Thursday, January 19, 2012


you may remember (i haven't written that many posts after all) that there was a glitch with selling our home. well, some wringing of hands, rereading of condo docs, emailing between key players, losing some hope, almost listing our house, but not, and one meeting later, we learned that the glitch has magically disappeared, was never really there in the first place, and the sale can move forward. it was a good feeling to learn that our lives would not become unnecessarily complicated, as we'd been bracing for, and it was an especially good feeling, and a moment i won't soon forget, walking out of the land trust office and hugging the woman who will buy our home and seeing the genuine joy on her face as she said to us, "I'm so happy."
meanwhile, a guy that greg's been corresponding with about a home in a co-housing (bofællesskab) neighborhood in trekroner, near roskilde, emailed yesterday to say that it's soon available for rent-- he emailed this three days after our lease in roskilde began. it seems that some things are meant to be, and other things are not.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

date certain

the other day we sat down and planned our immediate future. we both decided that a direct flight trumped connections from smaller airports, even if those smaller airports were in locations that various family called home. a direct flight to copenhagen means o'hare. o'hare is fine. one of my fondest memories of o'hare is my mom speeding down the expressway and dropping my little sister and i at the door, as it were, so that we could catch a plane to my dad's house for the summer. she ended up catching up with us at the gate, back when you could go to the gate without a ticket, and i remember feeling very touched by the fact that she'd parked and come in, not knowing if we'd still be there or not. i guess now i know that's what a parent does.
well, so, o'hare. i had envisioned that picking out a date to leave would be a really exciting moment. when we sat down and looked at our calendar though, it felt a little more heavy than exciting. we were really going to put an end to all of this wisconsin stuff, huh? we'd come here eight and half years ago not knowing anything about madison or much about wisconsin, except that kids from the northwest suburbs traveled up here for lake geneva. (except i never did.) we didn't know what our future in wisconsin would be, except that we'd both attend school here. i guess i've always felt like wisconsin was not a permanent location. the problem is that i love it so much, so even though i know it has to end, i don't really want it to. (except for the fact that we're moving to denmark and who can complain about that? not me.)
it's a first love kind of thing. i need to see what other cities have to offer. i have a lot more growing to do. i can't stay with wisconsin all my life. maybe someday i'll come back to stay, but i just can't live here contentedly knowing i won't ever leave. i want to. but i can't. maybe if i were a more practical person. maybe if my entire family lived here or even in one place, but they don't. they never have lived in one place and with little exception, they've never stayed in one place. i don't have the parents that have been married for 40 years and lived in the same town and the same house for just as long. i think of my parents as each having very distinct chapters in their lives, some longer than others, with the other person taking up just a small space in a larger life. and while i want and expect greg to be there for the rest of my life, to think that the rest of the story will take place in a single, known location seems a bit too claustrophobic. downright scary. lives don't proceed in such a linear fashion, right? except that i know that location cannot be the single variable that makes a life linear. i'm confident that no one leads a linear life, or if they do, they do so without knowing beforehand, because there is just no formula for making a life linear. so there.
nonetheless, the next month of my life feels fairly mapped out. we picked february 16th, so we must get everything from our to-do list done by that date. that's what we'll be doing. how we'll be feeling will necessarily become more dynamic than the last two months of almost pure excitement and overwhelm with all there is to do to make this move happen. now we have to get down to the nitty gritty, those messy details of saying goodbye to our pets, seeing this or that person or location "for the last time," locking the door and driving away from our house and our wonderful neighborhood... ugh. messy details. they're good to go through, even if they make you lose all composure. which they will, for me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

not selling the house

we will sell the house. we will. there's just a glitch, and it's quite frustrating because we have plenty of things to do without having a glitch. especially when we have a willing buyer. our house is income-restricted, which means potential buyers must meet certain requirements, but apparently there are many additional requirements they must meet which we had no idea about until this afternoon and now we're being told that our potential purchaser (and really, ally in this whole mess) cannot in fact purchase our place. but i just don't believe they are right and i'm not ready to concede. and i'm frustrated because i want to believe that this is all going to happen the way i envision it happening-- is that too much to expect? that it's all going to work out the way i want it to? probably.

