Friday, June 02, 2006

Counting down the hours

Today, we spent our time cleaning up and putting stuff away around the house. I made a few trips to the Laundromat to wash the clothes. We won't be taking most of them with us to save us some trouble. We squeezed most of our stuff in a big plastic container. Our toiletries are in a separate box. Besides, we can hit yard sales up in Wisconsin and buy clothes that are better suited to their weather up there. Even in the summer, most days are in the 70's or 80's. Nights fall down to the 50's. My daughter is packing a swim suit because she plans on going swimming. I've warned her that the lakes up there are cold. You can feel layers of cold as you swim around in the lakes. The deeper you go, the colder the water gets; and it starts off cold by our standards. You dive in brown and come out blue. I guess you have to experience it for yourself.
 
One issue has come up. We had an idea of how we would deal with it before, but we have new developments. The issue is childcare. My wife will be in training for 2 weeks at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. Obviously, I'll watch my own kids. As my wife says, it's not babysitting if they are your kids. What we have determined is that I will have to be a single dad for about two weeks. I'll also have to line up work.Most of the seasonal plants begin production around May 18. Therefore, there is time for me to do both. Our concern is afterwards. What if UMOS does not allow us to put our 4 year old in the same school where my wife will work? Where will our daughter go if he does get in?
 
We have laid some groundwork and have prospects. Rice Lake, WI has a boys and girls club. We are pretty sure Tien can spend the day there. If Magnus is not able to attend classes where my wife will work, then we hope to hire the daughter of one of the other migrants to watch them both. Fortunately, we expect to earn more than enough to cover the cost. We have not put our kids in daycare by choice. Only our daughter, Tien, went to daycare at UT-Austin. They kept her for a couple hours when Alma and I had classes at the same time. We didn't dump her there and leave her there all day. We'd go right over and pick her up as soon as we could. Now, grandma watches the young one. Family is not the same as daycare. Obviously, I trust my mother-in-law as she raised my wife. If grandma weren't around, one of us would stay home. We are having trouble going with a babysitter as it is "selling out" somewhat. On the other hand, we have the knowledge that the situation is only temporary and not a lifestyle. We don't want strangers raising our kids. They will be back in the RGV and with family again soon.
 
For now, we are counting down the hours until our departure. All we can do is check and double-check that we have everything in order. Little things crop up, like running out of minutes on our cell phone. If you are in a similar situation, call your mobile company and tell them that you want to upgrade to a higher rate plan because you anticipate running out of minutes. Tell them that you want the plan to take effect immediately rather than at the end of the cycle. The advantage of this is that you get the full bucket of minutes immediately, which erases your usage for the month. You start from scratch, even if there are only two days left in the cycle. Little things like that come up.
RGV Life Podcast
 
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