After Pre-Service Orientation, I made my way down to Deer Lodge which was about an hour away from Helena. Ethel did not enjoy going up the mountain. The speed limit is 70 and she did not want to pass 50. I can't blame her though. I don't know how fast I would be moving 6,300 miles above sea level. I've noticed the altitude has definitely effected me in different ways. I get tired quickly, or run out of breath way easier than I'm accustomed to. At first I thought to myself, "Poop. Four days in the car and I lose all of this muscle mass..." I was pretty happy to find out that altitude does that to just about everyone.
Now for the good stuff: the new apartment. It's very Mary Tyler Moore. It was described to me as a one bedroom but it's really more of a modified studio. There is one major room that is divided by a wall and a set of French doors. Then I have a kitchen, where the bottom shelf (physical piece of wood, not the items on the shelf) is eye level. I bought a step ladder so I can get to my food. The bathroom has this antique claw foot tub with curtains that go all the way around it. Keeping the tub from leaking has been an interesting challenge so far. I think I've finally figured out how to make a little curtain forcefield... The closet it the best part, in my opinion. It's massive. It's almost the same size as my kitchen, no joke. The hardwood floor is super creaky. So much so that I've taken masking tape and marked the loudest areas so I can try to avoid them, especially at night. I don't mind the creaks though. My imagination likes to make up stories about all the people who must have walked over those boards before me. It's not perfect, but it's home. I have a little craft nook in the corner, which is clearly all I need to survive.
Mom sent my sewing machine up! Now I can have curtains and other such linens. I'm thinking the curtains will be helpful in blocking out the morning cold. Yes. You read correctly. It's already cold in the mornings here. Usually it stays somewhere in the high 40's/50's until about 10 or so in the morning. In August. Guess when the first frost is supposed to come? Go ahead, guess... THE END OF THIS MONTH.
Just to reiterate: The end of August = normal time for the first frost
If you can't tell, I was a little flabbergasted to say the least when someone told me this. They don't have winter clothes out yet at the cute thrift store in town so I haven't gotten a coat. I have a cute little pea coat my trendy Gram gave me for Christmas a little while back. I was told that would last me until November. At least by then cold weather clothes will be out so I can be prepared for the rest of the winter. I'm pretty sure my eyes bugged out of my head a bit when my supervisor said the peacoat would last until November, considering that it doesn't start becoming consistently chilly in Florida until November. The really good thing about the different area though is how long the sun is out. It doesn't get dark until well after 10pm. I've been told the long days reverse themselves drastically in the winter. I choose not to worry about that until I have to.
My every need is definitely in God's hands and I want for nothing. The small AmeriCorps stipend seems to stretch to whatever I need so far. The support I've received from friends and family back in Florida has definitely made it easier to adjust. I have the cards that have been sent on a cupboard in my kitchen so I can look at them whenever I need a smile.
It's not going to be an easy year, but I know it will be a blessed year.
PS. I promise to put up pictures as soon as I've taken care of the pile of boxes in the corner of my apartment... Recycling is hard here y'all!