Settling In

We have been in our rental home in Centralia for a little over a week and it’s amazing what has gotten done in such as short amount of time.

The road trip went well.  Kira loved the car rides, rest stops, and adapted quickly to the  routine. We found several pet friendly hotel chains including Super 8 and Quality Inn that made it easier with our pet.

We arrived Sunday afternoon the 13th after five full days on the road. We got keys to the home, and met up with my mother and in-laws who helped us unpack the moving truck.

With their help, mainly Luke and John, we got the truck completely unpacked before dark on Sunday. Monday was spent organizing the boxes and unpacking the essentials. By the end of that day we had the kitchen mostly unpacked and furniture arranged in our room and the living room/dining room.

Although this home is much smaller than our Wayland home, it is still larger then the home we had in Corning, and we have enough garage space and attic room for all of our boxes. The only things that will be missed are the dishwasher and microwave. But we’ve lived without both of them before.

We gave the in-laws a tour of the area on Tuesday then they returned home. My mother stayed the rest of the week to help me organize the house. Together we were able to get the house cleaned, organize the boxes that were left, and take care of a few “new address and state” related business items while Luke started his new job.

Even though I have lived most of my life in the suburbs, the past two years of quiet country life has definitely changed me.

We are only a block or two from the college, there is a day-care around the corner, and we are only a few streets away from old downtown Centralia. All of this makes for easy access to a lot of stores, but it also increases the street traffic and noises outside. Speaking of noise, since we are in “hub city” we also hear freight trains at all hours of the day.

Again these are only temporary adjustments. In the mean time it is hard to believe we are ten to fifteen minutes away from all that we could need: restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacy, gas stations, the freeway, the hospital, Luke’s work, and we are not far from entertainment like a movie theatre, a bowling alley, mini golf, and a roller rink. Plus we are now in the same time zone as family and friends, making it easier to find time to talk and Skype.

We are beyond grateful and blessed for the help we received getting here and getting settled in, and for our new home in Centralia WA.

 

Moving . . . into another Transition

If it seems that I have been absent from this blog for awhile you are right. So. . . it’s been over a month since any blog posts. Sorry, about that.

unknown

But now it is fall, a season of changing leaves and big changes for the Greenes. Ready to hear why my blog has been stalled: we are moving!

Luke and I have been living on the East Coast for almost four years.  We started this blogging adventure soon after moving to stay in touch with friends and family.

After four years of marriage living more than a thousand miles away it is time to move “home”, which for us is the Northwest. We are ready to be near family in an environment that is familiar to us.

This has been a plan long in the making.  Although we have enjoyed visits from family this summer, most of our time has been spent checking off our lengthy to-do list for this transition.

In many ways that hard work is behind us. Part of July and most of August for Luke was spent applying to and interviewing with employers all the while trying to keep up with his current job while others went on vacations. At the same time, we had a lengthy list of house projects to complete before putting it on the market. So every weekend was packed with trips to Lowes and house work.

Unknown-1

But our house is now on the market, it makes this long process real when you have a for sale sign in front.

unknown

And just last week Luke accepted a job offer in Centralia Washington. So now we know where we are moving to. We are blessed that this will be only a few hours of travel from family and not a whole day in a plane (with jet lag).

Meanwhile I just started my last semester of teaching here. My employers gave me the opportunity to work alongside a co-teacher, providing me with a chance to work while also giving me the freedom to leave before the semester ends. I am also now looking into jobs in the Centralia area for the Spring.

So there it is: we are moving and into another transition. And now that you all know, you will be updated as we move forward.

I’m Back

I’m back after my two month long hiatus from writing. It has been a very busy past two months trying to take on projects around the house, fighting car problems (yes still), adjusting to a still new job, among other things.

So here is an update:

IMG_3565IMG_2774

 

Moving: We moved into our new home moving van and all the weekend of our Anniversary October 11-12th. Fortunately we had the help of my brother and his wife who drove all the way from Tennessee to help us.

All of our larger items fit neatly into the moving truck with the help of some of Luke’s friends on Saturday afternoon. We were able to drive it all up to our new house in Wayland NY and unload the bed so our guest had somewhere to sleep at our new home that night.

IMG_3568IMG_3571

The next day; our anniversary, we unloaded the truck and returned it to Corning. That night we celebrated with a double date at Red Robin. The next day I was able to play tourist with my brother and his wife while Luke worked then Matt and Stina left in the evening. We were so grateful for their help and that they were around to take pictures even though we were distracted and in our moving clothes.

