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Settling Into Life in Germany

In the in-betweens…

So there are plenty of big events, like going to Munich, starting school, flohmarkt-shopping, etc. But what about all of the spaces in between? Amelia is at school for much of the day, Jeff is gone before I wake up and back around dinner. I have zero social engagements, and ride in a car twice a week, tops (and it’s usually a five minute drive to the grocery store,) and some weeks not at all.
So, what am I doing during all of that time when I’m not parenting, going to work or riding in a car?

Well, I would be sitting on a couch, if we had one. The only sitting places here are at our dining table or on our bed (mattress on the floor.) But my favorite spot to hang out and read (currently it’s Molecules of Emotion by Candice Pert,) journal or “compute” is on one of our broad window sills.
Here I am right now. The view is great, and I get to be a nosy neighbor. I also get a little sunlight into my system, even if it’s overcast, which it often is. My behind gets sore, but it’s worth it. Also, down that street is a little cafe that roasts their own coffee. It’s really sweet and cozy, and has coffee even Portland would be proud of. (The other places here, not so much.) The tables outside offer lap blankets on nippy days– how adorable is that?! There is a little courtyard with a fountain and little bronze pig statues, with big chestnut trees overhead. I also like to take Amelia there so she can “bathe” and “feed” the piggies.
So, lots of downtime. I am sorely in need of that, after two months of being on my own with Amelia all the time, trying to get all sorts of things done. My life right now is an introvert’s paradise– no one else home most of the day, no friends, no work, no social obligations. I do like people, though, and so it is even more wonderful that I can talk to friends and family on our Vonage phone. I intend to make friends and somehow get involved in something here in Amberg. But in the meantime I am trying to recharge my severely drained batteries.

I would like to just stop and say that I love my life here. I don’t think we stop and recognize that which is making us happy often enough. And there seems to be an unhealthy rule in many circles that you don’t share your joys, for fear of making someone else feel bad for not having the same experiences in life. But we should tell each other– happiness is worth expressing! Let me just take a moment and tell you:

I love walking Amelia to and from school.
I love having a great little cup of coffee and sitting for as long as I want to at the local cafe.
I love shopping at the open market, even if it can be difficult to communicate sometimes.
I love just looking out all of my windows– it’s so dreamy!
I love my daily schedule.
I love our big, empty apartment– it is just beautiful.
I love not spending time in cars, and that I haven’t driven for months.
I love walking everywhere, and biking is awesome too.
I love being alone.
I love all of the fresh, high quality food I can buy here– wild venison was my favorite find this week.
I love that it’s turning to fall– I don’t know what winter will be like, but I always have this giddy energy that comes with the nip in the air and the golden light. They call it “Herbst” here, which sounds so woodsy.
I love starting over with new people in a new place– I am only the person I am today– not the one I was years ago, and no one has ever heard of me before. That is liberating for me, coming from a big, well-known family.
I love that every view from any angle in my new life is a great one.

I walk around smiling all of the time. How could I not? This is kind of a sweet time for me, after the very arduous move and time of adjustment… We still have plenty to do in terms of settling in. We’re saving our money for a couch and some other furniture. We’d like to paint. I want to go to Paris pretty badly. But I am reasonably settled and don’t have a sense of urgency for anything. I’ve made it! Now it gets better! Also, in a week or so I start school. I will be attending PSU online as a full-time student. I have no idea what this looks like, in terms of daily time commitment. But I’m looking forward to it, and hopeful that I may even finish my degree within a year! And I am looking for a German language class to sign up for here in Amberg. I will inevitably be much busier than I am now, so I am trying to just relish the open slots of time I have at the moment. Sure, I spend time cooking and cleaning a lot, but I can do it at an enjoyable pace, not crammed into the cracks in a busy, loaded schedule.
I am thankful.

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6 Responses to Settling Into Life in Germany

  1. ShackelMom September 14, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    What a wonderful post! I love that you love it so much!!! I am so glad you are getting time to re-charge, after so, so long! kI am sure you will also have a great time finishing college! I am thankful too!

  2. Grandma Seelye September 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    You are such a good writer!! I hear you basking in contentment and thankfulness. I am so happy for you. I would love to have your phone number and Skype info. Love you.

  3. Great Aunt Gretchen September 15, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    I remember when I sold Stampourri in 2001, I had 3.5 months “off”, the first since I was 18! Philip drove Heather to school, so I could have my quiet time with a cup of coffee in my robe!! ah luxury. I SO enjoyed those few months before I started by teaching job where I am presently. I’m so glad you are having & loving your “lull.” Lovely!!

  4. Anonymous September 16, 2010 at 5:32 am #

    Thank you so much for writing this post. Thanks for sharing your happiness… it’s a gift to rejoice with those who rejoice. You look great, right there by the interesting view out your window!

  5. Aunt Robin September 16, 2010 at 5:33 am #

    Oops, I pushed publish before I put in my name! It’s Aunt Robin on the post above…

  6. annie September 16, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Sounds like such a sweet life and you and Jeff have worked hard and faced down some uncertain, difficult days for it. I can totally understand what you mean about starting new somewhere, the thought of that always excites me. Look at how much and how quickly things turned around for you guys. So many answered questions and prayers.

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