Friday, August 20, 2010

The Neighborhood

We're certainly nowhere the finish line, but life here is starting to feel a lot more normal. In fact, I've been so focused on the boxes and the tradesmen and all the things we plan to do that I haven't really posted much about this place we've moved to. Let me fix that today.

Many of our mornings are spectacular, and today was one of the best. We had a brilliant, rosy sunrise, and that picture is the view from our front window. That's the beach part of Kingston Beach on the left and Hobart is just a little further down river.

Depending on which window you look out of, you either see Kingston Beach or Blackmans Bay and the Pacific. That perspective in the picture is east-northeast, and sunrises are really nice because Kingston Beach lights up just a tad before the view we get looking out the back windows at Blackmans Bay, and we can track the light moving across the water.

And this is a shot of Blackmans Bay from our deck. I took it about seven hours after that first shot. A rain cloud had come through, really pelting us, but right in the middle of it the sun started shining brightly. The whole storm lasted about half an hour. We're getting used to being able to watch a shower to the north and bright sun to the south. Soon we should even be good at figuring out which is coming our way.

These views, needless to say, are pretty much what made us fall in love with this house when we first looked at it about six years ago.

We are very close to what you can fairly call "settled in" by now. Every room is at least somewhat usable, and the chief rooms - kitchen, living room, bedroom - are all pretty much where we will leave them until we have the painters and flooring people in. We have been quite surprised at the size of the rooms. Now that we have moved our stuff in, they are bigger and roomier than we thought they would be.

Last night LK said it was really starting to feel like home, and I agree. I have even made some new friends. Nearly every morning, about 20 pretty little birds fly madly around the garden just below the window where I usually sit. They are black and white, with bright yellow wing tips. They are New Holland Honeyeaters, and they are great fun to watch because they cannot seem to sit still for more than three seconds. They didn't come by this morning and I have grown so used to watching them that I was a little disappointed. (By the way, I did not take that picture, but downloaded it instead.)

As for the big question that we kept hearing when we announced we were moving here.

Yes, it is colder here than in Sydney (though not as bad as Sydney was in the few days we were there in the beginning of the month). However, it isn't THAT cold - and in fact our family and friends in the US probably laugh at the thought that some people think it's cold when the temperature never even gets to freezing in the middle of the winter.

LK and I grew up in places that had real differences in the seasons, with a cold winter and warm summer and half-and-half spring and autumn in between. We both missed those seasonal changes, and it was one of the reasons Tassie seemed so inviting to us. Sure there will be colder months, but that has its own appeal.

Besides, all you need to do to stay warm is to throw on more clothing. Part of the pleasure of the cold is getting warm. I certainly haven't had a day yet when I didn't throw on a sweatshirt, and I like nothing more than turning the heat up to warm the kitchen while making the first pot of coffee.

But it really isn't all that cold. Even though the temperature has been about 7C (45F) around 8:30 each morning, I've watched three or four of the neighborhood kids walking to school with just short-sleeve shirts. A couple of them are even wearing shorts.

I may just be a wuss about the cold, but I suspect these Tasmanians are incredibly hardy souls. It should be fun to get to know them as we live our life here.

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