People are always wondering if it was a big culture shock moving to MT after living in CA. It is funny, but the culture shock didn't come when we moved here; it hit when we returned to CA after living here for a while. The differences are many, but the most noticeable are the traffic, the crowdedness (pretty sure that's not a word) and the obsession with appearances (personal, cars, fashion) in Southern California. One small, but wonderful, difference is the post office. When I lived in San Diego the post office was one of my very least favorite errands second only to shopping at Walmart (which I avoided almost like the plague, until I had a very long, necessary list and had no choice but to go and wade through the stacked to the ceiling, unorganized, too-thin aisles - ugh). Things sat around gathering dust until I rustled up the gumption to withstand the misery of the post office. And I didn't go to places like Mailboxes, Etc. because I am too cheap to pay the surcharges, and the lines were just about as long there anyway. When we moved here I was amazed at how easy and quick a visit to the post office was. In Columbia Falls, the longest I ever waited was 10 minutes - AT CHRISTMASTIME. In Lakeside, where we now live, I have only had one person in front of me at any time. In East Glacier, the only waiting is for the attendant to come after you ring the bell at the counter. Now, I know it isn't always this way - the Kalispell main office is busy and I have waited 15 minutes before, but that's nothing compared to the30 - 45 minutes that I would normally stand in line in the Rancho Bernardo post office. I love Montana - difference #1.
After a very long and tiring mishap with Elias' Christmas present which involved the sending of it to a wrong address on the other end of the country (my brother and sister-in-law housed it for a few days until UPS came back to get it - twice!) and then being back-ordered, it finally arrived yesterday.
After a bunch of unpacking and set up, this is what we ended up with:
So, raise your hand if you think this was a good idea........Kelly's hand is raised ...........and..............and..............over there in the corner - is your hand up? No? Hm. Anyone else?? Anyone?
We took our family photos with the Rickels and Millers. We just had to do a kid photo. I love it. 3 Rickel kids are missing (2 married, 1 soon to be married.....yahoo Paige and Josh - less than a month!!) and there are still 14 kids here. We are so blessed that our kids have such great friends.
So my father won't continue to be disappointed as he wears out his computer coming to my blog to see if we have posted anything....tada. The first photo of 2011. We rang in the New Year with a big group of great friends. And I only took one photo. Here it is. Happy New year, Mom and Dad.