First of all – our internet connection is going to be limited to cafe access for the next few days while we wait for our home connection to get up and running.  

Secondly – mm… where to begin.  There are so many impressions from the past few days here that I want to capture now, while we're still newbies and these differences are still noticeable to us.  I'll try to run through a quick list of Illinois qualities that only an Oregonian would think of as weird:

  • widespread easy-access recycling? uh, no.
  • you knew you'd have a sales tax now, but you might not have known that the tax would vary according to the type of item, the city you're in, and other details we're still learning about.
  • hope you like meat.  Lots of meat. Red meat.
  • everything Oregonians told you about the drastic weather only applies once every other week… in other words, it's actually been quite lovely here.
  • without mountains on the horizon, the setting sun has an additional two hours to be in your face while you're driving; but when you're not driving, this additional sun time is wonderful.  

So those are some beginning impressions of the land.  The apartment… well, there was a whole fiasco with that which I won't get into here.  Suffice it to say we are settled into it now and loving it TOO much.  It's just a sublet.  A sublet place shouldn't be so perfect.  It used to be a grocery store back in the day, and it's still a big, high-ceilinged open space with just slight changes in the floor to distinguish the living room area from the kitchen area from the bedroom area.  All open.  Only the bathroom has separate walls and a door.  I love it.  I love having the whole place connected and open like that.   

Speaking of sublets – this is the first sublet for both Lori and I.  I had very different expectations from what actually happened.  I expected that the tenant would pack up all his stuff, put it in storage somewhere and we would walk into a nice empty place.  But instead… most of his furniture is still in place, all his kitchen stuff is still out and he even left food in the fridge and freezer.  Is this how sublets normally work?  

The cafe visit is almost over.  More moving impressions to come.