To begin, we'll start with some good news: David got a new job! He'd been searching for something on-campus and that would allow him to have weekends free, and the Lord opened up a position for him on the landscaping/facilities crew at Biola. We're stoked.
Most of my time these days, other than work, is spent baking and homemaking. Just the other week I made this delicious peanut butter granola and banana muffins.
Unfortunately all my baking endeavors has left this blog quite neglected. Sorry, old friend.
But as to our current state of adjustment here, we've been discovering much about California this sunshine-loving culture. In doing so, I've found that many of our expectations about this place have been proven wrong. Don't get me wrong, now-- they certainly do tax you when you buy anything from a plastic bottle and the concept of less than a mega-church is almost non-existent.
But here are some misconceptions we had upon arrival to the West Coast:
#1 - Everyone passionately cares about the environment. Nope. Not true. Sure, there are the fanatics around, and a lot of people use reusable bags for their shopping, but there's still litter. Actually, there's a lot of litter on some streets. And would you believe me if I told you that we live much further from a recycling center than we did at our previous residence? You get the point.
#2 - It's super expensive. I'm not gonna lie and say that it doesn't hurt when we write our $900 rent check each month (and no, we don't have air conditioning), but aside from that, things haven't been too bad. We pay a lower rate for our utilities if we don't use above a certain amount, and I get extra money in my paycheck if I carpool, bike, or walk to work (which I do).
Food is even cheaper to come by, particularly produce. There are numerous Mexican markets around and they're by far the cheapest. Last week I paid $0.98 for a 10lb. bag of potatoes and $0.24 for a bag of organic spinach. Can't beat that. We still coupon-- somewhat-- but not to the extremes we used to. It's a lot more work because there's not a good blog for our area, which means I have to find the deals and do the coupon match-ups. In any case, we doing just fine on the food side of things.
#3 - Everyone is friendly. This one hit us in the face more than any of our other misconceptions when we first got here. People are nice... for the most part. And Biola people especially are friendly, once you get to know them. But it's really different than the South. Cashiers don't start a conversation with you every time you get in line. Shoot, you're lucky if they even look at you while checking out. We've found that we have to take much more initiative to get to know people, even the Christians. It makes it frustrating when trying to make friends or find a church because you have to throw out the notion that people who are willing to get to know you are actually going to approach you.
I guess we'll end here for tonight, and hope to pick up the blogging again in less time than has previously passed. We're getting excited to see my dad over Thanksgiving, have completed Dave's first semester of Seminary, and be back in Columbia just after Christmas. Time is flying!
Love and hugs--