Friday, March 28, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: I Miss the Mailboxes

I'd trade my kingdom (such as it is) for a Snyder Drug. There are a few other things I really miss about Minneapolis, but a good, convenient, well-run drugstore is one of the main ones.
With the exception of Target pharmacy, I've never gotten a prescription in less than an hour here. The last rx I got was when I slipped the disc in my lower back a couple of weeks ago. Sunday afternoon, I find an Urgent Care Clinic, get in right away, get some great drugs and then the odyssey began. The nearest Target was 40 minutes away. Then after waiting 10 minutes or so for the drugs, it would be another 20 minute drive home. My husband, Mensa Boy, says "Well, there's a CVS Pharmacy right on the way home". Okay. Take in the prescription. "Ma'am, that will take about 45 minutes".
Have you ever slipped a disc? One that likes to bump against the sciatic nerve? I spent the better part of 90 minutes laying in the back seat of the car whining to my Mom on the cell phone. Then my brother, then my dad.
There are other mailboxes. You know, in the Mpls/St. Paul Metro area there are more of those darling blue mailboxes than you can shake a stick at. To find one, you just close your eyes, picture where you think one might be, and then go there. Usually within a 6 block radius of where you started out. When you open the mailbox's mouth, it always says the pickup time is 1 pm. How do they do that?
Today I went to Kohl's to buy tennis shoes. I passed 3 strip malls on the way to Kohl's. Drove through each one. No mailbox. Took a different way home, 3 more strip malls. Finally, the last strip mall...tucked between the dumpsters of two fast food restaurants...there's the little blue darling.
Open it's mouth.
3 pm pickup.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: My Sister's Kids

"I miss your sister's kids" my nephew Jake said to his mom a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, I have to agree with him...I miss my sister's kids, too.
Now, I'm not really a "kid" person. Out of a group of a hundred, there might be only one or two that I really connect with. But if my nieces and nephews are in that group, the number jumps to 7. I actually enjoy all of my nieces and nephews very much.
Growing up, I really didn't know my cousins very well. As a military family, we didn't live any where near any of our relatives. My kids have had a totally different life than that. We lived right in the heart of our family for 20 years before moving to South Carolina. My kids know their Grandparents, Aunt and Uncles and cousins quite well. Even though my brother-in-law Jim moved to Maine with his family a few years ago, my boys still feel a connection to those boys, as they recall the days of running in a pack with them at family gatherings.
I think part of the reason this move has been successful for us is because we had so many years with our family first. It's been hard to be away from them, but we still feel like they are very close.
My Mom recently told me of a conversation she had with my niece Jessie. They were discussing my Mom's attempts to play a piece called "Frohlicher Landman" on the keyboard. Jessie said she didn't know that piece. Mom hummed part of the tune to her and Jessie said "Oh yeah, I know that one, but in my book it's called "The Happy Pheasant"!
I felt like I was standing right there.
Yeah, I miss my sister's kids.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Red Dirt

Red dirt has a different smell than black dirt. It's sort of a grainy smell. You know those days when the elevators on Hiawatha Avenue are moving grain to and from trucks? It's a Purina smell. I've always associated that smell with dog food, but now I think of housing construction when I smell it.
They are building 3 houses simultaneously on my street. One of them is right next door. Sadly, there are no owners ordering the building of that house. It's a "spec house". But I'm glad all the same to see it coming up, because that means when it rains we will no longer have a river of red mud running down our driveway. They will sod and seed and plant the two bradford pear trees that we all have, and the bushes around the front. It will look lived in.
We have two other spec houses right close to us, and a house that was built for a family who ended up losing their contract. I still hold out some hope that they will move in eventually. They have kids. Right now we have only 5 kids on our street, out of 9 occupied houses. But the other 3 kids are too young for our guys to play with. Anyway, this family that lose their contract...they built the same house we have, without a couple of the additional features we have. But their house in Charlotte is not selling. I've heard it was over-priced and the agent might not have done a very good job marketing it, either. I don't know the background there. Maybe the family didn't have much equity in their house and needed that price. Or maybe their realtor is just lazy or incompetent. Or, it could be that they are just victims of the slow market for existing homes in Charlotte. One can buy a brand-new house for the same amount of money as an older house that might need work or cleaning.
But of course, when you buy a brand-new house, you might be in a neighborhood that is still being built out. So you might wake up to that Purina smell of red dirt each morning. It's the smell of anticipation.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: March 2003-Wherein I Introduce Us

We moved to South Carolina from Minneapolis in August, 2002. My husband's company is relocating to Charlotte, NC and his department was transferred then.
It was a tough decision to make...leaving our family and friends behind and striking out in a new place. But it's turned out to have been a good one.
This blog is about our move and all the adjustments we've been going through here. But it's also about our day-to-day life, as we attempt to keep everyone we love up to date with our lives.
I'll tell about the funny stuff the kids say and do, like how this evening at supper Taylor suddenly said "hey Mom, you know Halloween? Not last Halloween, but the one before that? In 2001? What did we have for supper before we went trick-or-treating?"
I'll tell about the stuff we've been learning from these very lovable Carolinians, like how they wear tobaggans on their heads in the winter and have never seen one you ride on down a snowy hill.
And I'll tell about the books I've been reading and the movies I've been seeing, just because so many people I know want to get good book and movie ideas.
And of course food. I'll talk about food because it's my hobby and I love mentioning the new recipes I've tried. Like tonight, when we had Shrimp with Green Sauce, a recipe I got from the Charlotte Observer. Apparently it was the shrimp that prompted Taylor to ask what we at that halloween. He thought it was shrimp.
So this blog will be ramblings and rantings (after all I AM the writer!). I'll try to post something every day or so. And there are rooms for comments, so it will be an easy way for you to respond and everyone else can see it.
That's it! Talk to you tomorrow.