Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Settling in" in Michigan

Exactly one week ago this time (8:30 p.m.) we two were in bed and sound asleep. Dead tired. After a frightful day of travel we just hauled in our gear, made up our bed, brushed our teeth, and "crashed" (into bed). But truthfully, to re-count the hours of this past week would require lots of pages. And words. The week has been not only busy, but oh, so fulfilling. And rich. Lots and lots of wonderful people we've met; lots of places we've been; and lots and lots of merchandise we've purchased. It's a good thing we brought extra money or we'd be skimping like paupers. Our first visit to the grocery store cost plenty--just buying the basics! And as you can expect, we skipped over quite a few things so went back and got them the next trip.

But in terms of living quarters we hit a bonanza. The living quarters here consist of two separate apartment houses, placed end-to-end. One is for the boys; one is for the girls. We live in the girls' house, in a spacious two-bedroom apartment that is well-painted, and well-furnished. On one side of our apartment is a balcony; on the other side is a narrow back yard behind which is a dense hardwood forest that extends northward maybe one-half mile. And through "our" forest runs the smallish (maybe 30-feet wide) Red Cedar River that is apparently not chock-full of fish. "Drats!" Utilities here, are free to us and so too are the laundry facilities, and the rent is sub-par. Best yet, our apartment complex hires a maintenance man who clears the snow and keeps the place up.

As for wildlife we have not seen much. We hear there are raccoons that raid our dumpster, and tree squirrels too. Today we saw our first-ever-in-our-lifetime Great Snowy Owl, but aside from some of the humans walking the streets, all else seems pretty tame. I forget to whom I offered, but I suggested I might catch him a wolverine so he could keep it for a pet. I may reneg.

Right across the street is Michigan State University, home of the famed "Spartans." But lest that impress you, keep in mind that with a campus as physically huge as this one is, "across the street" probably applies to many, many, many residences. During our preparation for the move to the snowy north, we heard horror stories about the "balmy" Michigan winters. And while it does get cold here, so far we've not seen anything too outrageous. I think tomorrow's "high" will be about 10 degrees, but shucks, that's not so bad--especially when you get to spend most of the day indoors.

This past week has not been horribly filled with "must do" obligations. A few mandatory commitments, for sure, but at the end of each day it is astonishing how many incidental "things" and/or visitors pop in and gobble up the time. Example: I thought there would be plenty of time for planning lessons, but others deceive themselves too. Accordingly, all day long I have been scrambling to prepare my lesson for tomorrow night at seven. Luckily I've got all day tomorrow (Wednesday) or I might be embarrassed. Luckily, I have but one lesson to give during each week.

Such an entry as this "rambler" is could rave on ad-infinitum, but why let it? If you have questions, ask and I will answer. Otherwise, I will wrap this up and let you sleep--so that I can go and do likewise. Love, John

1 comment:

Thomas and Melissa said...

John-

I love reading what your write. You are a poet by my standard. Thanks for the entry, Michigan sounds beautiful. We miss you on this side of the Mississippi though, so take care or yourself and Ranelle too. We will look foward to reading about your adventure soon! Melissa