Being in a new place without all our stuff (yet) has resulted in a few refreshing pattern changes.
Because we decided to freecycle our dishes in Vancouver, we have matching chinaware for the first time. We don't have a dishwasher so with our rather small kitchen we have to clean the dishes multiple times a day. I can't imagine we would be able to carry on that way of doing things if we had our dishwasher handy! But with less dishes maybe it would be necessary? It is way easier to put dishes/toys/things away when there isn't much. It is also surprisingly/unexpectedly easy to lose things in our empty house. Martin and I spend time everyday looking for things we have put down SOMEWHERE... We need to establish where things "go" in order to find them again. I think that we are making headway on the dog-leash, keys and wallets.
I now have to plan when i would like to do laundry as we share coin laundry with the rest of the families in the complex. I really needed to do it today as we had two wet beds last night (Miriam is taking off her diaper more and more - i am taking it as a sign of good things to come) so luckily there was a spot open this afternoon for me to do the job.
I am also planning meals/food more. The effort it takes to get inexpensive food here is much more than at home. I either have to get our our car from an incredibly small parking spot under our complex (and return it to same said spot) or I have to walk DOWN to the expensive local shops which is all very well on the way there... It gives one pause for thought either way.
This morning our whole family walked to Codornices Park where the kids and I have visited a few times already. (it seems less and less uphill every time you go there!) It was a chance for the kids and I to show Martin the great 40-foot cement slide built on the hillside, the park's creek and the Rose Garden across the road (actually through a tunnel if you are walking). The slide is really something else. It seems like a grandfathered piece of terrifyingly fun park equipment. Gone are the teeter-totters and the merry-go-rounds but not the SLIDE. Strangely in this land of lawsuits there isn't even a warning sign of the dangers of hurtling down a cement slide or the inherent risks of using a piece of cardboard to make you go FASTER! Parents and kids alike enjoy it and much screaming ensues). Amiel is getting to be an expert and today was brave enough to try out the cardboard. (People seem to bring old box pieces to the slide and leave them there for every one's enjoyment). Miriam took her first ride today and did the requisite joyful screaming even on the first run. (don't worry, she hasn't gone down alone - though I'm sure she'd be game...) We enjoyed a picnic in the park and Miriam wolfed down her chicken sandwich like a pro!
The Rose garden was very beautiful and Bodhi became our third child in the stroller as dogs are not allowed in the garden. Roses are not in their prime right now but some of them still smelled amazing. I didn't smell very many but my favourite was the "Handel" variety. Seeing the kids smelling the roses is priceless. The amphitheatre structure of the garden (though not really conducive to strollers) is really neat and the view of the Golden Gate Bridge is excellent.
I was just looking on the Internet to see if there were any pictures of the hills of Berkeley and came across a site which headlines the very hill the Martin needs to ascend to get to his first class tomorrow morning. The mentioned "first block past Euclid" is part of the route to Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. And he thought that signing up for Hebrew was the challenge of the semester... (I'm not sure how he will get there - will keep you posted!)