Settled In

Ah, my new home. It is lovely. Although, as friends have suggested, I would have basically thought a roomy cardboard box that was freshly painted and wasn’t up 72 stairs an improvement.

Our home is in an area called Arzl. It takes me less than 10 minutes to drive downtown or to Annie’s Kindergarten, but it still retains some of its rural charm. (That is what happens when only 15% of the province you live in is habitable…everyone shares.) For example, one way I can describe getting to my house is “pass the overfed cows, take your first left after the sleepy goats, but if you come to the chocolate-brown sheep you’ve gone too far.” In the spring, before the herd was moved higher up the mountain, we awoke to the clang of cowbells. A decent way to wake up, let me tell you.

In the great “enough space?” debate, I’m coming down on the side of “it will definitely do.” We haven’t had guests yet, which I know will be an interesting challenge, but for our family of three we are working it out nicely. The guest bathroom doubles as a laundry room, Annie’s big closet houses our winter coats, the storage under the roof is packed with boxes, and careful purchasing of cupboards and wardrobes and vanity mirrors has provided more than enough space for our daily needs. Every once in a while I’ll buy something, like a new water pitcher, and we’ll look at it questioningly, wondering where to fit it in. But so far we’ve managed to figure it all out.

O.K…except for the office/craft room. It is pure, unadulterated chaos and I have a strong feeling that isn’t going to improve any time soon ever. But hey, what true artists was every known for their tidiness?

The best part by far is the yard. Annie has had more friends come to visit in the two months we have been here than in the 20 months we were at the hotel. The kids jump on the trampoline, mix mud pies in the plastic kitchen and then run upstairs to play in Annie’s weird playroom. (A bizarre combo of a bathroom and a small area under the slant of the eves that Annie adores. Kids just love to wedge themselves, their toys, and all stuffed animals into tight spaces I have noticed.)

We also enjoy our balcony. Markus’ dad bought us a gas grill, (that is a barbecue to you fellow Canadians) and we have been enjoying the fine weather with lots of semi-charred meat shared with friends and family. And although the views aren’t as spectacular as our last apartment, they certainly still show the Austrian Alps nicely.

Annie’s view is the most fun; when lying on her bed, we see only the very peaks of the mountains.

Another plus is that we can walk out behind our house and be right on the mountain paths. There is a hiking trail system that extends to, well, infinity and beyond. You can choose from dozens of paths lasting from thirty minutes to several hours (probably days if you are that way inclined), for a hike that takes you to towering vistas and delicious house-cooked knödel at a mountainside restaurant.

Getting around is also going well with one car. Markus often takes his bike, Annie and I have figured out the bus system, and there is a grocery store just down the street.

All-in-all, life is just fine here at the yellow house. Come on over for a visit sometime and see for yourself.