Sunday, October 25, 2009

The little things

In many ways, living down here is the same as living any other place: I get up, go to work, come home, have dinner with my wife, spend the evening working on projects (or playing on the computer), go to bed, wash, rinse, and repeat. That's not to say it's boring, though it may sound uninteresting. Far from it, in fact. I enjoy living in Oklahoma, I like my job, and I like finding joy in little things as well as big things. But recently I've become keenly aware of how different things can be just based on location alone. To wit: it's been cold and snowy up in Minnesota, whereas down here we've had weather in the 70's with a bit of rain on the side. As such, I have continued to bike to work, which I have not been able to do for a long, long time. My wife and I also went on a nice 3.5-mile hike yesterday, with a blanket of yellow leaves underfoot and a big lake just to the west of the trail. After we got home, we spent an hour or so doing yard work--nothing entirely too interesting, but very different from the environment I have been used to for the past five years. And it's not necessarily better or worst, just different, and a difference I'm learning to appreciate. While my Northern counterparts have wintertime ameneties like skiing, snowmobiling, and white Christmases, down here we have...I'm not sure. Because this is my first winter as an Oklahoman. :) So whatever it is, I'm looking forward to it.

I spent a while playing Rainbow Six 3 the other night, and I realized it was the first time I had sat down to play a video game in months. I enjoy video games, but find it difficult to keep up with the newest trends and games mostly because of the amount of money it requires (one game is about the price of three months of Netflix, and we still have the same DVD player we've had for years) to not only buy games, but buy the newest hardware as well. But my old Xbox is still alive and kicking, even though I don't play it that often, so when a new friend offered to let me borrow his copy of RS3 I was pretty stoked. I also realized how not-good I am at games that require a learning curve, as I prefer the Halo-style of game where you run around, guns blazing, and take out all the bad guys in sight as quick as possible. RS3 is pretty cool though, and it's a nice change of pace from the usual, so I'll probably give it some more time before going to bed tonight.

Ok, time to hit up some internet tubes and maybe read some Dune before heading to bed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Big Picture

Trip to Sedona was awesome. I've only been to Arizona once before (well, twice if you count the time we drove to Nevada and barely grazed the northwest corner of Arizona on I-15) and when I was there the first time we pretty much just hung out in Phoneix. Everyone said that Sedona was beautiful, though, and seriously...everyone was right. It was probably one of the most breathtaking locations I have visited in a long time, if not ever. From the house at which we stayed, just outside the edge of town, you could look out and see a vista that included massive rock formations touching the edge of the sky, skirted by green valleys that ran as far along the horizon as the eye could see. The best part was that almost everywhere we went, whether in town or not, included similar views of deep red peaks rising hundreds or even thousands of feet into the air. But aside from the scenery, it was just a really fun weekend with lots of good people to see and talk with. The bride is a longtime friend of my wife, and the two have known each other since freshman year of college, so it was really good to be there with her and her family to celebrate such a wonderful occasion.

But alas, the duties of a husband-of-a-bridesmaid are often not pressing, and so there was little to do while the ladyfolk were scurrying about, giddy with wedding preparations. So one afternoon some of the other guys and I took a trip to the Grand Canyon which, I gotta say, was pretty grand. Having never been there before, and only seeing pictures in books along with the occasional educational video, I was more or less unprepared scope the scope of the canyon. The drop was so deep, and the expanse so wide, that I had to just stare for several minutes before even realizing I was actually seeing a place on this island earth. It's phenomenal how huge this thing is, and the scale of it all is just overwhelming. We took turns sitting on a cliff edge that dropped a few thousand feet to a rocky slope below, and holding mortality in our own hand like that was an experience I will not soon forget.

The rest of the weekend--the natural wonders, the conversations, the dancing at the wedding reception, it was all a blast. So C and M, if either of you two are reading this, thanks for a great weekend and I wish both of you a blessed married life together.

Since getting back and slipping back into our more-or-less daily routine (which in many ways has yet to even be established, since we're still new to this town and this house) it's been nice to have a place of our own to hang our coats in the evening, and do our part to take care of it too. Yesterday my wife and I did some yard work, today I changed the oil in our car in our own garage, and we got the programmable thermostat figured out too. Always a nice bonus. :) Time to sign off for the night, though, and head for bed.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Moving Day

As of last Thursday we are officially homeowners, and I'm writing this post from the very comfy living room of our very own house near the edge of town. It's been a long time in coming, and like all home purchases this one was accompanied by its share of questions, anxiety, uncertainty, and ultimately elation as we moved closer to the actual date of purchase and then finally to the signing of the papers. We probably looked at close to 30 homes during our search (a big Thank You to our very patient realtor, btw) but this was the only one on which my wife and I were in wholehearted agreement. And so far it's great. We have a surprising amount of stuff unpacked already, and this afternoon our new washer and dryer were delivered, which marks one more item off the checklist of home ownership. My parents and big brother came down last weekend to help us move in, along with two of my coworkers, and this was also when we realized firsthand one of the nice things about a ranch-style house: the lack of stairs is of significant advantage when moving heavy pieces of furniture. :) We've got a list of small improvements to make, and a few long-term goals as well, but right now it's cool to know that we finally have a place to call our own.

The new house also means I have to find a new way of getting to work, since we only have one car and it's a little too far to walk now. But thankfully I discovered this morning that it's only a 15-minute bike ride to campus. Not having biked to work since my days of living in my parents' basement and working at Russ's Market, it's pretty cool to be able to revisit the tried-and-true method of human-powered two-wheel transportation once again. And the general absence of winter snowfall means I should be able to bike for most of the year. I've been trying to exercise more regularly too, and this will also help things in that respect. So yeah, major bonus. :)

This weekend we head to Sedona, Arizona, for a wedding, and I've heard it's really pretty up there. I also plan on loading up my GPS with several Geocaches to find when there's downtime, and hopefully I can locate some near the place we're staying. Right now, though, it's high time I got to bed. *yawn*

Praise the Lord. :)