I know I have titled this blog The ExPat Educator, and I promise that soon I will get to talking about more education things. That being said, my first post I talked about one of the reasons I am doing this is to relieve the stress as my wife and I make this monumental change in our lives. So once again I am confronted with cleaning out and packing up.
There are two main things causing a complication in our lives right now. The first is getting the house ready to go on the market. I signed a contract with a real estate broker this week; so that part is taken care of, and now we have a deadline for the house to be ready. Every night after work, my wife and I get home, eat a little dinner, and then spend the next four or five hours combing through things, and getting the house ready for sale.
As I was cleaning out my wood working shop I came across three little gems. One is kind of special to me, the other two simply evoked some emotion. The one that has some value was a wedding present from my Aunts and Uncles. It is a Waterford Crystal Vase. It had proudly been displayed in our apartments and houses for many years; usually on a mantel above the fireplace. However, eight years ago we added a room on our house, and the vase got packed up during the renovation. I forgot all about it until I came across a well wrapped package, and I had to unwrap it to figure out what it was. Upon the discovery, I found one more item that we will take to Switzerland with us.
The first item that evoked some memory was an old 512 MB RAM card. I don’t remember the last computer I had that used a card this small, but it must have been from one of the first computers I purchased after starting with the school district. It brought back a lot of memories, of learning how to program, and learning all about how to network computers together. The second pictures is al old pocket calendar from 1959. I found it in the bottom of an old desk that has been in my family for a couple of generations.
When I was growing up Carpenter Body Works was far and away the largest employer in my small town. It seemed like everyone worked for the company. I have many fond memories of Mitchell, IN. I am still in contact with many of my high school friends, and see them at least once a year. I thought of roadtrips that I took with one of my best friends. His father ran Carpenter for many years. John and I drove ourselves out to Colorado for a week of skiing when we were both 16. I still can’t imagine my parents letting me go for a week by myself, but I learned about three years ago, that somehow John and I convinced our parents that an adult was coming with us. The other big road trip John and I took was to Canada the summer after high school graduation. I’ll never forget driving outside of Toronto. The posted speed limit was either 110 or 115 Kmph. We were screaming by every other car on the road, and John kept commenting about how he couldn’t even get the car up to the speed limit. Finally I realized what was happening, and yelled over to him. That he was using the wrong speedometer. We were in Canada now, and the speed limit is not miles per hour, but kilometers per hour. How we didn’t die on that trip is still a big question in my mind!
The second thing that is causing much stress and consternation is the lack of communication with the company that has asked us to move. We know that we have limited space for things to move, but it would be nice if we could find out what company is moving our stuff. We have been told it will take two months to get our household items from Wisconsin to Zurich. At the rate this is going, my wife will wind up moving into our apartment with nothing, because the goods will still be in the US, or on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic. This part has me annoyed because I keep having to move the same box time and time again, instead of being able to have it in the shipping container.
Anyway, this week will be capped with my son’s college graduation. We have the weekend planned in Madison, WI. Spending a couple of days with family and friends celebrating this milestone in our children’s lives will be fun. I will have some pictures of the graduation ceremony and our weekend in my next installment.