15 February 2013

Settling In

Welcome back. I arrived at my new home with a head cold but remarkably chipper for an old guy who just drove solo from Virginia to Wisconsin. Vicki hugged and ushered me up the stairs to our garage apartment, and with her visiting sister, unloaded my suitcase and one layer of the car’s contents--a good start.
Despite many summer visits, this is my first chance
 to see the farmhouse and garage in winter.

The next morning, I went right out and jogged, but I didn’t leave the apartment again for a week. It wasn’t my cold that kept me in, it was the cold. The daily temperatures never lost sight of 0 deg F, dropping below zero when I would normally be jogging. (Never mind the wind chill.) Yes, I lived most of my life in Upstate New York, with its similar weather; however, for the past 20-plus years, I’ve been basking in the warmth of the Washington DC area.
Icicles formed and the temperature
finally rose above 0 deg F.

Miss List

Rather than titillate you with details of my settling in--a work in progress, I thought I’d focus on what I miss most.

Warmer winter weather. I already whined about the weather and winter can be rough anywhere. Nevertheless, my exercise routine is taking a hit. Anticipating this cool reception, I did have the foresight to buy a new stationary bike, which I’m using regularly. (It’s not the same.)

A 24 hr news/weather/traffic radio station. How accustomed I’d become to hearing the headlines and weather at any time of day or night! You might remember an earlier blog post in which I attributed my final decision to move to the Washington area to the moment when, 300 miles from Washington, I heard that 24 hour Washington radio station, courtesy of the ionosphere. (Hmmm, I wonder.)

High-speed digital Internet. Had I prepared this list during my first two weeks, I would have bemoaned the lack of high speed Internet out here on the farm. Although cursing the computer definitely helped, downloads weren’t downloading and email wasn’t emailing. But thanks to Vicki and the Internet serviceman who came during an 8 inch snowfall, it’s fixed! We don’t have the super speed I was used to, yet it’s perfectly adequate for a retiree who shouldn’t be in a hurry anyway. 


Substantive local newspaper. I get much of my news via the Internet. Still, I miss reading a newspaper that takes more than ten minutes to get through (including the crossword puzzle). On my first Sunday in residence, I asked Vicki to pick up any major newspaper and she found a New York Times. For the price she paid, we could have taken her immediate family plus a cousin or two to dinner.

Information on medical personnel. Choosing new doctors and dentists is challenging, especially when you lack detailed information and reliable ratings. I was spoiled having Consumer Checkbook’s list of doctors rated best by other doctors and how those top doctors were rated by patients. (What do you mean you don’t take my insurance?)

Wrap Up

As I settle in, my miss list will shorten and be forgotten. I’ve no doubt, though, that I won’t miss the Washington area’s excessive humidity, traffic and higher cost of living. Or is the last just us? Taxes are higher here than in Virginia. Anyway, residing in the Central Time Zone, I’ll have an extra hour to watch all those TV shows I’ve never seen. My joy knows no bounds. 


Thanks for stopping by. Following my regular pattern, I'll post a "photo addendum" on today's topic next Tuesday and begin a new topic next Friday.

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