It was July 20th that we moved into our house at the seminary in Dubuque. The day before we packed all of our worldly belongings into a truck and made the 800 mile journey to where we live now. We have a lot of transitions to make and we are settling in, though we do occasionally look back at where we came from.
For me, this is far from my first big move. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I first had to make my way out to the Midwest. At that point it was with the help of my parents, and everything I needed fit into my Volvo station wagon and my parents Areostar. After graduating from college I moved 100 miles west. At this point everything fit into my Areostar and a medium sized u haul trailer. A year later I moved in with my wife, which took a small truck.
All these moves got slightly bigger and slightly bigger, vehicle wise. But they were all really short, less than 200 miles. The most major move was when we bought our house in Bismarck. It didn’t have to do with the stuff we had, but the settling down that we were doing.
Six years later, we have added three kids and a lot more stuff. All our kids had ever known was Bismarck. That is where they went to church, school and played with their friends. They were excited for the move, but also knew there would be changes.
Our house was a 4 bed, 2 bath house with a nice living room and family room. We had a small deck overlooking our modest back yard. Across the street was a great playground that the kids spent a lot of time at. Our house was a beautiful house. It was perfect for a family like ours.
The house we live in here is also beautiful. It has a basement, which our house in Bismarck doesn’t have. It is only a three bedroom house, which means we have to have our boys sharing a room. We also have to use some of the basement as a family room or do without.
This is a big difference for us. We lived on a busy street that had a variety of ages and backgrounds of people who live there. We would walk through the neighborhood frequently, yet we didn’t know many of our neighbors that well.
Our neighbors here are all involved with the seminary in one way or another. The kids go outside to play, and I’m not very worried about who they are with or what they are up to. The hardest part is breaking them away from their friends so they can come in for dinner.
North Dakota is very flat. It changes a little bit further to the west in the badlands. Bismarck has some hills, but relative to most places the hills aren’t much.
Dubuque is one big hill. If it isn’t rolling one direction it is rolling another. Personally, I love it. I have always loved hills. My running is reminding me that I really am not used to running hills, but it is still fun. The rest of the family is growing accustomed to it as well.
If you know anything about Weather in North Dakota you probably know it gets very cold and windy. North Dakota has several windfarms across the prairie. This is part of what makes North Dakota an energy rich state, especially in the area of zero emission and renewable. It also happens to be one of the things I have hated about North Dakota. I don’t mind some wind from time to time. North Dakota’s wind is far too frequent and far too strong for my taste.
Dubuque doesn’t have the wind, thank goodness, but we have traded that for another climate factor that I could do without. The humidity here seems to be more than I can handle. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I am used to having more humidity than North Dakota. Dubuque seems to be on the extreme end of it. While attempting to finish one run I realized how hard I was breathing compared to other runs. I then realized just how humid it is. My Facebook read, “Will I ever get used to this humidity?” A graduate of Wartburg who is from North Dakota gave me a simple answer. “NO”
As far as the cold is concerned, I have a few more months to determine how that will go.
Life in General
There are plenty of changes to get used to. My body is still trying to adjust to not working shift work anymore. We are all trying to adjust to our schedules. The kids are adjusting to the new school as I am adjusting to being a student again. As we work through these adjustments it is hard to not look back, occasionally with a heavy heart. Sometimes it is easier for us to see what we miss instead of what we love about where we are. We occasionally try to remind ourselves to, as the song says, count our blessings and name them one by one… see what God has done!