Since arriving, we have been enjoying the vast size increase of our living quarters after living at San Pasqual for four years. We are now living in a three story town house in Troy, Michigan. Troy is a suburb about 15 miles north of Detroit. Since moving in, we have found the increased living space, about 1600 square feet including the basement versus about 550 square feet at SPA, has made it easier to keep our things in order and have a clean house all the time. For anyone who ever went into our last place, you know that was quite a challenge. We have also enjoyed the ability to prepare three meals for the family every day in the full kitchen. After four years of dealing with a kitchenette/living room, it is a big change.
Another aspect of our lives that to which we have had to adjust is the newest addition to our family, our Yellow Labrador Retriever puppy, Johnelway. We got him from the pet store within the first week of being here. He was about twelve pounds when we got him five weeks ago at eight weeks old. He is now a little over three months and has rocketed to over 27 pounds. He's going to be a big boy. He is a crazy ball of energy at times and has gotten into the habit of waking Greg up at 4:45 in the morning every day. Johnelway is going to be entering puppy training classes shortly to help him and his people learn how to live together for the next 15 years or so.
Darla has been hard at work looking for a job, but was sad to learn that she does not have the skills needed to manage a Chuck E. Cheese's. That was hard for her to deal with, but she is still fighting the good fight. The job market is slim here in Detroit, but we are confident that she will get something good at any minute.
Greg starts school soon and has to go tomorrow to start the orientation process at Wayne State. The first semester should really give Greg the chance to learn what life at WSU is going to be like for the next few years. He will be directing a long one act, Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music by Lee Blessing, but it will not go up until late in the Spring, or as it is called in Detroit, the Winter Semester. With his fellowship, Greg will not be teaching until next year, so that should also give him a little extra time to adjust to the new situation.
With Greg's school not yet under way and Darla still looking for a job, we have had the luxury of staying at home and getting to spend a lot of QT with the kids. Millie and Gio are very excited to have their own bedrooms. Millie loves it because she can easily keep her room neat and tidy. Gio loves it because he has a place that he can keep looking the way our living room used to always look, like a tornado of toys and books ran through it. We tried for the first few days to keep the room clean, but he loves to go in right after you spend ten minutes putting everything away and rip every book off the shelf and every toy making as much noise as it can. Often, you have to find the floor from memory... and with a shovel. We have resorted to heaping everything into piles off to the side so that we can traverse the mass of playthings and get to his bed and dresser.
Millie has taken to staging plays everyday and casting the entire family, including Johnelway, into individual roles, and occasionally as entire groups. Her favorite plays to put on are Peter Pan and Into the Woods. In the latter, she is always Little Red Riding Hood, a bit of a surprise with her adoration of Cinderella under most usual circumstances, but in Peter Pan she varies from Peter to Wendy, assigning the roles of John, Captain Hook, and Peter Pan to Greg. Gio is always Michael, Darla is usually Mrs. Darling, and, without fail, Johnelway is Nana.
We celebrated Gio's birthday by having huge party with everyone we know in the lower half of Michigan in attendance. Our house proved plenty big enough, though, since Greg's mom and Aunt Mary didn't take up too much extra space. Gio had a Cars birthday party with tiny cheeseburgers and french fries. We got him a play workbench with a take apart car engine and a wood shop, every piece of which has been lost to the abyss of Gio's room. He has since decided that he likes birthday parties and wants to be given presents nearly every day.
With all the free time, we have felt a bit like we are prematurely retired, and it has been nice, but the real world is beckoning just around the corner. Our early retirement is coming to an end. We will let you know how things are going when Greg and Gio start school, Millie enters day care for the first time ever, and Darla is gainfully employed. Until then...