We did manage to go kayaking once on Lake Superior

Six months ago, I accepted a new position in Duluth, MN and moved to house we already owned in Wisconsin not too far from Duluth. And by not too far, my commute is about an hour, depending on the weather. It’s about the same drive time I had in Denver, except there’s no traffic. There’s some other changes that we have had to endure as well, some good, some not so good.

Drive

As I already mentioned, the drive is about the same in time but about twice as long as in distance. My biggest challenge in my commute is watching for wildlife. So far I’ve lost count on the number of deer that I have seen in the road, or beside the road, and have only had one close call. I saw a coyote taking dinner across the road a few nights ago. I’ve seen at least a dozen bald eagles scavenging along side the road. There have been some turkeys, and a black beer as well. You also have to be careful of the atvs/snowmobiles in the afternoon.

House

The house is much smaller than the house we rented in Denver, and much much smaller than the house we sold in Tulsa. On the upside of that, the nearest neighbor is 200 yards away. I have a large field that the deer use, and forest all round me. The winter nights are usually very quite and still, while the nights in the Spring have been a chorus of birds, frogs, and insects. The biggest improvement on the housing front is our gigabyte internet speeds available via fiber. 10 times as fast as Denver. The house does need lots of work though, and there is no garage.

Not everything has gone by the numbers though

Shortly after Christmas, we learned that my wife’s grandfather was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Which at his age, isn’t a shock in and of itself. The change up came when the county moved to have him placed in a nursing home and appointed my wife as his guardian. We then learned that what we thought was general forgetfulness was actually advanced dementia. Which, has been a challenge to say the least.

One of the responsibilities that accompanies guardianship is protecting the assets. Oh wow, what an interesting development that has been. Lets just say, some peoples treasures are most people’s junk. For example. 4 or 5 years ago, we got rid of some crappy walmart wardrobe closets that were in our house. Her grandfather had come by and asked if he could have them. Sure, if you can use them or know someone who can, by all means. Well, we discovered those same wardrobes in the corner of the garage water damaged beyond repair. Apparently the dementia had crept in awhile back. So there’s that.

But that wasn’t the only fun. The winter was long, very cold, and snowy. Lets just say my snow blower got a work out.

Still though

With all of the challenges, I’m still glad we moved. The stress is much less than Denver and I feel like we can focus on less stressful living. It’s easier to make fitness a habitat, usually hitting the gym after work. I haven’t had much time to work on my programming skills as I would like, but I imagine things will begin to ease up and allow more time. We’re hoping to get out to get some kayaking and fishing in soon as well.

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