Greetings from the Midwest (specifically, East Lansing, MI, the Home of the Spartans)!
It’s been a whirlwind of non-activity here in the An residence. Now that I have officially finished organizing the last few bits of misplaced items to their pseudo-permanent dwellings (until I get so fed up with the monotony that I decide to reorganize everything again), there is little left to do other than a small cleanup in the bathroom or a few dishes to clean (which InChul is always so gracious to help out with). I think my nesting instincts (can I HAVE nesting instincts without a child on the way?) have finally subsided (with the introduction of our latest addition to our furniture family – a tall side table that is serving its purpose as additional kitchen storage) and I’m satisfied with the layout. Now my fastidious nature with cleanliness is about to kick in, as I am starting to get “grossed-out” (and that’s a technical term) by the bathroom.
|Hudson with his new toys…SPOILED!! ^^|
The one area, however, that offers a break in the non-activity is, of course, our resident hound: Hudson. For all you young children who are BEGGING your parents for a dog, please note that taking care of a dog is not too different from raising a child…they need constant supervision and constant attention…especially in their “cute stage” as a puppy (oh, the damage he did to our house in Duluth…I don’t even want to think about it). Now that he is in what is the equivalent of early adolescence, he need even more attention and discipline. But, despite the constant work and moments of “OH MY GOSH! WHERE’S HUDSON!”, he is definitely the reason why I have not delved into the depths of depression, being here in an unfamiliar place among unfamiliar people. Being busy with him and constantly fixating my attention on him doesn’t give me the time to feel lonely. Plus, I seriously love the little devil.
Outside of all that, I am also starting to see more and more of the cultural differences between the Midwest and the South. Greetings among people unfamiliar with one another here seem short and forced. No one asks my name, and no one seems to want to start even superficially personal conversations (and this is even at church). There seems to be a different set of rules when it comes to common etiquette (especially in the dog park…I still get peeved with people who don’t pick up after their dogs, especially when I happen to step in a fresh pile left by one who’s owner happens to be sitting just twenty feet away…hmmm…can you tell I’m a bit bitter?). I find myself having to tell myself that I cannot expect people here to act as people in the South do…and that they are just as congenial and polite as people in the South…just in a way that I am unfamiliar with. Needless to say, I’m in need of a lot of God’s grace to keep from getting angry and bitter. Hopefully, I’ll be able to actually meet with people and build relationships so that I can further understand just how Midwestern hospitality works.