Tales of a Midwest Lutheran on the East Coast

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The sun just came out, if you can believe that...

We still have some pretty gusty winds going on here, though. I'm not going to lie, last night was pretty rough. The power went out at about 11 PM, and we could hear the loud rain and wind outside. Beau had gotten weather alerts on his phone since we don't have a weather radio, so we were aware of the two separate tornado warnings during the night. Every room in this apartment has windows, even the bathroom, so we sat in our bedroom closet at about 3 in the morning until the warning expired. We woke up to wind and a little rain, but for the most part I feel like we dodged a bullet compared to other parts of the state. We even had power this morning.

We went for a short walk around to check out what was damaged, and we didn't find that much - just a lot of branches down.

Thanks for all your prayers! I think they worked!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


As the days wear on, it seems more and more real, that this is really happening - we are going to be hit by a hurricane. Granted, Irene has been downgraded to a category 1, but that is kind of like saying we're going to be hit by an F1 not an F2 tornado - it's still a freaking tornado, or in this case, it is still a freaking hurricane.

Services at Resurrection are cancelled for tomorrow, but still on for this evening. We're filling all our water up and have gathered supplies. Since this is pretty new to me, I thought it might be fun to chronicle our preparations:

Flowers are now inside, so they don't blow away. Can you guess what color is my favorite? :)

 Fridge is filled with water and foodstuffs.

Cats are... taking everything in stride. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

First an Earthquake, now Hurrican Irene...

...Welcome to New Jersey! And what a welcome indeed. First, the earth shook beneath our feet on Tuesday - well, actually I was sitting on the couch wondering what in the world was being moved and why was it shaking the whole apartment? It was only later when I checked Facebook that I saw on nearly everyone's status stuff about the earthquake. Nothing was damaged, it was just freaky.

Next, we hear that Hurrican Irene is headed this way. Everyone is freaking out a bit - there were lines forming at gas stations and Shoprite was super crowded (and the shelves with cans and bottled water were pretty empty already). Landfall here should be Sunday morning - the bishop here advised cancellation of services even, but it is up to local pastors to decide. The Jersey shore is closed off completely. We really have no idea yet how bad it will be this far inland; we'll just have to wait and see. We've located our candles and matches in our stuff, found some batteries and flashlights, and have some canned goods ready to go. I really hope we don't have to eat cold peas and green beans, though. :)

On a more positive note, we have officially surpassed a milestone for adulthood, at least in my weird little mind. We have a real bed frame with a headboard. No more box spring (which was damaged in the move) and iron frame stuff for us! We are well on our way to becoming an IKEA catalog! I don't know, for some ready this  makes me feel like I have passed through some sacred threshold that only people with real apartments with real jobs can pass. Another cool thing is that I constructed it myself, while Beau was at the office. Just call me "Rosie" with the mad drilling skills! Beau was super impressed. :)

In other news, I am going to have to wait another week before knowing what is going on in the process. In the meantime, you should all send me letters so that I have something to read when I want a break from unpacking!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mrs. Nelson goes to the grocery store and other perilous adventures.

The settling continues, aided by the arrival of our stuff - rather the worse for wear - on Saturday. Not only did the moving truck arrive nearly a week after originally promised, but a few of our things were dinged up or broken. Yeah, we knew that we were taking a chance with the particle board bookshelves, but after they left we discovered things like our microwave is now a slightly odd shape, and many of our boxes have gouges and holes. Ug. Darned if you do... at least now we have our bed to sleep on!

The kitties are happy that the Box Mountain is back, but I think aren't nearly as delighted as we are that we have still have ROOM to live! We're going to, miracle of miracles, have room for our stuff and won't need extra storage! Whoo hoooo! On a side note, Beau's church seems to have fallen in love with our cats. I have already received two pouches of treats. They are going to get spoiled at this rate!

Things are slowly finding their place. And we are slowly discovering wonderful things about New Jersey, such as:

 - We have apparently arrived at the beginning of the monsoon season. Torrential downpours every third day, seems like.

- Today's forecast: humid. Tomorrow's forecast: humid. Forever's forecast: FREAKING HUMID!!!

- The bugs at night sound like goats. Speaking of bugs, I was somehow under the impression that praying mantises were native to places like the jungle. Imagine my surprise when I nearly collided with one as I was climbing into the car to go to Beau's church on Sunday morning. HOLY COW these things are HUGE! I had no idea.

