Monday, March 21, 2005

Baby Steps

I made an advancement this weekend in accepting my new home here in Wisconsin.

It’s nothing personal to WI or the people here, it’s just that I rather prefer my old home. Papa Duck asked me one day, “It’s not so bad here, is it?” to which I responded (thinking about the cold, snow, Packers fans, crazy ice fishermen, odd accents (and no Jen, you don’t have an accent!) and crusty hippies I have run into), “It’s not that it’s so bad here, it’s just that Texas was home.”

Weekly we drive to a new town to explore in the hopes of finding a town that we would like to call “home." Usually these trips leave me depressed for any number of reasons…the overuse of vinyl siding, the fact that my husband would be happy living in the middle of a desolate cornfield with nothing but dairy cows as neighbors, the high cost of living or the general lack of hills that I was accustom to in Austin. But yesterday I returned to our happy rental home with an actual sense of excitement about our trip.

And no, we didn’t take a quick weekend back to Austin.

We ventured out west to a quaint little town called Cross Plains. We actually looked at two towns, Mount Horeb and Cross Plains. Mount Horeb wasn’t looking good as I kicked myself once again for not bringing my camera. We drove through a little neighborhood where there was a large piece of wood paneling with the words “Vodka Water in a Tub” spray-painted on it and a large bathtub (complete with hook-ups still attached) sitting in front of it. Seriously, I can’t make this shit up. And this was in what I would consider (for the area) a “normal” neighborhood (my criteria for normal include, but are not limited to: a lack of double-wides, no bars next to or as part of a home and distinct lack of farm animals wandering through the front yards).

Needless to say, I wasn’t holding out much hope for this day’s adventure.

We turned north toward Cross Plains and things got a bit hillier. It was sunny which was a plus. And then we saw an “open house” sign…we decided to stop. It was in an actual neighborhood (no cows within at least 2 miles) with steep hills of wooded city-owned land behind it. The exterior of the house had a perfect union of both siding and stone and the interior (although lacking the white trim which I will demand when we build) was very tastefully done.

As we left the house we looked at other lots in the neighborhood and then proceeded to the local Culver’s to indulge in some of the Flavor of the Day, Cookie Dough Craving. Every little town here has one, there may be no barber, bank or grocery store, but rest assured there will be a Culver’s.

I don’t know if it was the nice lady showing the open house, the cute little “Main Street” atmosphere or the large walking ice cream cone that greeted us as Culver’s, but I found myself actually interested in the prospect of living in Cross Plains. The one downfall is that I would have to grocery shop at a place called “Piggly Wiggly,” but who am I to judge?