it's finally starting to sink in, this whole thing about having a new home. i've been going to sleep and waking up in a strange new room for a week and a half, and i'm finally starting to remember even in my groggy states to lift my feet over the raised floor boards in the doorways. i'm getting the hang of the front door key and i remember now which bathroom switch is for the light, and which is for the fan.
we've already welcomed a handful of friendly faces, and it's been fun to show people around and get their reactions to the space. my favorite things include the great light in the front of the house, the deck, the beautiful old wood, and the room we have for visitors. i think there are plenty of other things to love about the new space, like a dining room and the enclosed back porch. until those spaces are really usable, they remain further down on my list.
the kitchen is starting to see what nate and i expect from it. we've made a few meals, and nate made a batch of cookies last night. here's what we've learned: we're not used to it at all. pots and pans seem to all be in the most counter-intuitive places, but we haven't yet figured out how to store them better. we took one step forward by moving the cutlery back into the kitchen and not in the built-in cupboard in the unusable dining room. two steps back for leaving the dish rack out all the time effectively cutting our surface space by one third. fridge is good, pantry is disorganized, and shelving, though abundant and seemingly custom fit to the space is not maximized, and there is plenty of space out of reach. one of our first purchases: a TWO-step step stool.
in order to take showers with some privacy, i rigged up a second shower curtain, cut to size, in the very large bathroom window. i still think frosted glass would be better. for the moment, the curtain also protects the window sill, which otherwise gets all splashed with water. we've noticed that the tile grout needs to be redone. well, the whole bathroom can be redone at that would be okay. something about the beige and dusty pink tile makes my skin crawl. that's something for a little farther down the road, of course.
the additional bedroom, which we're using to store books and desks and computers, is great. the smaller sofa fits in here and makes a cozy reading nook. before the end of the month we'll get our hands on an inflatable mattress to properly host our first scheduled overnight guest, my mom. we've got a couple of plants in there, but they are far from the windows and so they may be moved out before we kill them. i'll be considering ways to make the room a little more guest-friendly. i think this won't be a problem at all.
what else? well, we still haven't figured out how to store our bikes successfully. where do you put three bikes when both stairways up to the house or down to the basement are narrow, and the front entry area isn't big enough, the back entry isn't big enough, the garage has no security, and you don't want your bikes to be exposed to the elements?
with just two exceptions, i've been biking to and from work. this in some of the most insanely wet late june and july days i can recall. my reputation for being a fair-weather biker is on the line. lessons i've learned from biking in the rain: the rain layer does work; bring extra socks; bring extra undies; and don't be too afraid of the traffic - the drivers are more cautious than usual. the return trip is not very taxing until the lead up into teele square, a slow but constant grade gets you into the teele area, then there's two hills to traverse before turning onto our street. the last couple of minutes are what kill me - i arrive at the front stoop panting and sweaty, discombobulated with lungs heaving, heart racing, and temples pounding. when i conquer these hills, i will pump my tiny fists in the air, and i will shake up a bottle of champs and spray it all over myself.
so, the settling in is going well. we're identifying areas for improvement, finding the corners we love most, and getting adjusted to a new set of doorways, cabinet doors, and lights. and, at some point (hopefully before the end of the tour de france), i'll be able to hold a conversation as soon as i get home. if you swing by before then and i just gasp and wheeze, know that i'm trying to say, "welcome!"