This current situation that I find myself in is an odd one, a marriage and life straddling two continents. Modern technology makes it easier and I often think about what it would be like without that. Skype is a lifesaver. CH and I have settled into a pattern of twice daily Skype calls during the week and more frequent on the weekends. Because of the time difference, one of the calls is only sleepy ships passing in the night (or morning). I was never much of a Skyper before this, so I know I’m late to that party.
I find myself a bit envious that CH is there experiencing new adventures without me. I’m comforted though that he seems to be settling in well. His apartment has everything that he needs and is in a small village on the outskirts of Karlsruhe. Looking outside of his window he can see quaint German architecture, community open markets and on the weekends the air is often filled with music from local bands. Grocery shopping and small restaurants are all within walking distance, making everything quite convenient. This flat is temporary though. He will be moving into Karlsruhe proper in about another month. That flat wasn’t immediately available, so he was lucky to find this one in the interim. (Thank you Carmen Sax!) The new place will put him within walking distance from his office.
My days aren’t significantly different than before CH left, although it’s very lonely without him. The first week I was like a lost puppy. I’ve now created my own solo routine, however the silence in the house is still very stark at times. I miss my friend. I miss boring and simple things like just watching TV together and hearing him threaten that he is “boycotting The Voice” if his contestant gets kicked off. I miss sharing meals together and our constant banter that to an untrained ear can be mistaken for bickering. I miss how he brings me coffee in the morning on weekends. I miss laughing together. We get to do some of that via Skype, but it’s kind of like enjoying a beautiful sunset through a picture on a computer screen….it is still gorgeous, but you lose so much when you aren’t experiencing it in person.
I had my 50th birthday a few days ago. That stung a bit to be alone for that, but again, technology to the rescue! CH sent me beautiful flowers, my son from San Diego sent me a package with some lovely fruit and I had LOADS of very kind messages from all of my friends on Facebook as well as calls from family. I am so looking forward to brunch with my daughter tomorrow. We are going to one of my favorite restaurants in the Napa Valley. I have much to be grateful for. I find myself waiting with great anticipation for Christmas when my family will be back together. We always try to make Christmas special, but this will truly be a wonderful one!
I’m not exactly sure the date I will be moving to Germany. My son is ending his military service in April and I was planning on staying in the US until he got home. However, it’s looking like he may stay in Southern California, so I don’t really need to wait for that. My next step is to put a plan together for the move and start getting estimates from moving companies. Honestly my biggest concern though is our cat. She is a part of our family which is no different that any other pet lovers, but she is a senior kitty. By the time I move, she will be almost 14 years old. She is in relatively good health, but I really worry about her making such a long trip from the US to Germany. Other than for short excursions like going to the vet, she has never really been out of the house. I worry that such a trip would either kill her or really traumatize her. I have no idea what I’m going to do. Is it weird that in planning such a big move, my main concern is my CAT?! I don’t know. 🙂 We also have a dog, but I think he will do OK on the journey. He is also CH’s baby, so there is no way he would leave him behind. If anyone has any experience with transporting animals….companies that you’ve used and liked, stories about how your pets managed the transition, etc, I would love to hear them!
When I leave I’m sure I will miss home like crazy. I think I may need to be medicated when I say goodbye to my kids. However, I remind myself that I am so lucky that at this stage of my life (super cool and hot 50!) that I have an opportunity to experience something so new and exciting. In the meantime, I will continue to ride the rollercoaster of transition and try to savor each step of the way!