Monday, January 9, 2012

signing the lease

i've definitely had the experience of reading over and signing legal documents. i suppose what kind of lawyer would i be if i hadn't? i've also definitely had the experience of explaining and asking a person to sign a legal document that is not written in the language s/he speaks or reads. as of tonight i've had the experience of being that person, who does not speak or read the language, but must sign my name to the document and sort of hope that i really am signing what i think i'm signing. some people warned us not to sign anything until we got there, but i feel pretty good about it (plus, the thought of living out of a hotel or hostel with two kids and all our luggage while we searched for a place to rent just didn't seem like it'd be the laid back house hunters international experience that i'd want it to be, so i'd rather just do the leg-work from here).

so why do i feel pretty good about signing it? because our soon-to-be landlord has been amazing so far-- like a host taking care to see that there's an extra blanket on the bed, she's searched out high chairs and bike trailers for us (after convincing us that we do not want a fancy christiania bike like all the parents ride in copenhagen), gathered a list of people to use as resources. she's also been sure to toss in useful bits of insider information-- like the bike shop next to the grocery store is sort of a rip off (as is the grocery store) but the employees will help you out, and the church down the road will not proselytize, so no need to be wary of its hospitality (should we seek it).

meanwhile, back on this continent, i feel a little bit like the kindly landlord as we work to help get a woman into our house who so wants to buy our place that we don't want to list it for anyone else.

this is going to sound very serendipity-ish, but, well, it's serendipitous that we've stumbled upon these two people who seem to be working to help us get to where we're going. makes me happy.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Denmark is ranked the best countries for Work-Life Balance in 2011!

The 23 Best Countries for Work-Life Balance (We Are Number 23) - The Atlantic

Hope not much changes in 2012-- or that Greg and his co-workers ever have to hold up a sign saying 'We are the 0.02%."

starting... in roughly 6 weeks

a new move felt like a new blog was in order. a fresh start. in the hopes that i will keep it updated. there is so much to think about that it seems silly to try to add one more thing to the list of "things to think about and mull over and make decisions about and turn into actions while at the same time doing all of those responsible adult-type things we had to do before we were moving." really, there is no lack of things to think about, as there surely is with any big move-- selling our house, moving into a new house (or, "owner-occupied flat" to be specific), what to take with us, what to get rid of, what to store in our parents' basements, enrolling william in a school, finding a job for myself (will i find a job for myself?), getting our bearings in a new place, etc. but with an international move, there's so... much... more... passports, residency applications, plane tickets for a longgg (how do i emphasize this?) plane ride with a to-be 1 year old and 3 (and three-quarters) year old, learning a new language, a new culture, how to get around without a car, without a built-in support system, shipping things... by ship, wondering if i'll find vinegar and baking soda in the grocery stores, and what if hydrogen peroxide doesn't come in a brown bottle and we need it because one of us gets a cut or something but we can't read the labels on the bottles (i've actually fretted over that recently), do we bring this elephant?
it's not so much about this particular elephant, but the fact that we have this stuff in our house and it needs to go somewhere. we say goodbye to the elephant, or the kitchen table, the stereo, etc., etc., etc., or we take it with us, or we entrust it to someone else. right now there is the dilemma of 'to ship or not to ship.' our 'ship' pile of stuff has consistently been much smaller than the things we've already given away and, so it seems, somewhat smaller than the things we wanted to store, but suddenly, the idea of not shipping anything... it's a nice idea... less to worry about once we're over there... less to ship back when we leave... but... if we don't ship anything, the pile of things that we want to store suddenly becomes much larger than seems feasible to force onto any one of our parents, and the heavier and more important our luggage suddenly becomes as we try to squeeze in every little thing we think we might want to have with us... for this is not a vacation. at least, i don't want it to feel like we're on vacation for three years. well, what am i saying? of course i want to feel like i'm on a vacation for three years, but i know it's not going to feel that way and what i'm really meaning is that i don't want to feel like i'm just living out of my suitcase for three years. i want to feel settled to some extent. and i want not to need much. but already we've cleared out so many of our belongings and will surely give away many, many more items before all is said and done, and we're leaving our pets, selling our car, our home, and the items that hold some sort of importance to us will be out of our reach for three years, i just know that if we don't ship anything, we're going to have a hard time zipping our suitcases, we're going to find some things missing when we get there, and yes, we can replace those items, but i guess what makes it a dilemma is that, well, a) we're not rich, so we're going to replace an item we already own with a cheap copy of it, which, for me, feels sort of pointless and wasteful; and b) i just wonder if in a place so unfamiliar, we wouldn't find comfort in say, our kitchen table.
well, it is just "stuff" after all-- something i have been telling myself for weeks, well, years, but many times over the past couple of weeks as we've nearly completely cleared out our basement (apparently my "it's just stuff" mantra hadn't worked very well in the past-- or, more likely, it was a slow accumulation, with close to no time dedicated to removing any of it until now). and it does feel wonderful to get rid of so much stuff that we don't use or need in our lives. but there is this dilemma nonetheless.
hmm... i'm open to suggestions, opinions, points of view.

goodnight for now.