The main thing you would have observed if you were lurking was that we laughed almost constantly. I'm too tired tonight to tell the best story, but I will tell you one of them. The background information you need is that my primary strategy for getting to know my new surroundings was originally to ask different store clerks where to find yet other necessities like the locations of the nearest post office or Best Buy. However almost without exception, the reply has been "I don't know. I'm not from around here."
Well, after some floundering tonight I found myself in a not-so-great neighborhood with the six lanes of expressway I was trying to reach hovering several hundred feet above my head. Although I had told Miriam of my poor luck in getting information from the locals, I ate my pride, decided that I would take one of the steroptypical actions of my sex, and actually asked for directions at the next gas station. Of course the reply was -- wait for it -- "I don't know. I'm not from around here." We laughed so hard we were helpless. I find myself wondering how the clerk gets to work. Does she swim from the Illinois side? If you're not from around there, isn't it likely that you'll know how to get there by car? But there you are. Things happen for other reasons than for me to efficiently get what I want.
P.S. On my computer tonight, it looks like I've lost the Comment capability on this site. I'll consult with those who understand better than I and try to get it up and running again very soon.