Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Let The Tears Commence--Things I will miss about Germany 30 Day Countdown

Day 1: So, this is it. We are down to our final day in Germany and what a busy one it will be. If I had been smarter, I would have quit work a few days ago so I could actually enjoy our last day here, but instead we will be running around like crazy trying to fit in those last few errands like our home inspection/handover, taking the cat to the pet hotel, driving over to the dealership to reclaim our license plates and heading over to the church to pick up Bob's Kindle which he forgot on Sunday.

Tomorrow we will board the plane at 10:10am headed home to the United States.  Home. Yet, not really home. We will be living out of a suitcase the entire summer bouncing from one family member/friend to the next. We won't have a home until we move to Saudi Arabia and it will be incomplete because Eliza will not be with us. This is what I will miss about Germany.  Our time in Germany is the last time I will have had our entire family living together as a unit.

This expat experience has been rewarding on so many levels, but it has also been socially isolating for all of us. As a family we have turned to each other for most of our fun, encouragement, play, and emotional support. I have closer relationships with my children because with our 'smaller than normal' church community, I was their seminary teacher, and youth leader.

In 5 years we've not had a working TV. That is not to say we didn't find shows to watch on the internet, but not having easy access to TV media has allowed us to disengage from a lot of the garbage out there.  It has encouraged better conversations around the dinner table.

I will miss our family life style in Germany. I know the changes upon us are all good, necessary and intended changes, but if I could keep us all together here just a little longer,  I would.

Thank you Germany for providing our family with such a rich and rewarding experience. We've grown in so many ways because of our time in your country and I will miss you!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Let The Tears Commence--Things I will miss about Germany 30 Day Countdown

Day 2: The joy that comes when it's actually nice outside.  This is sort of tongue in cheek--the weather is notoriously bad here. Well, maybe not bad, just never consistently good and can change on a dime. When the weather is nice parks fill with people, bicycles clog the roads and potato chips sell out at my small market. I've never been such a weather watcher as I am here and now where I am headed I practically won't need a weather channel--hot and dry every day.  Will that become boring to me? I know for sure I will miss the green all that rain gives us. My kids keep saying, "we know mom, you are going to miss how green Germany is!" I must have said it 1000x in the last month.

So, my dear Germany--I will miss your rolling green hills, your verdant trees and lucsious gardens and the JOY everyone feels when the sun shines.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Let The Tears Commence--Things I will miss about Germany 30 Day Countdown

Day 3: Unique Traditions--We've been introduced to some pretty unique traditions in Germany, two of my favorites are the Krumpus Run at Christmas and the Viehscheid which happens late summer, early fall. I will miss how they define the season,  I will miss how charming and unfamiliar they are to my own cultural experience.

We are really getting down to the wire and I am exhausted! I won't bore you with the details--everyone knows moving is loads of work, but since I am falling asleep with my hands on the keyboard I will close for now until tomorrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Let The Tears Commence--Things I will miss about Germany 30 Day Countdown

Day 4: Hidden gems.  Last night while walking back to the train we discovered this small, quiet courtyard. Munich is full of such hidden gems and it only takes curiosity and some time to discover them. I will miss the beautiful architecture, secret gardens, water fountains and public spaces that fill Munich and much of Europe.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Let The Tears Commence--Things I will miss about Germany 30 Day Countdown

Day 5: Proximity to awesome destinations--Munich is in the south-eastern corner of the country and optimally located for car travel. In 2.5 hours I can be in Salzburg, in 4 I can be in Prague, Slovenia or Northern Italy. 6 hours puts me in Budapest, Berlin or Florence, in 9 I am in Paris and with 12 hours I can reach Barcelona.

We have loved all the travel we've been able to do. Europe is such an amazing continent with such unique and diverse countries. We feel blessed to have been able to take such good advantage of this opportunity and will really, REALLY miss all this travel. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Let The Tears Commence--Things I will miss about Germany 30 Day Countdown

If the video doesn't work click here.

Day 6: I've been keeping time with these church bells for the last (almost) 5 years. The bells ring every 15 minutes; one ding at 15, 2 at 30, 3 at 45 and 4 on the hour  plus an additional number of bells depending on the actual time. The bells begin ringing at 6am (except on Saturday we get an extra hour) and they stop ringing at 10pm. At 5 minutes to 8:00am they start ringing something fierce, as if to call everyone to morning mass. I like this bell because it tells me I've got 5 more minutes before we need to leave the house in the morning.

For the first couple of years I could lay down for a nap with no fear of oversleeping because I could hear the bells and know when it was time to get up. Now, my brain is just used to them and I can sleep right through them.

Every time I leave my house for a run I look up at the clock and then again when I return. I am really going to miss my bell tower, it's beautiful dings and dongs and I will especially miss its 10 minute ringing in of the new year.
Budget Travelers Sandbox

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Let The Tears Commence--Things I will miss about Germany 30 Day Countdown

Day 7: Oh my word, only one week to go! I can hardly believe it, though it shouldn't be hard since my house is empty except for the dust bunnies and cleaning supplies.

I took this photo at my train station yesterday-- it captures perfectly a few things. For example, the sky.  I swear, Munich is the most fickle weather city I've ever lived in. Cloudy one minute, showers the next. Bright sunny hot skies today, cold and windy tomorrow. When the sun comes out it is as if all work ceases and everyone goes outside.

The next thing I notice are the loud speakers. To this day, I have a hard time understanding what is being said when an announcement is made I just pray that they don't say spater--LATE!

And lastly, Fasanerie. This is our village inside Munich. It was once pheasant hunting ground for the kings of Bavaria. As a matter of fact, on a couple of occasions I've seen one or two in the fields surrounding my house.