Celebrating Six Months of Newness

We have officially now lived in Rhode Island six months! I can’t believe it’s been six months, and I can’t believe it’s *only* been six months. It’s hard to remember what our lives were like prior to living in southern New England (or before coronavirus, for that matter). I guess that means we feel really comfortable here.

Yep, it’s winter in Southern New England!

I had all these blog posts planned, to share our experiences in this new city of Providence. But now I am going to attempt to squeeze in some highlights, and hopefully get back to blogging a bit more regularly.

I was commuting to the office twice a week for a while in September – November, although now we are back to WFH 100% of the time. I was enjoying my short bike rides to and from the train station, especially after we put reflective bar tape on my bike! I also finally bought Bar Mitts, and just in time for some chilly commuting mornings!

A farmers’ market, Farm Fresh RI, opened walking distance to our apartment, so we went every weekend until the holidays. Many Rhode Island gifts were purchased there, and at the Providence Flea, which is in the same warehouse on Sunday. Across the street is The Industrious Spirit Co., which makes vodka and a lovely gin. On Saturdays, they hosted local food truck The Burgundians Coffee & Waffles . There’s no better way to start a weekend than waffles and a hot apple cider and gin drink, trust me!

A glass blowing studio, Gather Glass, is also walking distance to our apartment! I’ve always loved blown glass, and jumped at the opportunity to take classes. So far I have made two glasses, but have plans for more….

The ocean is SOOOOO close! Forty-five minutes to an hour, whaaat?! So we’ve gone to the ocean a few times, but there are dozens of other places for us to explore in 2021 – state parks, nature reserves, historic landmarks, botanical gardens, and and and….

I got a haircut! Okay, technically I got two, but the first one was a trim at a local salon. The second one cut off all the length and bulk that’s accumulated since lockdown. So happy to get rid of that!

Here’s a sample of some of my sewing this fall:

And here’s my official sewing plans for 2021. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where this comes from. I made about 30 garments (and 100 cloth face masks) in 2020, so nine goals is only a third of what I expect I’ll do this year.

While we have said good-bye to 2020, a year that I think was a struggle for everyone, and we look ahead to 2021, I think we can all agree that maybe we should temper our expectations of this year. Nonetheless, living in Rhode Island has a lot of blessings, and I hope to share them more regularly with you. Is there anything you are especially interested in? Bike infrastructure in Providence (that’s on my list for spring)? Ocean anything?! The food scene here in Providence? An update on all my sewing? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Happy New Year!

Moving to a State of Hope

The world has changed at both a snail’s pace and with overwhelming rapidity over the last month or so. From initial concerns over Coronavirus and staying home, to anger and grief over the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing protests against racism and police brutality, and now Coronavirus cases exploding in areas that had rapidly reopened, it’s hard to keep up with everything.

Protest art in Providence

In the middle of all this uncertainty and unrest, The Mechanic and I are moving, far from the Washington, DC, metro area.  Someday, when we being to return to worksites, I’ll be taking a commuter train from Providence, RI, to a small town in southern Massachusetts, where my new job is headquartered. Yes, we are moving to Rhode Island. The smallest state in the United States by area, Rhode Island is tucked between Connecticut and Massachusetts, and called the Ocean State because so much of the border is ocean coastline.  The state motto is “hope,” and it’s on the state flag, along with an anchor, which has it’s own hopeful symbolism – a traditionally Christian symbol, it signifies strength and stability.

Rhode Island’s “hope” anchor as bike wheels!

Right now, I think we all need to be in a state of hope. Hope that Americans will wake up to the seriousness of Coronavirus and work together to bring down the alarming infection and death rates. Hope that Americans have at last woken up the the racism that seeps through our society, because Black lives matter. Hope that the economy won’t break the country, ruin the arts, and push us into a great depression like that of the 1930s. Hope that we will come out of this stronger and more united, because we care about others. Not back to normal – better than before.

Gay Pride Hope in Providence

I will let you decide what hopes you have, and what symbols bring you hope and strength. I have an anchor charm (from Alex and Ani, ironically, a Rhode Island company)  and a rabbit charm to remind me to have hope.

Rabbit leaping over an obstacle with the Latin phrase “Spes Vincit Thronum,” meaning “Hope Conquers”

The next time you hear from me, I will be biking and sewing in a whole new area! I look forward to exploring and learning new things, and I *hope* you will stay tuned for adventures ahead.

One of many huge murals on a building wall in Providence, this is called “Still Here,” and pays tribute to the Narragansett Tribe. Art by @gaiastreetart.

Another mural in downtown Providence.