Monday, January 22, 2007

Amherst in a Box

Here's some examples of what our days are like here: Saturday morning came with a bitter wind, so I took Lily to a playdate and went to visit a friend. I had the car so Dave stayed home and made soup and read the paper. On my way back that afternoon I picked up a small microwave for us, something we've been meaning to get for some time now. When I took the microwave out of the box we saw that it was dented. So I killed Lily at Brooklyn Monopoly -- I'm always the Wonder Wheel -- and Dave took the thing back and did some more shopping. He came back with a gorgeous black jacket thing, kind of a fancy Polartec, from EMS, as well as a healthy, cheaper microwave, which he plugged in next to the stove. Now I can heat up my soup without having to dirty a pan.

Sunday morning we read the Times and then we all cleaned the house. One nice thing about this house, which is pretty small but extremely cozy, is that the three of us can clean it thoroughly in about an hour. Lily is very into cleaning. She particularly loves scrubbing the toilet - go figure. She is also very good at emptying the trash baskets in all the rooms, and sorting laundry. We did not spend much time outside. The last thing I did was mop the floors so they would dry while we went over to a nearby house where Lily was administered a test called the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Childen.

Yes, the WISC tells us her IQ, unfortunately -- no, we won't tell her what it is -- but more importantly it identifies what kind of learner she is, one who processes information better through hearing the information or seeing it, auditory or visual. This test is a requirement of The Bement School, which we toured on Friday and are applying to for next fall. They don't require a certain percentile or IQ level, they just want to know how each child learns so they can address his or her specific needs more carefully. I'm down with that.

Then we did a little grocery shopping and Dave cooked dinner while Lily practiced violin and I helped and kept her company. While we were at the Big Y I returned our bottles in their recycling center, yet another new experience. It's the little things like this that remind me I am no longer in New York City. We used to put our bottles in plastic grocery bag and hang it on the fence in front of our building. Someone, we always figured they were homeless but that's not necesarily so, would take them and return them for the deposit money. This time I put each one into a machine that crushed them and gave me a slip with a credit on it, which I cashed in inside the store.

This afternoon we took Lily to her new pediatrician to check on some things and then ran more errands. The line at the CVS across the street was short. The line at the post office, at five to five, was also short. Both were efficient. I could then stroll over to the music store Dave had found and meet him and Lily as they bought a music stand so she can practice her violin more easily. Small differences, but telling. The shelves in the stores are actually stocked, the employees are more efficient and probably less harassed, and through the beauty of cars, we didn't have to stand on a bus with our bags, or walk home 15 or 20 blocks in the lightly falling snow.

It's easy and relaxing, but also productive. We've been here just about two months and while we are all still a bit lonely, we are settling in. I feel as though the Pioneer Valley is welcoming us with open arms, saying, Welcome! We've been waiting for you! While it's stressful trying to make the right decisions about cars and houses and schools and realtors, we are very clear that these are definitely luxury problems and we are grateful. We are finding what we need, and we are being taken care of. Lily is holding up, it's finally snowing outside, another calf has moved in next door, and all is right with the world.

1 comment:

  1. you sound so content and I'm very happy for you. work sched is backed up here because i'll be away for part of next week. I'll call soonest, promise!! i'm still keeping track of you all through this blog though. keep on writing. k xoxo


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