So you may have noticed I hinted at some big transition changes coming up in reviewing our touring time with my grandparents this month (for more on this see my posts: playing tourist with the grandparents). Well here are am to explain : we are relocating!

As some of you may know since moving to upstate New York I have struggled to find teaching positions in my field. (see my posts: a teacher without a classroom) But at the beginning of this month I interviewed for an ESL teaching position at a Community College in a suburb of Rochester. I was offered the job the same day!  The next two days Luke and I had to deliberate over whether to accept the position because it would require moving and hour North before September. After much consideration and prayer I took the job and will start teaching after Labor Day.

I am very excited to be headed back in the ESL field and to work with a population I care so much about. Plus I am looking forward to working and networking with other teachers who feel the same way. I am ready to being back to working in a larger city with more diversity and opportunities. I have already had a collaborative meeting  teachers of the  course I will instructing  in the fall and have a orientation meeting at the end of August.

But between then and now there is so much to do ! We have already met with a relator and banks to discuss buying a house somewhere in Dansville; a town about 45 minutes South from Rochester and 30 minutes North of Bath where Luke works.

This is a huge overwhelming step for me. There are few places to rent in Dansville and the housing market here is affordable.  We are hoping that living in a quiet town where we can go to local small-town events will be good for us. But we are excited to hopefully have that lifestyle balanced by being closer to the big-city shopping, events, and restaurants.

We had our first house-hunting adventure yesterday (more of an update I’m sure on that to come). Once we choose a place and get the ball rolling on that we’ll have to start looking into cars because we are still sharing one. For more on this see my post: living with one care: the tire story revisited.

On top of all of this we are trying to find time to enjoy summer festivals and activities. I am doing everything I  need to to prepare for the intensive night writing class I am teaching next month in addition to prep for the semester long ESL class I will start this next fall.

So as you can see we are in the middle of a very busy and exciting summer of transitions.

How has you summer been going?

Living with one car; the tire story revisited

As promised, I will share the saga of our recent car drama. If you have been reading my blog for awhile then you know that Luke and I are currently sharing my little red Honda CRV. A few months ago, on a very chilly day in January the front tire went flat. To read the whole story click here:  A lesson in Independence .


Jump ahead to St. Patrick’s Day

Luke and I decide to take a Sunday drive into the hilly neighborhoods of Corning. As we worked are way up  the hills  we noticed the car fighting to change gears. When we drove home we noticed a burning smell. I decided this was a sign to finally have the transmission looked at.

Wednesday March 13th:

I took the car into a transmission place. While testing they noticed (as Luke and I had) the car struggled initially getting into drive and shifting between 3/4 gear. They asked if the check engine light had come on and I said no. So we set up an appointment for the next week for them to replace the fuel filter and engine mounts. As they were finishing up, one of the mechanics commented on the tires.

He said that the front tires were an inch bigger than the back ones which were almost bare! This is a big problem because my car is all wheel drive. I had been putting strain on the engine and transmission for 6 weeks, dragging around small worn out back tires! I always get upset at myself for such mistakes, but everyone put blame on the un-named tire company. So I showed myself a little grace-I know it may seem a small step but it’s a big deal for me! (see my self-judgement transcend topic).

That night as we pull into the parking lot or our budget class the check engine light turned on!

My car this winter in the snow

My car this winter in the snow

Thursday March 20th:

I call a different tire store and set up an appointment to have the back tires replaced.

Friday March 21rst:

The tire store replaces the tires and tell me surprise, surprise, that the check engine light was a transmission issue. So I call back the transmission place and they tell me the car should be fine ,but no guarantees, until our appointment next Tuesday.

Tuesday March 26th:

After only an hour at the transmission shop one of the mechanics drives me home.  A few hours later I get a call that they are going to need more time to figure out the problem. So Luke calls Enterprise to pick me up from home. I go to their office, sign paper work and drive to the grocery store in a little rented grey KIA.

Wednesday March 27th:

We hear back from the transmission place. They needed to take out the transmission, figure out what the problem is, fix it, and put it back together. They estimated it would take five business days and they would have it fixed by Monday.

Monday: April 1st

I call the transmission place. They tell me they are putting the transmission back together and it will be another day. I call Enterprise and tell them we need the KIA another day.

Tuesday: April 2nd

I call the transmission place, they tell me they are test-running the car and need another day. I call Enterprise.

Wednesday April 3rd

The transmission place calls me, they tell me they discovered it was the solenoids causing problems with the 4th gear burning. They need another day . I call  .  . .  you get the idea.

Thursday April 4th:

Three days later than I thought I finally get the good news call: the car is ready! I go to pick it up, pay them a good chunk of change and leave in my own car!! When Luke gets off work we take the rental KIA back to Enterprise.


Thus endeth the saga of the car drama ( I hope).

I write all of this not to complain or to make my reader’s feel discouraged. Instead I am honestly sharing because this car saga challenged me to learn patience, independence, to show myself grace, and how to deal with what is out of my control. In the end stayed safe, the car was fixed, and the only set back was financial. But don’t worry we’ll recover. 😉

How has life challenged you recently? What are you learning from it?

I’m a New Yorker?!

I am beginning to learn that there are stages of adjustment when you move. The first I would call “settling-in”. It’s in this time that basics are established.  And after four months of transition the “settling-in” process is finally over.

For us that required some simple things like adjusting to time differences, weather, food options, schedule, locations of needed resources etc. But then there were also more complicated items. Luke has done all this before and the second we got to our little rented home in Corning he was busy calling and emailing companies to get our : gas, electric, cable, water, trash, and washer and dryer installed etc.

Last but not least on our “settleing-in” list was the DMV.  I ended up going to the DMV three times! Once to get Luke a NY license, once to get me a NY license, and last of all to get my car registered.

When my new license came in the mail it felt strange to see a proper twenty-something face staring back at me on the blue ID . My yellow California license still had a 16-year-old tanned version of me with a red bar showing what year I would be turning 21. My new grown up NY driver’s license was reminder not only that my last name has changed but also that I have really moved to the opposite coast!

This isn’t the only reminder.  In the cloudy northwest I proudly represented the sunnier state of California with my cherry red car with red and white Hawaiian seat covers and floor mats. We got my CRV used but the owners before were Californians. So it really hit me strange when Luke replaced the California plates for yellow and blue New York ones. (In case your wondering the Hawaiian seat covers are long gone but the floor mats are still getting good use).


All of sudden I have a New York car!  It’s days of being beach bound filled with sand (CA) or covered in pine needles and cherry blossoms (WA) is over (for now). Instead my car has experienced its first real winter covered in snow, defrosted and frosted over again and again, covered in road salts, and icicles.


We spend a lot of our time in our cars; they are often our second home. My little CRV has been up and down the west coast I-5 several times on trips to and from college. And recently it crossed the country towed on the back of the Penske truck full of my belongings.

Who knows what type of travels/road trips will come next for my car? Or what other license plates or state driver’s license I may have in the future.  But for right now as far as anyone can tell: I am a New Yorker!