The dark part: we are significantly lighter in the wallet, due to some crooked dealing by the landlord and his wife. A word of advice to friends near and far: when you move into a place, take pictures of ANYTHING that might be even slightly worn or damaged. Even slightly. Print these off and write clauses into your rental contract, if possible, or at least save them in your own files. It may be the only thing standing between you and 2000 Euro. Especially if you happen to live with little people who look like this.
I am still reaching within myself to find forgiveness for the woman who has personally scorned my housekeeping skills, the man who has forced us into funding the remodeling of his house. Truly, I think that forgiveness and grace will have to be a divine gift in this situation. We will move on now, because sincerely, I have nothing more to say about all of that. I am bored to tears by the whole mess, and don't want to leave Germany with a bitter taste in my mouth.
Looking beyond all of that, it's hard leaving. Living in Europe has been, largely, a great adventure for us. I wish I'd made it more of a priority to learn the German language, and it would have been nice to have Greg with us more often, but other than that, I have to say that I have no regrets.
(Our last visit to our favorite restaurant in town -- a French pizzaria called Toucy)
It was sad to take a last walk through our little town last week on our way to the Friday farmer's market (on Aug. 21st).
We said goodbye to the Egg Lady, and to the Cheese Truck Couple, and then, at last, to the dear lady at the local yarn shop. I had told her a week prior that we'd be moving, so when we stopped by, she ran to the back room and brought out little gifts (unexpectedly!) for each of us. Sparky, Max and Daisy had little packets of gummy bears, bubbles, stamps, etc., Billy had a hand-crocheted stuffed ball, and for me, she crocheted a beautiful summer-weight scarf, in the perfect shade of blue. She and I both had tears in our eyes as we said goodbye. It's kind of hard to say goodbye forever.
(Billy was napping at home with Greg, while the movers packed out our things)
On Sunday night (Aug. 23rd), we moved into the hotel. It's cramped in here, but at least all of the cleaning and the packing and the sick feeling of inevitable disruption is past. We're living out of suitcases, and we still have a trans-Atlantic flight ahead of us, but it feels really good to have all of the most difficult bits behind us.
This past Saturday, Greg hung out with the children while I went to my very last Stitch 'n Bitch knitting group. It was strange to sit around the table, knitting, eating lunch, chatting as usual...but knowing that this would be the very last time this particular group of ladies would share time together.
When we arrived in Germany, we had two children; we are leaving with four. The memories we are taking with us are precious, and while it is sad that it is time to go, we look forward to the future adventures to be had at our new home in Texas.