First Week In

Today will mark the first week of living in our new house.  We had a lot of help from family (Bryon, Kristin, Jeremy, Maggie, and Adam) and friends (Jeff) to make the move last weekend about as smooth and seemless as it could be.  The weather cooperated by not giving us too much snow or too much cold, so it made the mid-December move bearable.  We spent the first few days afterwards unpacking, but have settled in nicely just in time for the holidays this week.  Christmas Eve at Dad’s was great, though a bit different this year after having lived in his house for the past 4+ months.  Christmas Day at Kristin’s was again fantastic – lots of food throughout the day and plenty of good seats to relax in while building up enough of a reserve to go back for another round.

Owning a house in Wisconsin in the winter comes with a few contingencies, however.  Every other day that we have lived here so far, I have had to shovel snow.  Perhaps it is because of the newness of owning a home and that it has been so long since I have had to shovel snow before, but I really don’t mind doing it.  Ask me again in another month and we’ll see if I feel the same way.  In fact, shoveling snow has accompanied some of the best moments (so far) living in the new house.  First, I have met the neighbors on both sides of our house, something that might be difficult to do in the middle of winter in Wisconsin.  The neighbors on our right are a ‘younger’ couple (early 40’s perhaps) with a few kids while the neighbor(s?) on our left appears to be retirees.  The neighbors on our right invited us to their New Year Eve party while the neighbor on our left has snowblowed our sidewalk all week for us.  When I spoke with him for the first time yesterday, he said that he moved from Jackson, Mississippi (I could not detect an accent, so I suspect it was some time ago) and that all of the neighbors help each other out when it comes to snow removal.  Who would think that shoveling snow would be a social event?  Only in Wisconsin, I guess.

Each time that I had been out shoveling this week, I had Ben to ‘help’ me out.  I had bought a ‘travel’ shovel for my car a few weeks back to help dig me out in-case I ever get stuck someplace, which happens to be the perfect size for Ben to shovel with.  As I made several passes in our driveway, Ben would follow along in my path.  It is very clear that Ben gets a lot of joy helping out doing this with me.  The only trouble I have is when I near completion and Ben will scatter snow onto places I have just cleared off.  It adds a few minutes to the job, but that is a price I gladly pay to spend more time with Ben outdoors.  The last time we were shoveling together (Christmas Eve), the neighbor kids came out (a boy of around 8 and a girl of around 5) and asked Ben to play with them.  They had a blast running around and climbing the snow banks and it was almost as much fun watching them.

For Ben, it truly has been the best and worst of times adjusting to the new house.  If you ask him if he likes his new house, he says “yes!” without any hesitation.  When you ask him why, he just responds “cause”.  Ben loves it ‘downstairs’, which is where we put all of his toys for him to play with.  He also enjoys watching me tend to the fireplace.  Ben has also taken to his new room quite nicely because I have yet to have a problem with him sleeping since we moved – he goes to sleep without much any complaint and he keeps a regular schedule (8pm – 7am), which is something he hasn’t done for months.  As for the worst of times, Ben had a fever to contend with the first few days living here, and he just picked up another fever yesterday, and was clearly in pain as he just wanted to be held.  I really hope this recent spell doesn’t last long because I would like to spend some more time outside with Ben enjoying the snow, while I still like the snow, that is.

We are having our first house guests over today.  Our friends from Janesville are planning to stop by this morning on the way to the Thai temple (only 10-15 minutes from our house) and this afternoon, after the Packer game, our Wisconsin friends from Alabama (does that make sense?) will visit us for dinner.  Ben was very excited about this yesterday, so I just hope he feels much better today so that he can enjoy the company.  On New Year’s Day, we are inviting more friends and family  over for a housewarming/New Year’s Day get-together where we plan on having BBQ from Alabama.  Just some things to look forward to – things that we can do now that we have our own house.  We are very excited.

Just one last thing to comment about while on the topic of things coming up.  It looks like we will be going back to Thailand again this summer.  Last year we spent 4 months there, this year, 2.5 months there, next year, perhaps 1.5 months there.  With a busy schedule this past year, which will likely only get worse in the coming months, we have a shorter window to work around this summer than in past summers.  With Jet working full-time again, that window even gets shorter for the time she can be there.  Assumption University has been gracious enough to tentatively schedule two classes for me to teach in June in Bangkok, which should be a great opportunity to be productive with work.  Just another thing to look forward to in the coming months.

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One Response to “First Week In”

  1. Linda and Donald Says:

    Thanks for remembering your Sweet Home Alabama. It sounds like you found the perfect neighborhood to replace Greystone. I was afraid that might not work out so great, but I’m glad to hear that so far, it is good. Now you have to teach them to wave to each other! Christmas here has had good times and bad times. Good times with family and friends, but a couple of deaths have been sad. We need some pictures soon.

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