Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Year Later

It is amazing to me that it was exactly a year ago tonight (Sun. 10/6) I was sorting last minute items for packing/shipping people who were arriving in the morning, we went to church for the last service at Valley, we were done with the bon voyage parties, Bart was headed back to Zurich or NY(I lost track after a while) and Max was in a new home. God is so good and faithful and we are so fortunate to have good health, a good school for kids, a beautiful/interesting place to live, a church to worship freely in and while making new friends, still keeping in touch with the ones we have left in other locations (I am NOT going to call you "old" friends as 1. none of you classify as old in my book and 2. you are still friends, thus not "old").

A year later I miss things like:

WDM or Urbandale Targets (one-stop shopping haven complete with Starbucks)
Costco bulk TP (soft!) and Paper Towels
Enchilada Sauce
Monterey Jack Cheese
Friends, Neighbors, Church
The big brown & green eyes of certain boys across the street - watching them play with the girls
Taking Max for walks - no matter how much I seemed to complain
Fishtailing around corners while it was snowing - I did it on purpose, only with no one else around!
The ease of getting new contact lenses or teeth cleanings
Being able to speak to the Dr. in American accented English
Having veggies/fruit weighed at checkout instead of self-weighing and then forgetting and being totally embarassed at the counter!
Free parking - at the grocery, the mall, on the street, at the Dr., etc....
Our fabulous family hairdresser/photographer
Being able to paint my walls in any shade available from Benj. Moore, etc...
Having a giant garbage can right in my attached garage
Having curb-side recycling
A garage closer than 119 stairs downhill (little theme running)

But - a year later:
I don't miss saving the amounts of money we actually spent at Costco on things we didn't really need
I can understand the pool man's maintenance/pump/chemical instructions - and he didn't speak English
I rarely ever forget to weigh my veggies anymore
I have new friends, new neighbors and a warm, grace-filled Church to attend
I buy lot's of Charmin when it is down to 9.80 chf a 24pack from 18.40chf ($7.85 vs $14.70)
I haven't found replacements for the brown & green eyed boys so the girls will have a great visit next week in IA
I got my hair coloured and it looks kinda "natural" - not red or orange
I have fewer expectations of how things are supposed to be vs how they are
I love the way the water of Lake Zurich changes with the weather
I enjoy seeing the acceptance my children have of children from all over the world
I am finally used to white walls again
I take down my garbage and do my recycling in bulk - usu. when there are too many bags lined up next to the car in the garage
The travel time between garage and flat is worth the view so we don't really complain at all
We have found Dr.'s, Othodontists, etc... and they are all very kind and we are all healthy!
I love sitting, drinking coffee and watching all the people in the different places we travel
I love the traveling
I love coming home to my own bed

So - here we are and actually getting packed to head for the States this next Sat. We will arrive in Des Moines on the 16th - we drove out last year on the 15th - What a year. We look forward to seeing everyone we can while we are there. The IA trip was not expected - we left last year not knowing when we might ever get back through. So this is a real bonus for the girls and I. Bart won't be able to join us until we are out in CA. Apparently he has a job where he cannot take 3 1/2 weeks off. So we look forward to seeing all of you - family and friends.

A few pic's for contemplation:
Our scrabbly looking yard upstairs - that's our roof (see little skylight domes?). Notice the meticulous care given to the "just like I got out of bed" do that our lawn is sporting.
See manicured beauty - nary a weed would show it's head in our Des Moines garten
Isn't this woodland absolutely beautiful!

This is our lawn prior to it's first "cutting" this year - GASP!!!!!!! We have become those neighbors. Of course, the reality is that our lawn has been natural since - forever, long before we ever lived here - and as Bart says, "If we weed it, there will be no lawn left." Now the fact that Lake Zurich is still able to provide drinking water and is crystal clear may be due in part to the fact - you can't find lawn fertilizer with herbicide control in it. And the only weed spray is the kind that kills the plant - doesn't go into the root and harm the soil and get into the Lake and on and on. And I used to scan our lawn in DM for the stray course grass that would find it's way into our manicured, green carpet of a lawn - what a sicko. Now I just remove the largest eyesores in the weed family of our lawn and then look upon it with affection - nothing I can do will ever make it perfect. Kind of like me. I will never be perfect either. I figure there must be a perfect garten waiting for me in Heaven.

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