Secondly, it's taken me a few days to post because we moved in late Friday, unpacked Saturday, and then turned around and went to Hershey Park on Sunday with friends (more on that in the next post).
Friday was the first time the boys actually helped with the entire move. They usually get to spend most of the packing, loading, cleaning, and unpacking with grandparents, but this time, they experienced the whole shebang. About halfway through the cleaning process, Rich declared, "This STINKS!" This actually led to a long discussion (while cleaning) about janitorial jobs and how some people really enjoy cleaning, so it's a perfect job for them, and about how if you DON'T enjoy cleaning, you might want to be sure to hone a different skill set. (For those who don't know, Christie and I used to own a cleaning business in the 90's, and while the freedom and the income were awesome, the work was not very fulfilling for either of us.) It was probably the best conversation we've ever had with Rich about life choices and planning for the future.
There was a tearful goodbye to our little apartment on Springford Drive, then we were On The Road Again, Like A Band of Gypsies... (thanks, Willie!).
On to Danville.
Actually we're in a little community just north of Danville, PA (where Christie will work at Geisinger Medical Center), PA called Washingtonville. Now, Danville is a small town (just Google it, and you'll see), but Washingtonville is so far out in the sticks, they actually have to import their sticks from Danville. (Again, just Google it).
Here's the story with Danville: There were literally dozens of job openings in the southern states for the summer; Houston, Dallas, Orlando, Nashville, Phoenix, Atlanta, Birmingham, etc. We immediately marked these off the list for two reasons.
1) It is HOT in the south in July and August. I had a really tough time last summer in Fayettville with the heat and humidity, to the point that we had to adjust our lives to keep me inside during the 90+ days (which lasted about 7.5 months if I remember correctly...).
2) Most everything we'd like to do in those states (Disney, Civil War battlefields, Dallas Aquarium/Zoo, Egging the KKK headquarters, etc.) is going to be horrifically crowded during everyone's summer vacation. We'd rather live in these places during the "off" seasons in the fall or spring, or be there in the winter when it's not so hot.
So we started looking around the New England states, like we originally planned for this summer. There were many opportunities in New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts. Alas, though Christie qualified for these jobs in terms of her skills, they all wanted a travel RN with at least two assignments under her belt.
So we took the Danville assignment for several reasons:
1) It looked great in terms of experience for Christie. Geisenger services all the small counties in rural northern Pennsylvania. It's big enough to afford her many new learning opportunities, and allows her to work in telemetry/cardiac wards again (at Hershey, she was the cardiac nurse in a new trauma ward). The hospital itself has a great reputation.
2) Danville is a completely different experience for us. It is a very small town (population 6,000) with small town events and shops. It's in a beautiful location in rural Pennsylvania, with mild summer temperatures (at least for most of the summer). We figure our next few assignments will be in much larger cities than Harrisburg/Hershey, and we value diversity of experience highly, both for ourselves and the boys.
3) We haven't finished seeing everything we want to see in Pennsylvania yet! We've yet to go to Gettysburg, Lancaster (Amish country), Niagra Falls (about 4 hours from here), New York (about 3 hours from here), and I will be returning to Boston in July for a checkup with my cardiologist at Tufts. Not to mention we've gotten involved with a wonderful homeschool group and made friends that we're not quite ready to leave yet - in fact we're planning several trips with them for the summer (more on THAT in the next post too...)
So, Danville it is. Problem is, the medical center hired more nurses for the summer than there is housing for them. So while the company typically only houses its nurses in "luxury" apartments, there were simply none left in this small town by the time Christie signed on. We ended up in an old house, split into three apartments. There are several other similar houses on the property, so we share a little neighborhood with two other travel nurses currently.
To be honest, this is such a radical change from the first assignment that it took us a few days to make the necessary adjustments. The house itself has incredible character, and is very cozy. However, it's set up more for two roommates than a family, which means that while the bedrooms are big and well-furnished, the common areas are very sparse and small.
There is no real on-site laundry facilities so we'll be using a dry cleaners or laundromat in town. We've also had quite a challenge trying to make the kitchen work since the fridge is pretty small, and there's no garbage disposal or dishwasher (Oh, the horror! How did people live without these conveniences?) It has also been a technological nightmare trying to connect our various entertainment gadgets to the existing satellite dish boxes and tube televisions (this is a bit of a moot point because the yard outside is so big, shady, and beautiful that I don't imagine we'll spend much time this summer staring at tv screens - though the boys are in awe of having a tv in their bedroom - with CABLE! They're watching Looney Tunes as I type this).
The boys room - plenty of space for Legos, Geckos, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, stuffed animals, and Transformers.
We've never had a television in our bedroom. I intend to catch up on all the Ronco commercials I've missed over the years.
All in all, it's working, and I hope the boys are learning that "home" has very little to do with the house you live in. According to the other nurses living here, this is the only time we'll experience such a different living situation. This feels like living in a farm house and I hope we soak up every second of it. Here's what this translates into: washing dishes together, doing laundry together, playing outside, cooking simpler meals, finding things to do that don't involve a toggle controller and alternate firing buttons, and a lot of negative space.
I love negative space.
(p.s. I'm trying to upload video of the apartment, but our connection here is a bit slow, and blogger isn't cooperating today - I'll try again in a little while).