4 Months Left

I’ve been trying to write this post for almost 2 weeks now.  It’s been hard.  I don’t know why, but I slip into a navel-gazing monologue of maudlin philosophy.  It’s boring for me, too.  So, this is what I’ve got on reflecting about our last 4 months in Switzerland.

Time is ticking.

Only 4 months left.

20 weeks.

140 days.

Half a pregnancy.

(No, I am not pregnant.)

I am, however, in a weird head space.  It’s like my brain is splitting apart.

I’m desperately trying to soak in everything I can and love about Switzerland and yet I’m cruising rental listings. I’m wading through the thickets of the school year while researching school districts in Maryland. I’m buying the boys new clothes while at the same time making lists of stuff we will need to sell or give away.

It’s like being on both ends of a see-saw.

The boys are feeling it, too, even though we try to keep them out of the chaos of change and more Switzerland and European-travel focused. E has declared he’d be willing to stay if we bought him a new TV and a PS4. H can barely remember Maryland and he’d be willing to stay, too, if we promised to ship over all the toys we left in storage. The fact that the kids have given us a kind of blessing makes staying in Europe very tempting.

However, the wheels are in motion and unbreakable Stateside promises have been made.

I just sent our property manager/real estate agent an email informing him of our return and intended plans and pretty much begging for help setting a timeline.  My mouth was dry as I sent it. This was a big step. We have decided not to move back into the house we own, but to rent for a year in a neighborhood we’d like to buy into. It’s not an irrevocable decision by any means, but it feels big.

And it’s the first concrete step in admitting to myself that I am, indeed, moving back.

 

The End.

I’m sure I’ll have more coherent and deeper thoughts about moving back later, but right now I’m preoccupied by packing for a skiing trip in the Alps.  I haven’t skied since I was 15 years old and even then I wasn’t any good.  I made about 6 trips down the bunny hill and on the last ride down I cartwheeled down the hill spraying poles, skis, gloves, and hat in spectacular fashion.  A 6 year old boy brought me my stuff as I sat in the snow at the bottom of the hill.  I chucked it all back at the man behind the rental counter and spent the rest of the day sipping hot chocolate and reading fashion mags in the chalet.

Wish me luck. I am going to need it.

 


4 thoughts on “4 Months Left

  1. We’ve gone through the same process of deciding whether to return to the States from Rome but the girls will be in the States and we want to be close to family and friends. We will return when the girls complete college as the process is easier that we thought. I just found out today that we can ship an extra 3700 lbs back – we’ll see if there are any sales around. We will be going to Malta next week and enjoying the warm weather and sites. Enjoy the skiing.

    I enjoy your postings – keep them coming. Ciao.

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    1. I am so thrilled that you love Italy enough to return after the girls are finished with school. We sort of talk about the same thing, however we have quite a few more years before our kids are done with college. 🙂 BTW – we will be in Rome at the end of April! Maybe we can get together for dinner?

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  2. A response to 4 months left.

    I love that you have lived in Europe. I love that you got to have lots of adventures and to live in a completely different way than we do in the states. I spent a month in Switzerland with you, and even I had an interesting set of reactions on re-entry to the US.

    In particular, I recall the day after I got back, sitting in the parking lot of the neighborhood grocery store in my CRV that can hold the entire contents of BOTH our kitchens, thinking “Malinda’s life is SOOO different right now.” right before I went in and bought a 6 month supply of toilet paper for $6.50.

    The ease of car travel here is, of course, our blessing and our curse. The speed that everything happens here, the BIGNESS of the landscapes, the newness of the history (for me in particular). These are all different. I’m not saying they are better or worse, just different.

    I miss being on the same continent as you. I miss calling you after I get off work, just to talk, just hearing your parenting travails first hand. I miss flying to your house for under $1000. I miss spending holidays with you.

    I love the fact that when you lived in DC, which you had done for over 12 years, you still had a subscription to the Charles City Press. We’re like memory stones for each other, and you being 8 time zones away is a drag.

    I wish more Americans were able to experience living outside the country as you have, to see people really live in another culture and with different political systems and see that not everything collapses.

    I’m sorry you are moving back in an election year. That the cacophony of stupid may overwhelm you temporarily. May I suggest NOT getting cable when you come back? You just don’t need that level of flotsam on re-entry.

    The fact that you are all now VERY experienced travelers leads me to encourage you to ski here in Colorado. Our mountains also have grandeur, just like Switzerland’s!

    I know the adjustment will be difficult. That at the same time you are navigating a new school system you will be moving through the tweens into the teens.

    Just think: your ancestors made this same journey, only for them, there was no going back, no flights to Zurich in under 6 hours from the East Coast, and often no seeing their family again once they got on that boat. And there was certainly no Zillow to browse for real estate listings! Just a shady guy with a mustache promising them a better life in America.

    I can’t wait for you to come back. We need you here.

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    1. You, and our other friends, are one of the reasons why I’m not kicking and screaming as we move back to the States. I do feel like I am going to be very overwhelmed by the culture shock for awhile, but it will be nice to call you and only be two time zones away. I have scads of lists around me with things I want to keep from this experience and strategies to prevent them from slipping away. More mountain visits might be part of that. That will be another post…

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