We are settling in to life in Millbrook. We’ve learned how to work the heat in our house, grown accustomed to pulling a cord to start the shower, and figured out how best to dry our clothes without a dryer. We’re now familiar (enough) with the Celsius degrees on the oven and can do currency conversion in our heads. We’ve discovered what all the doors in the homes are for (keeping the heat in!), and we’ve been educated on how to make a proper cup of tea. We’ve also noted the many differences between the English we speak as Americans and the English spoken here in Northern Ireland. I’ve never been more aware of how often I say “you guys”!
Hosea is doing better than we are, already incorporating words like biscuit (cookie), pram (stroller), trousers (pants), and making sure to specify that we are in “Northern” Ireland, and not Ireland. He says things like, “Is this a Northern Irish bus? Is this Northern Irish rain? Is this what people in Northern Ireland eat for breakfast?”
Our new Northern Irish friends have been apologizing for the “miserable” winter weather, but it’s actually much MUCH colder in Kansas City right now! I think the difference is that in KC we are used to running the heat all the time, but here in NI our heat clicks on for two hours twice a day. So, it feels colder here than you would think even though it’s only about 45 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside. For the first week or so, it was so cold when we would get out of bed and Hosea just kept saying, “I’m freezing!” Once we got better at working the heat, lit the fireplace, remembered to put on sweatshirts and make tea in the morning, Hosea would exclaim, “I’m warming up!” My heart was so happy to hear these words come out of his mouth, because I want him to love this place.
Like Hosea stated, we are indeed warming up, but not just physically. We are warming up to life here, working on diving into new relationships and trying to gain some semblance of routine. We’ve left everything we ever knew in Kansas City and, while these two cultures are not drastically different, everything is new. Even something as simple as taking out the trash took some getting used to! (One week it picks up trash and recycling, and the next week it picks up food scraps >>to be made into compost! genius!)
I could also add that I’m “warming up” to life with two kids. I will admit that it’s been difficult at times, but easier because John is a huge help. Neither of us have full time jobs here, but rather the random evening events and meetings during the day, so we are both home a lot and able to share the parenting responsibilities.
At any rate, we are warming up, and we love it here <3