We arrived at dusk to our new home in the country. It's beautiful, I won't lie. If you like this sort of thing. Although we have neighbors, every property is approximately 3-7 acres so you have a sense of isolation. Jeremy had been living in the house for a few weeks before us but he really hadn't lived in the house or explored the ins and outs of our property. So the boys promptly did that.
I set to work checking out the kitchen and bathrooms - noticing a large amount of orange staining in the toilets and sinks. I ran the water and it smelled - like sulfur or rusty iron. I filled a cup of water and yes, it did have a orange tinge to it. But coming from a city/suburban background, I had no idea how to diagnose the issue.
While I was upstairs, I heard a bath running and went downstairs to find chase in the large bathtub in his bathroom. Side note: I don't totally understand the design concept of this bathroom - but it's large and has two sinks which is I great for two brothers to share. Doesn't that tub look like a mini baptismal font? Anyone feel like getting saved? Come to my basement! (Wait, that sounds really weird)
And that essentially sums up what the water situation was like in the house. To be fair, the house's previous owners had not maintained the house/property properly and the house had been unoccupied for 7 months before we moved in so there were some definite growing pains. It basically is the result of iron in the well water and the water softener not hooked up to the house's plumbing. Also, the product called Iron Out worked wonders at removing the orange staining found in all of the toilets/tubs/showers. It ended up taking me 5 weeks to fully resolve the water issue. And it kind of freaked me out because I thought to myself, what did we move in to?
Then, that night, the worst storm system in ten years hit Green Bay/Appleton. Jer and I woke at midnight to pounding torrential downpour and lightening/thunder that was coming every 3-5 seconds! The sky looked like a strobe light - no kidding.The wind was bending the trees practically in half (we found out later that the gusts were 70-80 mph). It looked liked those apocalyptic movies where all the forces of nature come out to destroy humankind. Later, we leaned that tornados hit a town just 35 minutes away from us. We simply do not have this kind of storm in the PacNW. I vacillated between being scared out of my mind and fascinated by the sheer wonder of this apocalypse. Uh, welcome to Wisconsin!! I wondered once again, where the hell did we move to? I was ready to leave Oregon, but not to this crazy country.
We did move the boys to the innermost basement room (now dubbed our storm shelter as we've had 3 tornado watches since moving to GB). They slept peacefully and do not get the chance to see the voracity of the storm. The power went out predictably and stayed off through the next day - moving in day. This picture is my sewing studio located in our basement but it doubles as the storm shelter as it in contained entirely in the concrete foundation of the house - so safest place to be.
The movers arrived promptly at 7am and the morning was glorious. There were tree branches on the ground but otherwise it did not look like a bizarre Midwest storm had hit only hours earlier. I guess this landscape is used to this sort of thing. And we began moving day with no power, humid summer heat, and non working plumbing (including toilets) - wells are operated by a power generated pump so no power equals no water pumping.
(A beautifully designed kitchen - selling point of the house)
(Playing on swing set while chaos ensues inside the house)
After the movers finished unloading in the afternoon we set about figuring out the space - where to put things and how to arrange everything. Overwhelming. We are so so lucky and fortunate to have found this house that fits our entire family comfortably and it costs us just a little bit more than our house in Oregon if you can believe that. I can't. It blows my mind how expensive the PacNW is and how much more bang for your buck you can get in the Midwest. And basements! Oh how I love the Midwest basements.
I want to publicly acknowledge how happy to am to have this much space in our new house and property! It has fulfilled a desire I've had for so so long. Trust me, we've put our time in and lived in 800 sq. foot apartments with kids to living in neighborhoods where you share fences with people whose houses are 10 feet from your house to places where people get mad at you for letting your kids play outside (I'm looking at you Salem). I am going to relish in the space and privacy we have!
Despite the two rough and rocky parts of the initial moving in, Green Bay has proven to be a really great place for our family - at least so far. I'll be posting more in the coming week about what we've done and who we've met since arriving!