IMG_2775IMG_2777

Since moving into our home we have been unpacking boxes and creating a list for projects. We have gotten most of our boxes unpacked, done some cleaning, and got our new-to-us piano tuned. But some of our projects have been interrupted by weekends of taking both the CRV and the 300m in for repairs and maintenance which of course has been frustrating for both Luke and I.

Our first house project is a dishwasher! You may remember if you have read my blogs for awhile that I have been without a dishwasher for the past two years. For a couple that enjoys baking and cooking this has meant many sticky dishes filling the sink. With some time looking around we finally found a dishwasher we knew would be great for us. Then in the past weekend or two Luke has been cutting out a hole where cabinets used to be on the right side of our kitchen sink to fit in our dishwasher.

IMG_3607IMG_3614

We have been to Lowes several times to buy electrical wiring and piping for the installation with the guidance via Skype from Luke’s father who is in construction. The dishwasher is being delivered today (we hope) so our project for the Thanksgiving weekend is to get it installed. We will fill you in on progress with that soon!

IMG_3615

As for work: I am finally to the place in the semester where I am no longer creating new lesson plans, class activities, or worksheets. As any teacher will tell you the first time teaching a new course is always the hardest because you have to not only adjust to the routine and expectations but also create your own set of lesson plans and worksheets etc. for your students. Next semester will be much easier. But from now until December 12th all I have left is grading; which means more time to prepare for and enjoy the holidays.

IMG_2776

So that is a start to updating you on my absence the past two months. I hope to get back into a writing routine very soon. What have you been doing while I was gone?

 

Over due Update: Closing on the House

So I know it has been more than a month since I have written and I hope in the next few weeks to take the time to explain the many reasons why. But before I do I am excited to say we have finally closed on our house!!

We were supposed to close on September 12th but ended up waiting for the sellers to get a survey done of the property and then for the lawyer we are working with (required for NY state instead of an escrow company) to take care of the title. At the end of every week we waited impatiently to find out if we could set a closing date to sign paperwork.

images-3

Then finally last week we got all paperwork in and we could set a closing date. The hard part then was figuring out if I was going to get a sub or if Luke was going to take a half day of work in order to make this happen.  In the end Luke took a half day yesterday from work and we went up to the house around noon to do a final walk through. The roof of the house and front yard are covered in leaves as the many trees on the property and around it are turning a bright yellow then falling to the ground. (I guess it’s time to get a leaf blower and ladder)

.images-10

We were told originally that the sellers would be leaving some furniture and other items in the house. So we were curious what was left that we would either keep or have to try to haul away. So we were surprised when we arrived to find the house completely bare minus a few curtains. At the same time we were finally able to see the true square footage of the house; it felt so much larger! We also had to rearrange where we had planned in our minds to put furniture now that we could see where the intake and heating vents were in the floors (which were covered by rugs or furniture before).

Unknown-3

The only thing missing: the microwave. So overall it went well and we were promised a check to cover the microwave they took. We went to sign paperwork around three back in Corning at the lawyers office. We signed mountains of paperwork, were handed all of our housing information including survey of the property, and most important the keys to the house!

images

Afterwards reality hit: we have this beautiful empty house that we need to move into! But we did take a small break from planning how to get all of our stuff from point A to point B to celebrate with a late dinner of prime rib.

So that’s the update for now. I promise there is much more to come as I try to catch everyone up on the last -more-than-a-month of my absence including pictures of our first home!

Relocation

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?

Patience: giving myself time

We live in an impatient world. We are used to instant gratification or easy access to all commodities we would need (and almost all we would want). We are constantly being told we deserve the best, fastest service in every industry from drive-thru coffee, vending machines for movies, to self-checkouts at grocery store.

images Unknown-5

This makes it rather difficult to teach, learn, or live-out any form of patience. Patience is more than a virtue-it is a mostly forgotten way of life. There are many areas I desire to learn to live out patience, but today I am writing about patience with myself.

As you probably know by now, I am working on transcending this issue of self-judgement. (see self-judgement a story definition) I wrongly accuse myself for circumstances out of my control. I expect the world of myself. So you can imagine I do not show myself much patience.

Unknown

When I moved this past November to New York, I was like a dog chasing it’s tail. Luke started a job right away. But I had hours upon hours by myself, with no particular agenda or aim. I kept trying to accomplish everything and anything but got nowhere. Slowly I began to discover what roles/responsibilities to take on: to maintain the home and to support Luke as he worked. But I expected to find a job,  set up the home, find a friend network, get involved in church and be established within the first two months. (If any of you have moved  you realize how impractical these expectations were.)

