Saturday, June 26, 2010

Getting Settled

I've been hoping to have a chance to catch everyone up on the last six weeks, but there's always something; traveling and preparing for workshops, meetings, work-related correspondence and material development, community band rehearsal or concerts, weddings (not ours, don't worry, but it's certainly June), unpacking, a little socializing, and lots of "us" time as Brent and I adjust to living in the same house.

It's only been several weeks, so it's hard to tell how the rest of our first year (that's the tough one, right?) will go, but so far it's been sort of magical. I feel we've both been very accommodating and sensitive to the other's needs, and we're settling into routines and habits that take into account both our preferences, interests, and our combined budget. We have gratitude on our side; we often have to remind ourselves that this is our life now, that at the end of a few days or a week one or the other of us doesn't have to leave. We're both surprisingly tolerant for people who have lived alone for so long, and it's been fun to put the puzzle of our combined belongings together bit by bit.

May was a month of both stress and absolute relief at once... our stuff arrived and with it my ability to prepare meals, hang clothes, and CLEAN. But I'm also so sick of the smell of cardboard -- boxes are still stacked in the living room, garage, and office -- that I can't wait for the rest of our stuff to find a place here or go to the curb for charity collection so we can get rid of the rest of it; cardboard in a humid climate (everyone insists this is unusual this time of year) starts to smell strongly sour, like wet wood chips that are beginning to decompose.

Since there were so many transitions going on in May Brent didn't have time to job hunt beyond quick perusals of online job boards and introductory letters to local publications. We hadn't seen each other in four months so we felt we deserved some time together, which is how he wound up coming to Tahoe with me twice in two weeks and home to Wyoming with me for a cousin's wedding (and very necessary family fix), which took up the last week of May.

We've been bike riding on the riverfront trails, stocking our pantry with bulk basics and trying to resist the strong temptation of a multitude of great restaurants nearby, and figuring out how to maximize the cross-breeze through the house so we can minimize the use of the air conditioner. The power bill has been low -- $25 average; in fact all our utility bills have been much lower than everyone warned us -- but as someone who works in the water industry I can't bear the thought of the water that air conditioning units evaporate when allowed to run for hours. The house stays very cool until about 5 p.m., when the thermostat creeps up towards 80 (it's been in the low 90's at the hottest part of the day, which everyone tells us is also unusual), but it starts to cool down outside about 6 or 7, which makes an evening stroll (it's usually after 9 before we get around to it, sometimes as late as 11) just lovely. We can open the windows about 7 and turn on the fan in the bedroom and sleep very comfortably.

So we're adjusting to life in Sacramento. I'm enjoying my job, and the more I learn the more I understand that the returns will be directly related to what I put into it. I'm encountering a vast range of personalities in my colleagues, the people in the communities we serve, and in my community band (which is in Roseville, about 20 miles north; long story, which I'll get to eventually) and our neighborhood in general. It's been challenging and fascinating.

Because of the organizational skills I've had to develop in my new line of work, I've caught myself making outlines for blog posts. No kidding. Also lists of blog posts, their order and priority, which photos to include with which stories, etc. I'm disappointed by the occasional large gaps in this digital, online record of my life for the past five years or more, and I've come to the conclusion that blogging isn't something I'm prepared to sacrifice just yet. It just needs to be moved up on the list. Life is a juggling act.

I'll leave you with some footage of Lake Tahoe, which is neither northern California's largest freshwater lake, nor its prettiest, in my opinion, but for whatever reason it's an icon of the environmental movement for lifelong residents here, and I can respect that. I see more "Keep Tahoe Blue" bumper stickers than anything else. So without further delay:

I've conducted two workshops in North Tahoe. It's no Bear Lake or Middle Piney, because it's crowded and almost completely surrounded by structures, but it sure beats having workshops in Visalia (feedlot country).

This is where we stay in North Tahoe.

Tahoe in May.


Anonymous mister anchovy said...

Glad to see you're settling in. I've never been to Sacramento, but I have been in the Sierras west of Tahoe. A few years ago, I drove out there to attend a button accordion camp that happens near the tiny town of Norden Ca. I managed to spend a day fly fishing the Little Truckee River while I was there, and it was one lovely trout stream.

June 26, 2010 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger A said...

It's sort of wonderful here. There are several dozen rivers in northern California and I drove over six of them in the last three days alone, including the Eel, Trinity, and Sacramento rivers. LOTS of great fishing, if I had time to stop! But now I know where to go on weekends.

June 30, 2010 at 4:06 PM  

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