It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote last and things have been incredibly busy.
The moving process is finally started. My wife’s new company finally got us in touch with the company that is moving our stuff to Switzerland. What took us both by surprise was the cost. We are moving next to nothing. When it is all said and done, the amount we are moving would probably fit in 10 X 10 foot storage pod. The bill to get everything to Zurich is close to $20,000. The amazing thing is that if we cut this in half it would still be the same cost within $1000 or so. I guess boats are very expensive. The worst part about this, is that since we got going so late. My wife is going to wind up living in our new apartment for 6 – 8 weeks before things arrive. This of course is driving up the moving cost, as now she will have to pay for some extra luggage to try and get through customs. Her company gave her explicit instructions that when she shows up she is not to tell the border agent that she is moving as the visas are not finalized. How she is going to explain plates, pots, pans, and sheets is beyond my understanding! 🙂 Oh well, that is part of what makes this an adventure, right?
We did take the Memorial Day weekend to relax a little. One of things we enjoy is camping. For the past 20 years we have gone camping over the holiday weekend. We were able to keep the streak going for one more year. We spent a wonderful three days in one Wisconsin’s wonderful state parks. Our two children came along, and it was really nice to spend what will probably be our very last Memorial Day camping trip with the entire family. Not so much because we are moving, but the children are getting older as well. Our oldest will be moving to Indiana for law school this summer and he will probably not come back to Wisconsin when he is finished.
I have been fortunate enough to have some peers that believe very strongly in collaboration and sharing ideas. One group I belong to is called NEWTech. It stands for North East Wisconsin Technology Leaders. We meet every couple of months and share best practices for educational technology, as well as share some of the good things that are happening in our districts. Last Friday was my last meeting with NEWTech. I will really miss learning from these great people. Over the years, I have learned much from this group, and have implemented many things I learned from them. I would encourage any one reading this blog to look into forming or joining a similar group in your area. I’ve always loved the quote “The smartest person in the room is the room.” I know I get a lot smarter when I learn from my peers.
One very interesting thing I learned this weekend, is that getting rid of hazardous materials in your home is not cheap. It cost more to get rid of 20 gallons of paint, stains and other waste, than it did to take four trailers to the general garbage dump. My son and I were talking as we drove home. We decided the county has their pricing structure all wrong. For the hazardous materials I paid over $80. At those prices the incentive is to simply dump everything down a drain. In my opinion, the county should take the hazardous stuff for very little money to encourage people to do the right thing, and charge more for the garbage. It is much easier to dump a gallon of paint down a drain than it is to hide 20 garbage bags full of junk. In this case doing the right thing was significantly more expensive.
While I am typing this, there is a photographer going through the house. Our real estate agent, will set up a picture gallery of the house including a video. The “For Sale” sign is going up either this afternoon, or tomorrow. At this point we have done everything we can to make a 25 year old home as appealing as a never lived in home. The two biggest selling features ( I think.) is the location, and the fact that the kitchen was completely gutted and remodeled about five years ago. The house is a block away from an elementary and middle school. Honestly, the traffic is so bad in the morning, that I always feared the kids walking to school, but it is a great location for a ms family. The distance means the kids can easily make it home when their after school activities are over; so a parent doesn’t have to leave work to get the kids in the house. By the time I write again, the link to the house should be active. I’ll post the link, so that anyone reading this looking for a home near Appleton, WI can come buy mine!