Change is always difficult but I usually feel like I deal quite well most of the time. After all, I worked as a temp On Purpose for almost 2 years – working at a half dozen different companies during that time and actually thriving on the challenge and variety. But I think a lot depends on your confidence level related to the area of change. I’m a good accountant with a variety of experience and was very comfortable going in to an assignment and figuring out what needed to be done with little supervision. Part of the stress I’m feeling being in a whole new place may have something to do with something as simple as being uncomfortable finding my way around town. I have to admit that for the last 20 years I haven’t driven that much, other than to and from work, and rarely after dark, again mainly coming home from work, which many of us can do nearly on autopilot. I ran out this evening to grab fast food for dinner as Ted’s already gone to his class and I never made it to the grocery store today. It kind of shocked me as to how uncomfortable I was driving the several miles in to Bangor and back in the dark. I have in-dash GPS so it wasn’t a matter of directions but more a matter of being uncomfortable of not knowing exactly where I was and what was around me. I need to finish unpacking but I think spending some time driving around each day in the daylight, even if just to check out a couple of local parks, would be good for me.
The several mile drive to Bangor for fast food leads me to the other thing I’ve noticed. Although cities all over the planet look similar in many ways and daily life as far as the big picture is pretty basic no matter the city, state or even country, I’ve realized that there are a myriad of Little differences and when your head isn’t in the right place these little things can seem huge.
In the suburbs that I’m used to there’s a fast food restaurant usually within blocks of most residential areas. I actually drove over 8 miles to get to a KFC – and no there really wasn’t anything much closer. It was a half Hour round trip. I’ve got to get to the grocery store tomorrow.
And the grocery store is another thing. There are no Safeways or King Soopers or City Markets here. It’s Hannaford or Shaws here. And I’m used to really big grocery stores with lots of selection. But the Hannaford just down the road is tiny with very little selection. I’m going to drive in to Bangor tomorrow (another 8 -10 mile trip) and see if one of the locations in a bigger town is a bit better.
And then there’s the washer & dryer. I know lots of people have stacked units – in condos and small homes – but these things are proof that anyone who designs a product should be made to use that product daily before being able to sell it. The washer isn’t as small as I feared but it still only holds about 2/3 the load the big front loaders I had would hold. But it’s the Stacked I have an issue with. Unless you’re a contortionist it’s almost impossible to get the clothes out of the bottom of the back of the machine. I have to stand sideways, bend over nearly in half, stick my head under the lid where I’m almost guaranteed to bang it once a week, and stretch my arm down in to the machine to grab that last darn sock by feeling around because I can’t look in and reach at the same time. Of course Ted reminds me that I should consider myself lucky because the washer and dryer, as is true with most of these older homes, used to be in the basement – the basement that is down a flight of extremely steep wooden stairs that have no hand rails and is only 5 1/2 feet tall. I hate to admit it to him – but he’s right – the basement would have been worse.
And of course some times the difference might not be just frustrating but expensive. Homes here in Maine are mostly heated with oil. There’s a furnace in the basement that burns oil stored in large tanks (we have Two 250 gallon tanks) that heats water that then flows through baseboard radiant heaters in every room in the house. It’s actually kind of nice heat in that it’s heating the air at the floor and without blowing a lot of air around. But for one thing the clicking and creaking and snapping of the pipes is driving Ted and I nuts. It even wakes us up at night. But it’s the cost that floored us yesterday. We had the tanks filled as they were nearly empty. We got 460 gallons of oil at nearly $2 a gallon. I have to admit that seeing oil pumped into the house was a bit weird but what’s scary is that we don’t know how long that will last. The driver said another of his customers just down the road goes through 350 gallons a month for what seems like a similar home. Guess I’m going to be living in heavy sweaters and thick socks all winter long.