Our sourdough starter #2 is up and running. Or bubbling, rather. We got it going a little over a week ago and had been feeding it twice a day since then to try to coax some life out of it. By Sunday I had just about given up hope. Our starter #1, at the end of its life, had such a delicious yeasty smell. When I gave it a good stir before making something sourdough-y, it smelled a lot like an open bottle of wine. On Sunday, starter #2 smelled like play-dough.
Mark convinced me not to give up on it, though, so I let it sit and think about its actions for another 12 hours without adding any extra flour to it. That seemed to be the ticket. By Monday I was noticing a few more bubbles, and by Tuesday afternoon it was threatening to spill over the sides of its jar. I overheard my dad ask Mark if he should be afraid that the starter was going to attack him in his sleep. That was when I knew we were really in business again.
However, as we expected, starter #2 doesn't have the delicious tangy smell starter #1 had after five months of living in our fridge. We made our sourdough English muffins this morning, and they didn't taste sour. They fluffed up, but barely. It's just going to take time for our starter #2 to come into its own.
It's going to take a while for us to come into our own up here in the Cities too. The vacation effect has worn off a bit. Although we're still enjoying spending time with my family and are still thankful for how they've opened their home to us, we're beginning to wish that we had our own space some of the time. But Mark is still searching for a job, and I'm still not getting paid by my school. We just have to wait to become an autonomous family unit again.
Also, I'm beginning to really miss my library. Yes, I still think of it as my library. I miss my coworkers who are actually some of my best friends. I miss the hustle and bustle, and I miss seeing people everyday. Right now Mark and I have a lot to do, but it's just stuff to do. While we're doing it, we're not very social.
And the driving. Yeesh. It's really really going to take me a while to come into my own driving around here. Hopefully at some point driving to a new location won't feel like a major ordeal. I won't sit forward on my seat, clutching the steering wheel in a sweaty vice-like grip, my heart won't pound as I change lanes, and my lower back won't be sore from tension by the time I arrive at a new location. (Of course, I should qualify this by acknowledging that Mark does not experience these symptoms driving around the Cities. I'm the hyper-sensitive, ultra-stressed, uptight one in the relationship.)
Moving to a new location is a little tough, even when the move was desired and anticipated. I'm not complaining about our situation right now. We're just like a new sourdough starter-- it will take a few months for us to find ourselves in our own place, begin working out how to make new friends and hold onto left-behind friendships, and drive without hyperventilating. But pretty soon we'll be making things happen confidently (and with a little tang).