Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Welcome to Bellingham, WA

Where to begin?

Moving in, carrying large, heavy objects up a twisty old staircase was not, surprisingly enough, fun.  But...after the hard part was over and only a few pieces of furniture sadly lost their lives with us, we were able to enjoy the cool air passing through all the open windows in our new apartment.  We're still living in a sea of boxes, but we're making our way through them as we can.  The kitchen is almost done - I'm tackling the stove today with my first pot of NW veggie soup.  

Speaking of soup...I need to step a bit off track to mention some of the gastronomical delights that reside here in Bellingham.  The first few days of being here found us without a functioning stove/oven, so we ventured out for some local fare.  When I say local, I mean local.  Because we are downtown, we can walk a block or two into the heart of Bellingham's best food/coffee/shops, etc.  To sum it up, I will tell you that these places are beyond amazing:

The independent film theater is just a few blocks over along with two used book shops, a french bakery, an independent video store, the farmers market, the public market, the local food co-op, and well, the water.  Bellingham Bay is just two blocks down from our apartment - we're going tonight to watch the sunset and take a few photos.  

It feels like all I'm doing is listing, listing, listing, but all the new becomes very overwhelming to get out in the short time I have here in the library to type this post.  

I register tomorrow morning for classes. All incoming grad students take a lit theory course, and then I can choose the other class -  two classes per quarter.  Right now I'm debating between a poetry/poetics course, and one on the graphic novel.  I think it will be like ordering at a restaurant where there are so many good choices on the menu - I'll just know when the waitress comes to the table.  Classes start on the 24th, which gives me enough time to finish unpacking, find a part time job, and relax a little. 

The weather has been in the low 70's, sunny and breezy, with the nights getting chillier.  It's a novelty to me to be able to wear a sweater when I want, to be comfortable even in the sun, and to not have air conditioning!  Everywhere you go in the city windows are open and natural light and air is flooding through the buildings.  

Last night when we were coming home from a trip to the store for a drying rack (no dishwasher here), I saw a girl on the corner of a street that looked just like one of my Steve Perry loving friends from Savannah and I had one of the worst pangs of homesickness since I first walked into the apartment and it felt so foreign.  It is hard to be somewhere new, but even harder when there are so many beautiful things and all you want is to share them with the people you love - people you know would love them too.  

There have been some very teary moments here so far, a lot of worry about Andrew finding a job, making ends meet while I'm in school, not knowing a soul, missing things I never imagined I would miss, but it balances out each time I look over at a row of recycling bins, or hear the elementary school children laughing outside the library window, or watch the sky turn pink and red as the sun sets.  I do not wish to say it is without its challenges, but I cannot deny its beauties. 

Yesterday I came into the library to post, to tell you about all these things and probably more that I've now forgotten, but I felt too tired from the day of unpacking and too pulled by the books on the shelves.  As I stepped from the library doors I  was overwhelmed by the joy of an armload of books, a cool breeze, and only a block's walk home, and I remember wanting to tell you that no matter how tough it gets, or how difficult it becomes, moments like that make it all worth it.  I'm going to work at keeping my mind on that feeling, holding it close for these first few months in our new home.  


shari said...

i can really relate to your words here. thanks for writing them. they helped me feel a bit better.

K A R I™ said...

I seriously heart lists, almost as much as I adore the picture of your travels in magnets!

Your posts made me realize that I didn't spend near enough time hanging out with you when you were here! I'm glad you are settling in!

I can't wait to see more pictures of your new surrondings!

heather said...

aww. i do love steve perry. i do.