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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Settling In

Yesterday marked the first full week that we have officially lived in our new home! The week was full of a lot of unpacking, home repairs, hunting for a mower, yard work, dental work, and a trip to the Windy City. 

Sunday through Tuesday is all a blur of slowly unpacking all of our garbage in between feeding children and breaking up fights. We focused on the kitchen so that meals would be easier, but we kept finding more boxes that go in there. It’s nearly set up now, so that’s a relief. 

Every room is partially done, so that our home is functional enough, but still chaotic enough that we’re all a little disoriented still. Maybe after this week it will feel more normal. 

Wednesday, I had to attend a dissertation defense in Chicago. It was for one of my students, so I felt a little guilty that I had been so preoccupied with my move while she prepared for the big day, but she passed easily, with no glaring concerns or comments. I tried out my new train for the commute, and it seems like it will work out just fine. The bike route is along busier roads than I am used to, but it’s about the same distance as in our previous home. 

Thursday, I was determined to purchase a mower. The grass in the back yard was getting scary long. One of our neighbors was kind enough to mow the front lawn for us while we get settled, so that bought us some time, at least. Given the size of our back yard, I could not see making a normal push mower work unless I wanted to spend several hours each week on it. So, I found a relatively affordable used riding mower for sale. I went to check it out, and when it was clear that it was too heavy to get into the van, I went to rent a truck. They did not rent any trailers, though, so I improvised and rented a couple of painter’s walkways to use as ramps to get the thing in the truck. That worked out better than I expected. In any case, after some driving around, I got it to our home in one piece. 

The mower adventure took up most of Thursday, and then I had to leave in the afternoon to have my third root canal of the last year. I decided to have it done by my same doctor near our old house, so it was a bit of a drive. This one had not been causing me any pain since about April, but I figured I should get it done before there were any problems. It went about as well as a stupid root canal can go, and then I was back to do some more work at home. 

I have been working on several small home projects since we got here. The previous owners left several simple repairs undone, so I’m getting things up to my standards. I leveled the fridge, corrected the hot and cold water flow for our faucet, repaired a ceiling fan switch, corrected some electrical outlets that were wired incorrectly, replaced our doorbell button, replaced a shower diverter, and several other jobs like that. This morning, I planted some irises around the tree in our front yard (we got them for free from a neighbor). I keep thinking I should just focus on unpacking, but I suppose I enjoy the little repairs more, especially after spending the last month or so packing all of our crap. I can use the variety.

Kira goes to work tomorrow back in our old town. She’ll slowly transition to shifting her business to Indiana.

The kids seem pretty thrilled with the new stomping grounds. Merritt surprised me with his transition to sharing a room with Carver. I thought he would be really nervous about being in a new house, but he seems to understand that this is our new home. He’s been sleeping really well at night. He’s also making a lot of good progress with vocabulary. He has even started to say Carver’s name, which comes out as “Pah-ver.”

We’ve met several of our neighbors, in part while we were visiting garage sales over the weekend. They have so far been lovely, and very welcoming. Everyone comments on the great schools in the area, and all generously offer help if we need anything.

At this point, we’re excited for it to feel like home, but still sort of seems like we’re staying with relatives while we live out of suitcases. I’m sure it will all get more familiar with time.

We’re excited to have Independence Day coming up—especially in a state with more relaxed laws about fireworks! We bought some at a local store, and the kids are all looking forward to lighting things on fire this Wednesday!

The heat for the last two days has made for a miserable experience. We’re all tired, grumpy, and the kids’ appetites have been small, but today is at least less humid and the wind is bringing some relief.

I’d better get back to it. These boxes aren’t going to unpack themselves…


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