Sunday, May 16, 2010

At home in Michigan



After driving 25 hours across country, we arrived at our home for the next two years. The sky is blue, the sun blesses one's face with a soft brush of warmth and everywhere the landscape looks like dense forest. Here, where the U.S. and Canada almost meet, just separated by an enormous lake, generations of the Finnish families who settled the area still live and still speak both English and Finnish in their homes we are told. We can recognize the influence of their culture in the grocery store where we hear some people speaking in deeper accents than ours and where there are countless pasties and a good amount of Bratwurst for sale.

The people we have met have all been friendly and yard sale shopping I found myself charmed by their accents, easy going manner and great bargains. We bought two lamps for our new apartment for $2 each, an old wall clock for 50 cents, a very used tennis racket for 75 cents, a paper shredder for $2.50, and some Christmas decorations to replace those we just sold in our home in the West for just a couple dollars. I also spent $41 buying used baby clothes for Jackie. This sounds like much, but I bought a pink coat, a purple snow suit, a jacket, several sweaters, some bibs and even a few warm dresses to prepare our nearly 1-year-old daughter for the more than 200 inches of snow we expect here this winter and we did so for not much more than just the Columbia snowsuit would have cost new. The clothes are cute and look almost like new.

Highlights of this experience include the fact that we no longer have cinder brick walls in our apartment and that where we live has many windows to let in sunshine. In addition, we went to church today and meeting with the small branch was as close to the feeling of reuniting with family that we've felt so far. Truly at church we are no more foreigners, but are all one in Christ.

1 comment:

Mark Christie Family said...

WWHHHATTATTTTT!!!!!!!?????!?!? You actually posted something???? I am amazed and excited!! Does moving to Michigan mean I get to see pictures and posts from you again??? I love you am miss you already!!! Glad you are liking it there and hope you have a fabulous experience!!

My wedding cake

My wedding cake
My sister, Christie, made my wedding cake -- all five layers of it. It was fondant, covered in fresh red roses and green ribbon. For a more modern look she chose to make a square cake.

Trip up the canyon

Trip up the canyon
OK, here's the truth, what Renn and I really look like when we wake up. After our first backpacking trip as a couple, Renn's hair looked like grass growing on his head and mine lay flat and matted as we walked out of the mountains.

Karen and Renn in Mexico

Karen and Renn in Mexico
This is us on our last day at the Hummingbird Inn in Maneadero, Mexico. It was a fun week of service with Engineers Without Borders. Renn and other USU engineering students helped put in drain fields at an orphanage, The Gabriel House, for children with severe disabilities. I helped dig some holes and wrote an article for the newspaper about the experience.