Monday, November 9, 2015

My Frivolous Favorite Things about Decorah

It's here.  I don't even have to switch to the 10 day forecast view in my weather app to get to our moving day.

4 days.

The chains don't lie.  (Damn, that'd make a sweet song title...)

Our house is currently in total chaos- as one would expect of an imminent move of 5 people 2000 miles away.

The kids have turned rabid, eating mac and cheese in the living room in various states of undress.

The master bedroom is "Epic Car Trip Adventure 2015" command zone.

Trying to plan for living out of a car for a week is kind of an organized person's dream mission:  you have to plan it just right and get the jigsaw of car packing perfect and life will be complete.
Kid's clothes packed in Ziploc bags, tape-coded and labeled

Andy thinks I'm a nut job but I know 3 days into the trip when everyone is tired, dirty and cranky he will appreciate the fact that I labeled each bag and container so we can find the computer charger when it inevitably goes dead.

So in between all the lists, phone calls and goodbyes, I have been pondering all the things I will most miss about Decorah.  This will be a purely fluff list- of course we will most miss the amazing friends we have made but my computer keyboard is not waterproof so we will leave those words in our hearts and not on this blog.

So onto my frivolous favorite things about Decorah:

10.  Never waiting in line at the local grocery store.  Seriously, if you are in one deep you will hear a frantic call for another checker and get immediately waved over.

9.  Fareway cart service.  I wrote a post a bit ago about this local grocery store.  Once you are all checked out, a friendly employee pushes your cart out to your car and loads all the groceries.  I don't look forward to trying to strap three kids into carseats while trying to keep one foot on the cart to keep it from rolling away into another parked car.

8.  Nordic Fest.  Most Decorah-ites probably would disagree with this being on my list of things I'll miss, but I will.  This festival embodies midwestern small towns with its charming traditions and use of local organizations to run booths.  My belly won't miss the rommegrot and lingonberry ice cream but I certainly will.

7.  No traffic.  10 minutes to and from town- completely consistently.  No need for back-way routes or alternatives.  The most traffic you'll find in this small town is right at school drop off and pick up when you might have to wait at the light one extra time.

6.  Safety.  We don't lock our doors.  Rarely do.  Hopefully I can remember to hold onto a key ring again.  Once, I left my car sliding door totally open in the middle of town, did errands for an hour, came back to find it open and NOTHING missing.  Can't beat that.

5.  Kwik Star.  Love this gas station.  The prepared food section actually has good choices- yogurt, cheese, fruit, salads, etc and the milk, egg and butter prices are often CHEAPER than the grocery store!  They are always clean and the staff is super friendly.  Also, no fee ATMs!  Kwik Star is the model all gas stations should use.

4.  Fresh chicken eggs.  I'm a wacky person that will eat the same breakfast for like, 2 years straight then one day, out of the blue get sick of it and never eat it again (remember the frozen waffle incident of 2000, dad?).  Right now, my breakfast is an egg with an english muffin.  But my eggs are pretty much still warm from the chicken which makes a huge difference in flavor.    Store-bought eggs ain't gonna cut it.  We are planning to have chickens in Oregon but the soonest we would probably have egg producing chickens would be in a year or so so I have a serious gap to fill in my breakfast regime.

3.  Running into people.  Growing up in suburban America, the thought of running into someone I knew every time I left the house sounded like a nightmare.  Now though, three years of living in a smaller town I run into someone in almost every store I walk into.  And guess what, I like it.  Having a quick chat with an acquaintance while running errands makes the mundane so much more interesting and makes you feel like a valued part of a community.  And only in Decorah could you drive an hour up to Rochester and STILL run into people from town.

2.  Walkable shopping.  I LOVE parking my car at Fareway, getting the kids into strollers/carriers and then doing the loop to most of the stores I need to hit.  It makes shopping with little kids more pleasant since you don't have to constantly strap in and out of carseats.  It's also nice to get out and get some sun on your face.

1.  Java Johns.  Can't have a "things I'll miss" list without this little coffee shop.  For a good few months after moving to town I MISSED Starbucks.  I had my iced coffee order down to a science and was not in the mood to break in a new coffee joint.  I tried all the shops in town until I settled on this one.  On any given day, you will find me with at least one kiddo either running in and out with my drink (right now my drink of choice is a London Fog, yum!) or settled into a booth with a Bob's Breakfast Biscuit and F with his favorite- a cinnamon roll (this might have been his first word).  This was the first place we stopped on our way home from the hospital after both boys were born and feels like a second home.  The kids have adopted the owner, Mary to the point that upon entering they yell, "MARY!!" and people ask if we are related.  This was one of the first places we went when we arrived into town and will certainly be our last stop on our way out Friday.

So, now that I'm feeling slightly misty, let's back it up and throw out a few things we will NOT miss! Here it is in no particular order:

1.  No garbage pick up at the house.  Yeah, we seriously have to load up the car with garbage and take to a dump site.

2.  Living on a gravel road.  Dust, Dust, Dust= constant cleaning of everything and dust covered plants/grass during dry months.

3.  Walmart.  Yeah, I know they are everywhere but I am never stepping foot into one again when there is a Target next door.

4.  Having to drive 2 1/2 hours to get to an airport.  Such a logistic pain.

5.  Having to drive into town if we want to go for a walk or bike ride.  Not much walking to do on a gravel road.

6.  Midwest winters.  Lived these for 31 years.  I think I'll take some rain over the arctic cold and piles of snow.

7.  A DAMN decent hot dog.  Come on Decorah, this shouldn't be complicated. When one does hard work outside in the summer, one wants a HOT DOG!

8.  Drive-thru coffee.  Yes, I love me some Java Johns but I look forward to being able to get coffee while still in my pjs.  

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