are not yet familiar with the sights, sounds, or smells of the new house, and in some ways our first week here has felt a little displacing, like being on vacation and expecting go home any day now.  Glimpsing our possessions settled into their new arrangements has been unsettling as well - familiar but in the wrong AHouseIsNotAHome2.jpgcontext, like seeing a face at church that you had previously known only at work.  We truly love our new house - we love the layout, the colors, the deck, the neighborhood, the location - but it will take some time for it to fully become our home.  In the meanwhile we find ourselves marveling at and enjoying the new (the open kitchen, the larger bedrooms, the wood floors), but clinging to the old (the dogs and cats in AHouseIsNotAHome.jpgthe same old sunshine, our usual coffee in our usual mugs, Calvin's same toys on the same shelves, and hey - we painted his new bedroom to match the old) while we go through the seemingly unending process of unpacking our familiars.  We'll know we've come to an end point when Calvin no longer exclaims "new house" whenever we pull into the driveway.

More pictures in the New House Process alubm. 


The move is going well.

TheMoveIsGoingWell.jpg We're in the new house and absorbed in the process of unpacking, which means we'll have pictures to share very soon.


Happy Easter

HappyEaster200801.jpgWe wish you all a blessed Easter.  We celebrated Easter weekend the hard way - by moving into our new house.  Don't get us wrong, we are happy to be here, but instead of searching for eggs we're searching for, well, just about everything we own.  And, since it is a bigger house, it takes nearly twice as long to find everything.  But in addition to moving heavy furniture (in the wake of the first post spring snow storm, mind you) we also celebrated in some more traditional ways.  Though we didn't actually get dressed up for the holiday this year, Calvin did at least try on his new suit, which he will be wearing to a very HappyEaster2b.jpgimportant wedding in just a few weeks.  On Saturday, after the moving of said heavy furniture, we were able to share a wonderful dinner with Calvin's second cousin, Iris, and her family.  And on Sunday morning Calvin did get to partake in his first ever hunt for colorful eggs.  Ask Calvin what he did, though, and he's likely to tell you that he hunted for pretzels, because that's what we put inside each plastic egg, and that's what he yelled out each time he found one.  We weren't even sure that at his HappyEaster3b.jpgage he would be able to grasp the concept of egg (or pretzel) searching, but once again we underestimated the powers of food.

More Easter pictures here, and more spiffy suit picture here.


Ha Ha Ha

Did we say spring???