- Sticker shock sucks. Gas is pretty comparable, but everything else.... This very morning, as the title suggests, I spent a good two hours in the Shop Rite grocery store, either thinking "Where the heck is the ....?" or "They pay $$$ for THIS?" Granted, they are doing some construction on the building, but still. My spider sense was of no use. At least there is no tax on clothing!!

- I love Chik-fil-A and Wawa coffee and Rita's ice cream!

Well, my friends, boxes don't unpack themselves (unless perhaps "helped" by a cat and followed by a loud crashing sound...).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So I'm probably going to bore the dickens out of you...

...but, as a) I haven't started the call process yet and b) our stuff is still en route, blogging can fill up my time! Yay! Seriously, with new things happening every day, life has not been boring since the move. Yesterday Beau had a "successful" first day, if you can call it that, and we celebrated by getting some Rita's ice custard. Mango vanilla crunch = ice custard heaven! Today I went for a brisk walk around the neighborhood, admiring both the high level of humidity and the ritzy houses I walked by. Holy buckets. Not even kidding. I also found a half-off plant sale and purchased some plants and potting soil to green the place up!

The one on the left is for Beau's office, and the center one is the poor violet that hasn't been properly potted for about a year. See how happy it is?

 Our kitties are also acclimating. They are still a little freaked out by the size of the place, which is accented by the lovely hardwood floors. They are loving the deep windowsills, but seemed to have developed a little bit of a separation anxiety complex, as they tend to follow me from room to room. But, overall, I think they approve of the place.

Here we can see the newest IKEA showroom, complete with carpet tester. They seem to have left this one out of the catalog. :) 

That, dear readers, is it for today!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beau's first day on the job!

Now that the internet is working again in our apartment, I'll give you a taste of the new Nelson pad. Right now it is a disaster, even though most of our stuff hasn't arrived yet (the movers keep pushing back the date of arrival, which really stinks). I'm going to share some pic of the place sans Move In Phase I (to borrow terminology from a friend).

We live in the Woodmere apartments, and if you would like to write us, our address is 1003 Hughes Dr. #1, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690. 

This first picture is the outside of our apartment, which is on the second floor. We have our own door and we live on the end, which is nice!

This is our kitchen, which is it's own room! It has a dishwasher too!

 Our dining room, also it's own room, is nice and big for when we have people over, which we want to do a lot.
 Living room, with balcony.
 Bathroom, heavy on the ROOM part.
 Balcony, with a lovely vista of trees (yes there are trees in NJ!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A blog is born!

Hello my friends. I decided to start this blog in order to avoid bombarding facebook with the daily happenings of our new life out in New Jersey. So much has been happening to us, so many wonderful, exciting, and scary things, that posting snippets on facebook just wasn't cutting it. This is a whole new chapter opening up for Beau and myself. It sounds corny, but it really does feel this way. We are really adults now. Tomorrow will be Beau's first official day at Resurrection Lutheran Church. We have bought a really nice couch which is doubling as our bed for the moment. Our cats (Patches and Midnight) now have collars and will soon have identification. We have a study/second bedroom, a kitchen, a dining room, and living room (all separate rooms, mind you). We have found the IKEA, Target, Best Buy, Petsmart and the infamous WaWa. We have arrived, my friends!

The name for this blog was first born during our wedding dance, when a good friend of mine changed the lyrics to Madonna's "Like a Virgin" to "Like a Lutheran." And, since we have now left the bastion of Lutheranism in the Midwest, we will get to figure out what it means to be a Lutheran minister in a place that doesn't necessarily know what a Lutheran is!

About today specifically - Tuesday mornings are Bible Study day in this cluster, held at one of the local Lutheran churches. There we were warmly welcomed by the local clergy and participated in a lively and deep theological conversation about the upcoming texts for this week. I AM SO THRILLED that these will be my colleagues!! Afterwards, we made a trip to the seminary at Princeton, which is surprisingly close by, and perused their bookstore. Beau bought a few neat books (lucky him, since he has been called he gets a book allowance).

It is my hope that this blog will be more than just something to help keep me distracted while I wait for a call. I hope to keep people updated with how we're doing, being so far from many our loved ones and beloved friends, and also to post reflections and maybe even a sermon or two. Thanks for reading!