Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Living in the land of tulips

Dear friends,

September has almost come and gone and still I haven't written the post I promised when I left you in June. During the past months I have thought of you all frequently and truly meant to write but life just got in the way.

As some of you know DH and I have made a big move in the past few months. For those of you who were not aware of it - after living in the US for eight years we have moved back to Europe. There are a number of reasons for the move the biggest of which is the fact that our children live here and we missed them very much.

Two years ago we decided that we wanted to leave Las Vegas so we put our house on the market. That was the beginning of the housing slump and our house did not sell. This year we finally decided get a property manager who could find us a tenant for a few years, hoping that the market will improve during that time. Luckily a tenant was quickly found and they wanted to move in on August 1. In the meantime we were able to rent a home here which was also available on August 1. Now you are all thinking - well isn't that lovely - finally everything is falling into place for Margaret and her DH. I'm sorry to report that nothing could be further from the truth.

We arrived in The Netherlands on August 1 and received the keys to the house. Of course we knew that it would take until the beginning of September for our furniture and car to arrive but hey we aren't afraid of a little adventure. Along with our clothes we'd brought along bedding, plenty of towels etc and borrowed a few bits of furniture left and right from family & friends.

Our camping experience started on August 3 and has now lasted nearly two months. At first the container missed the ship in Long Beach and had to be re-routed to Los Angeles and thus left later than originally planned. From LA it was shipped through the Panama Canal to the Dominican Republic where it was supposed to be transfered to a ship heading for Rotterdam. Are some of you starting to realize what happened next? Our container was waiting for the ship to Rotterdam when hurricanes hit the DR. Ships did not enter the port there for the duration. The last we heard is that our container left the Dominican Republic at 3:00 am a week ago today and will be arriving in Rotterdam at the end of this week. It then has to be cleared through customs and will hopefully arrive in front of our house next Thursday. Oh, by the way - we were informed last week that our car still had not left the US. It was being shipped in a different container along with three other cars headed here. They had planned to ship via Houston, Texas - which was of course hit by HURRICANES - and the car had to be re-routed. Hopefully we will hear tomorrow when we may expect it.

Now this all sounds like some weird story that I've invented to amuse you. However, let me assure you it is the honest truth.

But I must tell you about the bright spots in these past two months. It is wonderful being close to DS & DD. We were able to spend a fun long weekend in Hamburg with DS and being in the same time zone just makes it so easy to call one another any time we want. DD & her DBF live in The Haag and we see her every week which is such a joy. Last night we had dinner at their house - delicious & fun. The very special part about being so close is that when you say goodbye after a visit you know you will/can see each other again shortly.

Being close to other relatives and longtime friends is also a plus and we are thoroughly enjoying that part of life here too.

And then there are the new friends!!!!!!!!!!!! Last week Saturday I spent an amazing day at Barbara's along with Annemarie Harmien and Rachel Many of you have met them on line but let me tell you they are even nicer in person. We had such a fun time and Barbara provided such a yummy lunch. Everyone should get her recipe for potato-garlic soup - you have never tasted anything like it. Thank you so much ladies for inviting me in your midst and Barbara thank you for your wonderful hospitality. I'm so looking forward to seeing you all again soon.

Oh yes - I have been stitching but won't be able to show you a picture until our things are here. I have finished the summer and autumn chairs of our 'Seasonal Chairs' SAL and hope to finish winter before the container arrives. After that I'll put it away for a while and SAL the last chair with Bliss and Berta. I've also signed up for the Me, myself & I RR which Vonna has been kind enough to set up. This is going to be a great new adventure.

A final note to my SP Wednesday stitching friends - I miss you all and the good times we had together. Although I may be far away I think of you all very often.