While cleaning out our home office, Jung found our letter to family and friends from Christmas 2004. In it we talked mostly about our move from Boston to Seattle that year and what the move and adjustment had been like. It’s an interesting snapshot into our lives then and through it we garnered some insight into what we experienced then and a little about what our expectations were. It’s also interesting to see how our first impressions and experiences were harbingers of what was to come for our family, and how some first experiences did not at all reflect the future reality of our lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Here is the letter:
Merry Christmas from Seattle!
Some of you may be surprised to learn that we’ve moved to the Pacific Northwest. It has been almost eight months since the move, but it took us longer than we had anticipated to settle in. The move was also very abrupt…less than one month from the day Jung formally accepted the offer from Microsoft we landed at Sea-Tac airport in Seattle and checked into our temporary housing in Redmond. Just three days after that, Jung started her new job at Microsoft. We don’t know how we did it: we sold our house in Lexington, packed our belongings, and moved to Washington State with our twin preschoolers, all in that one month! The flight was rather traumatic with the girls getting airsick five times between them and because of that we’re holding off on a visit East just now. J (who got sick three times herself) is still very wary of airplanes!
Jung is currently homesick, but perhaps after the holidays she’ll agree that the changes we made were necessary for growth. She had felt that her former in-house position at Lotus/IBM was becoming increasingly stale and stagnant, and she was ready for new challenges and growth. Now she’s reminded of the adage, “Be careful what you wish for.” Microsoft is quite different from IBM and Jung is still suffering from culture shock both at work and on the West coast in general. In her new position, she is responsible for providing legal support to the MSN Mobile team, which works to get MSN services (Hotmail, MSN Messenger, etc.) to cellphone users. She’s learning about new technology and new areas of law. All in all, the work is interesting and she is being challenged to learn new things, to get to know new people and to navigate new places. Still, she has said a number of times within the last month that she’d go back to Massachusetts in a heartbeat if someone handed her a ticket for the return trip. Today, however, she was reminded by a Massachusetts Microsoftie that it could be 20 degrees (as opposed to 50 degrees here) and snowing in Massachusetts. Despite Seattle’s reputation, the weather here has been a definite improvement over that of New England.
Charles has been busy with getting us moved into our permanent house, taking care of the girls, and digging into his fieldwork. He’s enjoying the Pacific Northwest culture out here more than Jung, perhaps because he doesn’t have to deal with Microsoft’s corporate culture, and certainly because the pipers have been so warm, receptive, and helpful to his research. He observes rehearsals a couple nights a week and squeezes in other study time while the girls are in school or sleeping. Although he enjoys his fieldwork very much, he misses tucking the girls in on those nights he’s out. Charles always feels like he’s trying to juggle two (three?) jobs, but Jung has been wonderfully supportive.
S and J have adjusted very well to their new lives. Notwithstanding their mantra: “We don’t like school,” they are doing well in their preschool where they spend three mornings each week. The teachers told us they are “ideal Montessori students,” to which we responded, “really?” We think that their Montessori preschool is a bit too rigid and academically rigorous, and wish that the girls were spending more time playing there and less time on learning how to write their names. The girls’ favorite activity is their weekly Kindermusik class and they are spunky enough to talk back to their dance teacher, telling her, “We don’t do time-outs.” They are happy, healthy, self-confident, imaginative, talkative, mischievous, and bright. S loves to clown around and perform. J is already reading simple books, and loves telling stories from her imagination. They are truly double blessings.
We miss all our friends and family out East very much and we’re grateful that we got visits from Tom & Jan, Jung’s Mom, and Charles’ Mom during the summer. We look forward to many more visits from fellow Easterners in the New Year. For now, we’re holding you all in our thoughts and prayers so we can be together in our hearts for this holiday season. Peace be with you!
Yes, as we wrote in our letter for Christmas 2004: “the changes we made were necessary for growth.” All four of us have grown immensely both individually and together as Soul Play Family since moving to Seattle. We wonder what we might write for Christmas 2012?