Auf Wiedersehen, Deutschland!

This blog has been very quiet lately, but not for lack of stories to tell and a backlog of travel photos to share.  The silence in this space comes from a flurry of activity on every other front of my life.  Call it “moving madness”– boxing up and shipping out my worldly possessions,  crossing t’s and dotting i’s on the papers and accounts that anchored my life in Germany, last minute travels (spoiler: Barcelona pics to follow), finding temporary lodgings, comforting a confused canine friend, and managing the stress of a family in transition and saying goodbye to a fabulous sojourn in Europe.

Madness.  It sinks into the brain and the body, and shorts out all your circuits temporarily.  This morning, I’m coming up for air to post a photo from our last night in the old house on Jakobstrasse.  For two years, it was a crazy, quirky old friend, and we will miss it, despite its many flaws.

I hope to be back online soon and continue sharing bits of our travels and our move experience.  For today, I have only a stollen moment of web-connectivity, so I leave you with this one photo.  A bittersweet goodbye to the house one German man in the village told me they used to call “Villa Sunshine.”

Unboxing My Life

I know exactly how Pandora felt.   Horrified.  Overwhelmed.  Ashamed.  But mostly just panicked.

On second thought, she shouldn’t have opened the box.  REALLY shouldn’t have opened the box.  But now it’s too late.  What to do next?  Run and hide?  Try to fix the mess somehow?

And me?  I’m sitting in a house full of boxes.  Millions and gajillions of boxes.   DSC_0259 - Copy I shouldn’t have acquired so many worldly goods…but now I’ve grown attached to them.  They are my life’s travels and my family memories  played out in textiles, art, and furniture, and I’ve dragged them halfway across the world with me.  Is that wierd/shallow/materialistic?  I have no idea.  Most days, I’d say it’s essential to being human, this appreciation of things that speak to your soul.  But today I can tell you that it makes for a hell of a job unpacking when the movers dump the accumulation on your doorstep.

It’s overwhelming, the thought of having to unpack and organize it all.  But it has to be done before the contents rise up on their own and riotously burst the seams of the boxes.  One set of boxes, all full of books, crashed over in the middle of the night–sending the dvds and magazine I’d left at the top of the stack slidding across the floor.  The message was clear:  Step away from the dvds and get on task!  Open the boxes!  Free the contents to their rightful place in your house!!!  If I don’t step up my efforts at unboxing quickly and efficiently, all the contents are sure to go into a full mutiny on me.

So there it is.  I like my stuff, but it terrifies me at the moment.

As Pandora said, many weeks later, “you’ll just have to take the good with the bad.”  That’s life.

If you haven’t heard from me in a week, send someone knocking on my door.  It’s just possible that  I’m  lost under an avalanche of worldly goods.  You can never tell what will pop out of these boxes once opened.



I Capture the Castle: update on “Househunting in Germany”

lego castle


Jinkies!  We’ve just rented a Scooby Doo house!  It’s big, beautiful, and spooky looking on the outside.  It’s charmingly ivy-strewn.  (Is there a synonym for “strewn” that also implies overgrown?)  The floorboards are definitely creaky. The staircase is winding and fits just inside an exterior wall that looks like a castle turret from the outside.   The overall effect:  it looks and sounds like a little red stone castle.

Maybe this sounds awkward and gaudy, but it’s not–just a cool, old house.  It was built around 1900, and it’s a timeless beauty.  (The bathrooms, on the other hand, are most definitely dated.)

The kitchen is the size of a postage stamp (a large postage stamp, thank you), but Dorie Greenspan (she of the Bon Appetit and cookbook fame) also works in a tiny kitchen, so let’s call this chic.  Cozy and European?   Petite and inspired?  Okay, just petite.  But the dining room, my friends,  is spacious and gracious.

It’s hard to give you the full effect without a photo.  I wanted to post a photo, but my kids have reminded me that we we have a rule:  don’t go online and tell people where you live.  There will be hell to pay if I break a rule that my kids have very responsibly upheld.  So no photos for now.   But mark your calendars:  Halloween party at my house this year!  We provide the Scooby snacks.