|Our Portland kitchen, refurbished and well-used for 3 years.|
The idea of buying furniture and rugs and curtains fills me with dread, thinking of how we will get rid of those things when we inevitably have to move. We’ve done it over and over again, three times in one year. We have spent so much money on stuff that we need in order to live, and we have had to turn around and sell it or give it away.
|Our Bavarian kitchen, lovingly used for just 7 months.|
While many people who grew up overseas tend to have the urge to pick up and move every few years, I developed the opposite pattern. Once I was back in the States, I did everything I could to stay put. As a college student, I lived in the same apartment for three years, which is very long at that life stage! I like to dig in, get to know my neighbors and my mailman. That said, I do have a strong sense of adventure and an expectation that taking risks can be very rewarding. But if someone told me “you will liquidate your belongings and leave that house you’ve been working on for three years, move to Germany, barely get settled, and then have to get rid of your things and leave again, then you will live in the US, unemployed and wondering what is going on for five months, set up house temporarily and then disassemble it again, three months later, sleep in 20 different beds, and then move to England and live in temporary housing situations for two months before you get to be home again,” I would have gone into my bedroom, crawled into bed, and not gotten out again. Ever.
|Our Bend kitchen— sparsely furnished, used for 3 months.|
But here we are, and we survived. OK, so we did more than survive. We found our dream house, and we never would have imagined that we could afford to be in a home like it. Our move-in date has been pushed back twice now, but all systems are a go for moving in on Monday.
|Our Bury St. Edmunds kitchen, small but full of potential…|
On that day, our crate of the things we managed to keep from Germany will be delivered, and I will have graduated from our “loaner” dishes and kitchenware. We will have real glasses to drink out of, our winter coats and favorite items from German flea markets. Even our super-comfortable German mattresses, which I have missed every single night for the last seven months. Somehow, this is all hard for me to believe! I can’t seem to wrap my mind around stability. It’s hard for me to trust that we’re here, and we’re staying. Jeff has a great job, and his co-workers are wonderful, and his position is secure. Amelia is in school. I can get a job here. All signs point to permanence. There is one thing really bothering me, though– our lease is just for one year. It’s the first time the owner has let his home, and he made this choice based on a romantic relationship he is moving away to deepen. I keep thinking, “What if it doesn’t work out? What if we get all settled in, and have to move next year? What if…” I used to be able to easily think, nothing is certain in life, but most things work out. Now it’s harder. Yes, we’re totally fine, we survived a truly crazy year, and also had fun at the same time. I just wish I knew, really knew that this was it, that we are going to be home. I have to remind myself– one year can be a very long time. Staying in one house for one whole year (at the very least) will be amazing. Now, if I can only find a dining table…
[Editor’s note: You might like to check out my updated version of this Bury St. Edmunds kitchen, now that we’ve been here a year!]