And I am shifting gears, realizing that I'm just a bit further south than I've ever lived before, so that there are subtle cultural differences, along with the obvious ones. Obvious differences include the essentials of ordering iced tea - if you want it plain, you have to request "unsweet", otherwise, you're getting it sweet, except they don't call it "sweet" they just call it tea. I recall having a discussion about this with a friend from Alabama once; so apparently southern Indiana is definitely "southern". The fact that we are still mainly wearing summer clothes at the end of September should have been clue enough that it is "southern' here, but the tea thing totally clinched it.
We are at that point in a move where you start wondering "what have we done", and where you get hit full force with the fatigue that comes after several weeks of having nothing in life being habitual or mechanical. Everything requires thought, from figuring out where things are in the grocery, to managing without a large percentage of your clothes and cookware, to having every interaction be with a stranger (which for an introvert like me, is a huge energy drain).
So, I was sitting today watching the martial arts class my kids are taking in the homeschool co-op (which meets about 3 min away from our apartment). I hadn't really wanted to go. Which is not to say that I wasn't delighted to find this co-op, and even more delighted at how welcoming everyone was. It was just that I was tired, and really didn't feel like walking into yet another "new" situation. Which was silly of me.
While the kids were letting off steam on the mats, I found myself joining in conversations ranging from discussing the merits of the local Asian markets, the best way to cook squid, to the duck that had been in residence at one of the markets (it had unexpectedly hatched from an egg that was part of a shipment. The owner named it "Lucky" as in "you're lucky we didn't sell your egg to someone before you hatched".) As the class went on,conversation drifted to other topics: software to support collaborative projects and file sharing, to 4H clubs, and career development. And I got the scoop on the local ballet studios, too.
I'm looking forward to heading back next week. As are the kids. It'll take awhile to feel connected but each little step brings us that much closer.