28 August 2007

Sheer Insanity

So, instead of moving to Duesseldorf, the German got a call in mid-July asking if he was interested in a long term project in Berlin. But if he were, he needed (this was a Thursday) to be ready to fly out Sunday.

We looked at each other, thought about it, and said,"Sounds great."
He came back August 15th, the container was delivered the 17th, we had a garage sale on the 18th and we will be hada relatively large farewell party on the 19th. On the 20th the container will be picked up.

Then we all had medical appointments and exams, went upstate to go to my 25th High School reunion (I could only manage the picnic because we still had so much packing to do- we were also dropping furniture with my brother and boxes in the storage unit we have up there).

We didn't finish up before the container left, so we packed and threw out and donated masses of stuff, all through the night into the day before we left, when the German ran a half pallet to the docks to follow us to Bremerhaven and we met with our tenants ( a great family from Stuttgart) to show them how things work and help them with the car transfer (we sold them our Sienna).

Monday back home, Tuesday the 28th turning the house over to the tenants and then grabbing a van to the airport (as we will be selling the tenants our Sienna). Gosh, do we have a lot of stuff! 6 suitcases, a stroller, two car seats, two carry-ons, a diaper bag, a purse, and a cat.

I haven’t even started looking at maps of Berlin and I had just started seriously thinking of what areas of Dusseldorf we should be looking at. Had contacted the Jewish kindergarten, spoken to people from the synagogue, met with an American woman (married to a German man) who will be moving into our neighborhood next week from Dusseldorf (by way of three months in an apartment in White Plains), spoken to the American Women’s group in D’dorf… and so on. So now I need to start from scratch and without Ernst taking off 4 weeks to help/look for an apartment.

The German found us a pension to stay in when we arrive, not easy finding a temporary place in Germany, and particularly not with our cat.

01 August 2007

In the beginning...

My husband (referred to hereafter as the German) and I had concerns that when we had children that they would not be able to communicate with their extended family if raised as monolingual Americans (after all, I could not communicate with my extended family when my parents chose to raise my brothers and myself monolingually). We attempted to deal with the situation by having German au pairs while I (G) continued to work after having Thing1. We had some great helpers, particularly Chrissie. However, after we had Thing2 and a problem with an au pair who quit two weeks before the end of my maternity leave, we decided that there had to be a better way. Why not go to Germany on an internal transfer with his multi-national firm and we could all learn German? That way, when we returned to the States we could continue to speak German together and the reinforcement would let the Things retain the language.

Ten months later, after a considerable amount of stress, it finally happened.

I am posting retroactively and hope to go forward as well as fill in the spaces, but this is my first blog, so please, if you are reading this, forgive my learning pains and feel free to give any advice you think might be useful