IMG_2937

my pocket watch necklace

IMG_2940

The truth is, I was not ready to take on the world the second that we moved. I needed time. Time to adjust to dramatic change, to let go of the life I had in California. Time to embrace life here in New York, to adjust to married life away from family and friends. Everyone told me to embrace this break, to enjoy it: after a chaotic year I deserved it. But that was hard for me to hear. I love having a schedule, having routine, feeling involved and connected.

Once I began to embrace the time I had,  a flexible routine formed. Now six months into marriage and more than 5 months here in New York, some of my expectations have been fulfilled; (see spring is coming) the home is (mostly) set up,  the name changing paperwork complete (see Becoming Mrs. ____________), and we are getting involved in church.

Unknown-3

Still my patience is being challenge all over again as I work through job searching. It is a challenge to find a job in a state where you have no connections. Job searching feels often like a rush and waiting game. You find a position you are interested in, you turn in the paperwork and forms-then you wait. If the door closes then you start over. If the door opens you set up time for an interview and wait. Then you have then interview and wait. It can be an exhausting process of elimination.

At times I worry about having a more than 6 month long jobless gap on my resume. But I have to believe the right job won’t care. I have to keep moving forward toward what is right in front of me.

Unknown-4

 What I struggle to see is that giving myself time is not wasting time. By not insisting that I accomplish my daunting list of expectations right away, I learn flexibility, to not try to control what is out of my control,to trust, and that time to learn more about myself is a blessing. Being patient with myself is recognizing the time in the waiting room is not wasted. Giving myself the gift of time helps me understand myself better and it is in the waiting that I am prepared for what I am waiting for.

Any of you waiting on something important?

Do you struggle with our instant-gratification society?

In what area of your life do you want to learn patience?

Living without a dishwasher

IMG_2866

The sink and counter after a weekend of un-washed dishes

We had all of three days to find our new home this past November (no pressure). At the end of the weekend, sitting in Cracker Barrel we talked through our options and chose on our little 750 sq. ft. yellow rented home in Corning.

Jump forward to the week of Thanksgiving. As we started reacquainting ourselves with our new home, I asked Luke “um . . . where is the dishwasher?”. The answer: there is no dishwasher or garbage disposal! I guess it isn’t a huge surprise after seeing so many apartments and houses in a short weekend that we forgot that detail.

IMG_2709

So for the past five months I have learned to live without a dishwasher. At first Luke and I would wash the dishes together after a meal, giving us some time to talk. But then Luke’s work training ended and he wasn’t getting home at 4:30-5pm everynight. So both the cooking and dishwashing responsibilities were turned  over to me.

IMG_2708

Most days I am left in a cycle of : washing last night’s dishes, any dishes from Luke’s lunches or mine, any cutting boards etc. used to prep. dinner, and then I  decide whether to clean up the dinner dishes or leave them for the next day. This can equal to 3 loads of dishes! (Although Luke does notices (about once a week) when I need a break from the scrubbing and soapy hands.)

But I dread Mondays the most. Because often I  choose to take the weekend off and just rinse the dishes, leaving leaving them in the sink for the next week.

IMG_2864

Monday load

Because of this, I think differently about what defines a dirty dish: utensils, cups, or bowls may be used more than once  (if they are rinsed out) before being washed. And as much as I love making wonderful desserts and complicated sticky, saucy dishes, I do not like the mess that awaits afterward (neither are Luke or myself clean cooks/bakers).

One great help is my dish soap. I have already dry-skin and found that 2/3 loads of dishes a day was causing my skin to crack so I changed over to Palmolive soft touch and even then I need hand lotion.

IMG_2711

Even though I do not like doing so many dishes and digging out old food from the sink drain I realize this is merely an inconvenience. With some perspective I remember that many families of the world do not have dishwashers, garbage disposals, or even enough plates and utensils to let them pile up for a few days. I should be grateful I have a washing machine and dryer or clean water to drink, cook, and clean with.

So although we will probably double check for a dishwasher/garbage disposal for the next place we live, I will for now be grateful for clean water, hand lotion, my dish soap, and my dish rack.

IMG_2712

a rare picture of the dish rack “empty”

Do you have any complaints(tasks) that with some perspective could merely be inconveniences?