The drive across the country was both comical and wonderful. The weather was beautiful – windy, but warm. We were able to spend 3 nights and two full days with Brian’s mother, visiting Niagara falls and celebrating her birthday with her. That was a special moment, as birthdays are tremendously important to her, and we’ve never been able to be with her for hers.
The drive from Buffalo to Davenport IA was absurdly long, particularly because of a detour made longer by missing some signs to get back to I80. We ended up going through Chicago in the dark at rush hour, and I found myself grateful for the truckers who allowed me to move across 4 lanes of traffic to an exit we needed when the car drivers were no help at all!
The next day we kept it short, and arrived in Omaha in time to spend a few hours at the zoo which had been recommended to us, have dinner, and then swim in the pool at the hotel. Another long day the next day got us here.
The comical part was just the concept of 7 of us (me and the 4 kids, my mom, and a classmate), as well as our cat, in our Rav4. Add the minimal baggage and plenty of snack food, and that car was a true clown car. It was a new geometry problem each day when I tried to repack. I had the luxury of being the driver, and everyone else had about enough space to wiggle their little toe occasionally. Luckily we all kept our senses of humor for most of it, we didn’t lose the cat, and we managed very well.
Life here is taking shape. There are still lots of boxes, and Ifinally got most of the kids’ clothes into their bureaus, so they don’t have to ask me to find clean clothes in the morning. Imagine all 4 kids needing help finding clean clothes, and you realize the great value of this small step forward.
Clay is very much enjoying his new middle school, and says that the kids here are very friendly and accepting. There is a beginner orchestra at his school, which he has joined, and he played with them in their first concert. Lyle is tired, doing full day kindergarten, but is clearly quite happy. Glen is homeschooling temporarily (his choice), and as a result was able to spend an hour last week building a snowman with Anne in the backyard. They couldn’t have been happier. I am finding foods from local sources, not as local as I had in the Upper Valley, but good quality and recognizable sources that I feel comfortable with for now. That’s good for my sense of well being. And Brian is very much enjoying and appreciating this new job with much greater security and the sense that he can focus on the work with less worry about funding.
The now very snowy Rockies feature prominently in our views everywhere we go – minimally, over the rooftops out our bedroom window, tall and majestic from many, many points along our daily travels. There is much that we miss, but we are finding many things to enjoy in our new and different circumstances.