Ashland: Day 1

So this isn’t really about my first day at Ashland, that actually happened on Ashland Day:3. This is all about what happened on Ashland: Day 1 which was March 1st.

Now I’ve already written to you about my experience with the Mormons, but that story actually takes place in a larger context. See, I had originally planned on heading to Ashland on Sunday, but all reports indicated that we were going to get hit with another round of snowmageddon. I was looking at a 4 hour drive through 9-13″ of snow from Fort Wayne to Columbus to Ashland. That really didn’t sound like a good time for me. I decided to err on the side of caution and went ahead and booked another an additional night at the Super 8. Yeah, tons-o-fun.

Michelle and I have been looking at furniture ideas for the new house as well as trying to figure out how to pack the stuff that we have now. We decided rather than buying another bookcase, that we would by some crates that we could stack and use to haul books around in. After doing some research, we found some that we liked at Walmart that were functional and not too overpriced. Turns out however that we got the last 5 that they had online. There were none in our local stores and we needed a few more to accomplish what we wanted to. After doing some more searching we found that that the Walrmart near the new house had some in stock. So we ordered them and scheduled them for pickup.

This of course meant that I either had to pick them up on my way TO Ashland or on my way FROM Ashland. Since I miss my wife fiercely, the idea of having to add an extra two hours to my travel time just to get some boxes didn’t sound like a fun time. So I decided that I would get it on my way there.

I don’t use a GPS device, I typically use my iPhone and to date, Apple maps haven’t let me down… well except this time. For some strange reason, SIRI wanted to send me 6 miles future down the road from where I wanted to go. So I’m flying down the road and I pass the Walmart in Delaware and then a few more miles down the road there is another one. As I drove pass, I thought to myself, “That’s odd, there sure are a lot of Walmarts on this road, the one I am going to is just down the road a bit further.” Well until I “reached my destination on the right” which wasn’t my destination at all. So I busted out Google Maps, and confirmed that the store I wanted to go to was the last one that I had passed. Argh.

I turned around, got gas, and made my way back to Walmart. I ended up being helped by a really cool person (ironically) named Michelle who happened to be French. We chatted about my name, if I knew any French and all the secret stuff French people talk about behind the backs of non-French. From there I headed to the house where I met the neighborhood Mormons.

Since I had the chance, I figured this would be a good time to try a trial run of my morning commute (where I discovered that we are super close to a Meijer and Marsh) and headed out to the highway. I learned a few things.

    1) It’s pothole season even on 71… few things suck worse than hitting a large hole at 70+ after spending $$ to get your car realigned (at least I know which lane to avoid when).
    2) I speed on a three lane separated highway.
    3) I speed more when there are annoying people sitting in the fast lane doing the speed-limit.

Oh well, at least I have an idea of what it will be like (which while it will take longer when I drive slower, tickets suck worse than potholes so I’d like to avoid those too), it isn’t awful and I have some great audiobooks to keep me company.

Super 9

Because I’m cheap, I opted to book a room at the Super 8, taking a smaller sized bed than I am used to. Since I am staying for a number of days, every dollar I save is multiplied by 6 and that adds up quick when you’re moving and starting a new job. I was a little worried because, well, it’s the Super 8. While the room is tiny (mostly because I have two doors, one that leads to the outside and then one that leads to an interior hall), I checked the bed and there wasn’t anything living there and to my surprise it had a wonderful shower designed for tall people. As an extra bonus it had a mini-fridge and microwave. Being cheap, I headed down to Walmart (which was 1 minute down the road) and stocked up on some money saving items that I could store in my room. Then, I carried in my suitcase, my huge purple tote filled with office stuff and 7 crates that I picked up in the Columbus area. I was a little afraid I wouldn’t have a place to sleep after all.

After getting settled in, I figured it was time to finally get some dinner. As luck (it really isn’t so lucky) would have it, there was a Denny’s parked next to my car. I made the unfortunate mistake of ordering the French Slam (yes, the internet has already told me to avoid ordering foods with the word SLAM in them). I rarely feel good having eaten there. It was interesting however to sit back and people watch.

Ashland isn’t a big town and the more people I talk to, many of them have lived their all their lives. They stay because their family lives there. I am reminded of how lucky I am. I grew up in a small town of Kalkaska. It was a good place to grow up and I’m happy that I did. Yet, I didn’t stay there (not that there is anything wrong with that). I’ve lived in Lansing, Charlotte, Grabil, and Fort Wayne. Now I get to live in Delaware and work in another town. I get to explore a whole new state. Yes it’s nothing so drastic is moving across the country, but I also get a chance to make some new experiences. My kids get a chance for new some experiences and hopefully the won’t be afraid to out on their own and explore the world when it’s there time.

Change is nothing more than an opportunity for growth. I am grateful to have one here in Ashland (even if I can hear the guy snoring through the wall in the room next to me and the motion sensor keeps going off in my bathroom as if it’s haunted).

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