Monday, September 28, 2009

It's been a long, long time.

Once again I am apologizing for not posting sooner. It's been a little hectic, fun, busy, crazy, whirlwindish this first month or two in Boise. I don't even know where to begin, so I'll give a sort of quick paragraph to each category.

We're settling into our home and loving ALL the projects (though I can't say the shed building or the fence moving were super fun; but so satisfying once they were completed). The house itself is in pretty good shape. Mark, my hero, fixed the garbage disposal, the washing machine, the leaky tub and toilet, the bathroom fan, and the dish washer. I cleaned the floors and did my best to get the stains, crayon marks, and leftover glitter out of the off-white carpets (white carpets with two little kids ... why would they do that?!). Then it was on to the yard, where we've already planted six trees, inherited a multitude of plants from our neighbor, and done our best to kill off the weeds and grubs. The big projects were moving our 75-foot-long back fence to the edge of our property, rather than 16 feet into the backyard, and then building a shed. A humongous thanks to Mom and Dad for devoting almost all of their visit to the shed. I honestly do not know how it could have been completed by just two people, especially when one of those two (that would be me) threw up her hands in frustration and had to escape into the house for part of the afternoon. Such a diva!

Moving FencesThe Fence
Mark, the Fence Mover

When we aren't working on the yard, hunting for bargains on tools and furniture, catching up on real work/looking for real work, and trying to squeeze in some zzzz's, we've been having fun. In the first month in our home, we've already had three sets of visitors: Joe from Dallas was the first, over Labor Day. We wore him out (and vice versa) with hikes, bikes, floats down the Boise River, dinner out, drinks with friends, pirate golf . . . you name it. And all this while we had a house full of dogs (our Kai, plus Judi's Dobie and Heather's Kayla). Just like old times. Then Tony and Terry from Santa Barbara, who attended raft guide school with Mark 20 years ago, stopped in for a wonderful two days. Again there was hiking and walking and dining and laughing, as well as a failed attempt to see the raptors out at the Snake River Birds of Prey National Park. And, finally, most recently, were my folks, who drove out with their Ford Explorer (now our Ford Explorer) loaded to the gills with all of our stuff, which had been stored in their attic for the past year. It was like Christmas morning opening up all the boxes and getting reacquainted with all our stuff. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mom and Dad, for everything!

Joe and the Dogs
Joe showing off our fine Thermarest furniture

Kai's girlfriend, Kayla

Mom, Dad, and LJ
Mom, Dad, and LJ the really big dog

Now the walls are hung with photos and artwork and the knickknacks are on the shelves. We even threw our first big dinner party/barbecue, using the china and crystal and flatware that we hadn't seen since Denver. Thanks again to Mom and Dad for entertaining the guests and preparing the delicious margaritas and yummy yummy gravy while I gallivanted around the neighborhood.

barbecueOur first BBQ with Heather and Simo

Throughout all of this, we've been exploring Boise, meeting our neighbors, and making many new friends. I cannot begin to express how great it is and how incredibly nice everyone has been. While working on our fence, we met our neighbors, who have a garden and chickens in their backyard. We'd barely introduced ourselves before they had loaded us up with fresh onions, tomatoes, basil, kale, and cukes and zukes from their garden. And in exchange for our veggie cuttings (tops of carrots, potato peels, fruit that's just gone off) as well as a couple bucks, we get fresh eggs, practically from our own backyard. We've been to barbecues and get-togethers and backyard gatherings. Mark's been on bike rides up in the hills, and I've taken Kai for walks through the foothills. And just the other day we went with some friends to pick pears from an orchard so they could make cider (the pressing of the pears will be next week).

veggiesVeggies from our neighbor's garden


Putting the Explorer to use: Pears from the orchard

So, although Mark is unemployed right now, we are so much more at peace with our lives. I am trying to find a good spin to put on our time in Dallas. We met nice people, made some good friends, had incredibly nice neighbors, and even saw a few places we liked (namely, Oklahoma and Austin). But Dallas just didn't speak to us. It didn't bring us any joy, and try as we might, we couldn't find the joy. We know that many people like it there. And that's fine. It just wasn't for us. And the fact that many people in Dallas thought Mark was an angry, bitter person made us realize that it was taking a serious toll on ourselves and even our relationship. So in answer to the question many people are still asking, "Why Boise?" I can just say that it spoke to us as soon as we arrived that first day in July, and to us, the risk of moving somewhere new without any real prospects for work in this crazy economy were worth it to our peace of mind, our sanity, and our relationship. 'Nuff said.