It’s been almost 2 months now since Brian and I arrived home from Tajikistan, and since we have returned every old and some new friends always ask us the same question. “How we are handling being back to the normalcy of the day to day life here in Minnesota.” It’s a simple question with an easy answer.
There has been quite an adjustment period for the both of us. Brian has definitely jumped back into the normal daily functions of stable at home life. He’s doing much better then I, mainly because he came back to a job that he went to almost right away. On the side I came home to one of the worst times of the year for an Crane/Equipment Operator. So I expect it will take some time for my full acclimatization to happen. Hopefully that will happen sooner rather then to much later.
As for the continuation of our cycling practice, I still set astride my bicycle out 5-6 times per week, nothing close to the kilometers we were covering then, but still spinning the legs. Until recently we chose to do the one car family thing, since I really didn’t need the car, deciding instead to accomplish all the chores on my touring bike. I’m happy for it, keeps me cycling and still have a bit of a purpose behind it. Now unfortunately or maybe not so much so we purchased a new Subaru Forester for Brian, so that he could haul his tool to work and have a bit more room then my little compact machine. I’ve found a job for a short while back in the equipment operations realm and it facilitated the need for two vehicles.
We also came back at the beginning of the Cyclocross season. Pressure has piled on to Brian from all of his race friends to start back to serious racing right away. The only problem is he didn’t feel competitive this year. Yes, he probably has the most time and miles in the saddle then almost anyone who isn’t a pro bike racer as do I. Though neither of us are in race shape, we definitely are turtles compared to these guys who have been training in multiple bicycle disciplines throughout the last year. There are still plans in the works to race next year, but as for now I think the both of us are going to be mostly gym ward bound and if we get a fair amount of snow we’ll also be cross county skiing at the local golf course / park here called Theo Wirth. It’s about 5 minutes from the house, so it’s super convenient for the impending snow fall. Lot of lifting weights, a little winter biking, and weekends skiing is what we will be doing with our bodies to keep in shape until the spring thaw.
Things went a little crazy at the old homestead while we were gone. At some point during the spring Minneapolis got all their rain all at once. Upon returning home we found that the 3 season back porch had moved, not something normal for a house to do. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that there never was a foundation built to support this part of the structure. Immediately we began preparations to temporally fix this problem and this little renovation kicked of a string of home improvements which is still happening today. Mostly accomplished by myself, it is a good thing is have a background in construction. Brian and I together dug out for footings and stabilized the back porch ourselves. But we had to hire someone to replace our HVAC system, it was on the increasingly inefficient, insufficient and gave us a scare on night when it refused to work. Since then I’ve repainted the living room yellow to help deal with the doom and gloom of our long winters here in Minnesota. We hadn’t planed on being back until after March which in Minnesota is still the season for snow but it is also when things tend get a bit warmer. There really isn’t such a thing as Spring in these parts. I’ve installed shelving for storing our shoes, an ever increasing collection of footwear with specific purposes. There has been an attempt made to repair the outside stucco and to filling the gaps in our back stairs with mortar both of which are only temporarily solutions meant to work until spring when the real demolition can begin. There are loads of other little projects going on as well like replacing the light fixtures for a more homey feel and fixing the stove (our roommate did that one) . After being away for 7 months I suppose this is a bit of a nesting response. We’ll always continue to travel but I think we’ll be in Minneapolis for a long time.
Every weekend and many of the evenings, even on the school nights has been filled with all sorts of activities. Between game nights, club meetings, Facebook events, hanging out with friends, movies and going to the theater almost all of our free time is filled with things to do. Neither of us are lonely that’s for sure. I forgot that we used to do so much. Keeping busy is key, for me at least. Otherwise I might not ever fully adjust back into normal society.