Cleaning up

Selling a house is hard work.

I know everyone always says that, but it’s like raising small kids: until you’re actually experiencing the stress and difficulty yourself it’s hard to understand.

I’m glad that we’ve been forced to do this on a deadline — otherwise it’d be too tempting to just give up on selling the house and wait another year. Not that another year would help. We’ve been saying we were going to clean out the garage since we moved in here ten years ago. And there are still boxes in the garage that have never been unpacked! Some were easy to throw away, but others contain priceless family heirlooms. 

Why is it that we have such a hard time keeping up with the basic maintenance while we are living here? It took us this long to have the high windows washed and the carpets cleaned. Embarrassing. I used to clean the tops of the kitchen cupboards at least every year, but somewhere along the way of working more and having children I stopped doing even that.

Oh well. Lesson (hopefully) learned. Maybe we can form some good habits in our small apartment in Germany and do a better job of keeping up with the clutter and grime in the next home we buy.

Joe and I appear to thrive under pressure. We planned our wedding in nine weeks, and have only ten weeks between the date we accepted this job offer and our flight departure. I just hope we can find a buyer for this house before we leave.

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Maps

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I love looking at maps. Maybe it’s my left-brained attributes taking over yet again, but it’s fun to get a feel for Ulm before we even arrive. Google Earth has allowed me to zoom in and explore our future hometown, so it won’t really feel quite so foreign in those first few days and weeks.

Ulm has a lot of the comforts at home, like big department stores (IKEA, Toys ‘R Us) and fast food (McD’s, Burger King, KFC). But no Starbucks — the nearest one is in Esslingen an hour away!

It has many things that we can’t easily get in my small town (H&M, Body Shop, a very cool waterpark)

It seemingly has more than it’s fair share per square kilometer of gyms and dentists…will Germans be even more image conscious than Americans?

It has some really great parks and public squares with weekly farmer’s markets, something that is hard to come by in my semi-rural Pacific Northwest region.

It’s only a 25-minute drive from Legoland.

And it has this: Gummi Bear superstore!

Don’t you want to come and visit?

Nesting…and un-nesting

I’m already falling off of the blogging bandwagon.  I Hope that in Germany without the distractions of work and TV that I’ll find a little more time to keep up.

We are pulling together all the myriad details required to move a family of four overseas. We have had an army of service pros marching through our house trying to make it more appealing to buyers. I just wish little Lucy would understand that we don’t enjoy having crackers crushed into our cleaned carpets and raspberries blown onto our freshly washed windows! The wall of packed boxes is increasing in our basement, and we are itching to start hauling off most of the packed stuff to long-term storage so the house won’t seem so cluttered.

Progress is slow on our contracts, visas, and residency permits, but we do have one encouraging bit of news. An apartment has been arranged by the HR department at Joe’s school, and it’s truly perfect for us. Joe had been looking online for furnished apartments and the prospects were pretty dismal. But (*fingers crossed*) we’ll be able to move into this apartment shortly after we fly to Germany on July 31st. Even more, it’s only a 3-minute walk from the school.

We accepted the offer to teach in Germany only one short month ago, and how greatly our lives have been changed!

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