Summer slow down

You may be wondering why I haven’t been writing as much. I’ve only uploaded two posts for July, and only one for August so far. There are a couple of reasons.

July was a big month for us, with a day trip to Nashville and a vacation along the Gulf Coast. We spent a lot of money, so we are partially staying home in order to plump our checking accounts back up.

The county that we live in, and the county that I work in are both considered high risk counties for the rising COVID-19 cases, due to the delta variant. We want to be cautious, so we have started to wear our masks again. I see the data daily for work, and it seems like it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. It makes sense to just stay home more often than not because of this.

The weather has not been on our side either. It has been a rainy August, which has kept us inside more than we’d like. When it’s not raining, it is still excessively humid, which is uncomfortable.

Also, I think in the future I need to slow down when it comes to planning summer activities. It seems silly but sometimes I forget that, though it feels like summer in May, it’s still not technically summer until the end of June! I had a list of things I wanted to do this summer (camping, kayaking, Lookouts baseball game, etc.) and all of that was completed before July even started! There’s honestly nothing that I want to do at the moment, that would be best enjoyed during the summer months. We have decided to not hike during the summer. Why be uncomfortable and need to carry twice as much water?

I’ll be back to posting more regularly in the fall. We have plenty of activities planned!

Reflecting on the past decade, new year

So much has happened in the last 10 years, and in just 2019 as well. I’m sure everyone has claimed that, but Derek and I have gone through so many changes.

From 2010-2019 we went from being engaged to married, we bought our first house (and then subsequently had to give that house up when we felt we had no choice but to leave Pennsylvania), we started new jobs and careers and then got laid off from jobs.

We added two bachelors degrees in graphic design to our education, and then moved cross country to Houston, Texas, for Derek to get a masters degree in fine arts.

We enjoyed life in Houston for three years while he was in school, and I had a job that I loved. We had hoped to stay in Houston for a few more years, but when the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offers a job to teach graphic design, well, you pack up again for another (at least smaller) cross country move.

Derek moved out here first, on August 1, and I joined him on Sept. 12. We were apart for about five weeks, with a one week visit to Chattanooga in the middle of that time period.

It was rough to be separated from Derek for that long, but the time ended up going by fast, and now we’re better off for it.

I always enjoy starting over, for the sense of adventure, but with it also comes feelings of depression and hopelessness. Derek got to move to a new place, and have a plan in place for himself, whether it was starting school as a student or a teacher, but I had to worry for two months about finding a job.

We’re finally over those hurdles, and I’m happy that we’re starting the new year and decade with a little bit more of a permanent plan in place, or at least a longer term plan.

Chattanooga feels more like home to me than any other place I’ve lived in, and we won’t be ready to leave any time soon.

It would be great if we could stay here permanently, but because Derek ultimately wants a tenure track position, there will possibly be another move in our future. The nice thing though is that it won’t be in the near future.

Derek and I seem to do things in twos or threes: We lived in our first apartment in Pennsylvania for two years. We owned our house in Pennsylvania for three years. We went to school for the second degree for two years. Derek went to school for three years for the masters program. We were in Houston for three years. We were in our first apartment in Houston for two years.

It will be a relief to break free from that cycle for a while. No more moving, no more schooling. No more new jobs. I am quite happy with my current job, so I hope this rings true for me as well as Derek.

It’s comforting to know that, with any luck and barring any unforeseen circumstances, a good part of this decade will be the same, with no changes.

So far the first month of 2020 has been quiet for us, and I expect most of the winter to be quiet as well, but we’re enjoying our time together, and enjoying getting back on track.

For this year, I’m looking forward to spring coming, and with warmer weather comes more exploring. We have already seen so much of the Chattanooga area and I’m excited for all the things we still plan to do.

Officially here

I left Houston on September 12, and I am now in Chattanooga for good.

I drove “home” for the last time on Thursday, and my parents drove from Maryland to visit us for a long weekend. We have not seen them for a year and a half. Driving to Tennessee is much easier than driving all the way to Texas.

Over three days, we saw and did a lot, some of which Derek and I had already done together in the previous month, but some things were new as well.

Some things that we did and went to included the Chattanooga Zoo, Coolidge Park, the carousel at Coolidge Park, explored the town of Signal Mountain and Signal Point park, Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, explored UTC’s campus, the Chattanooga Market, Moonpie General store and Clumpies Ice Cream.

Instead of posting hundreds of photos in one long post, please look for individualized posts about some of these places in the near future.

My parents’ first impression of the city was a good one. My dad said to me, “I think we are going to have a lot more fun here than we did in Houston.” Nothing against Houston, of course. I believe that Chattanooga is just a better fit for all of our interests.

In our exploring, we also discovered some things that we would like to do in the future. We would like to do a dinner or lunch cruise on the Southern Belle River Boat, go to the Tennessee Aquarium, Rock City and Ruby Falls. Mom and dad are closer now, so there will not be years between visits. I am sure Derek and I will also do these things on our own as well.

We had a good three days, but in the meantime, now I have to get back to “work.” Derek and I spend the mornings together, and when he leaves for work, I do chores around home, and apply for jobs. Hopefully something works out soon.