Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Boxing Day Blues

The cowbell rang at 8 a.m. Monday morning.  It was boxing day and our packers had arrived: two herculean men that would spend the better part of three days wrapping and crating our predominately utilitarian possessions.  The Captain ushered them around the house, pointing out what was going and what was not, then the men disappeared, returning minutes later with rolls of  white foam floor runners, cardboard boxes, tape, and reams upon reams of packing paper. 

Mother Earth, forgive us! We promise to recycle.

I've moved seventeen times in 37 years. One might suppose I'd be used to it by now. In many ways, I am. I fully expect months of chaos and confusion bookended firmly on the departure side and more unpredictably on the other. Moving to Geneva took more than a full year of adjustment and adaptation: a new language and culture with two very young children was bound to take its toll. Vancouver, on the other hand, took about 15 minutes. We bought Honey within days of arrival and spent the next year exploring Canada's Pacific Coast. Sure there were unknowns--there always are--but new frontiers in your home country and mother tongue inspire few middle of the night panic attacks, at least in this filly.

I'd like to say I'm experiencing the same pie-in-the-sky anticipation for this move, but that wouldn't be true. Let's face it: it's hard to top Vancouver with a puppy and the USA isn't exactly my native land--no insult intended or implied.  I will be a visitor, permitted to live there by the grace of my husband's employer and American immigration. I will not have the same freedoms of my neighbours, nor the same responsibilities. It's an odd sensation, this expatriate existence, living in countries to whose future your not committed by citizenship.  I'm not sure I approve, at least in the long term. I wouldn't be surprised if one day I'll be seeking my American citizenship, or my Swiss one, for that matter. I'd like to think I'll end up in Canada again, but that day may be very far off. We've made our choices. Now it's time to live them, for better or for worse.

The boxes left today leaving behind the dusty, dirty shell of a house that was once our home. It was good run. We'll miss you Corsier. Onward, ho!

More photos from my Geneva garden:


  1. Siiiiiggggghhhhh

    I know, I know... I've moved over 25 times since I was nineteen (why do you think I became such a minilmist?)

    On the other hand it is an adventure, you won't be fighting the language, and you have a cheering squad back here and you'll develop a whole new network.

  2. Moving seems like a big deal to me but your definitely an expert at it. I bet it gets a little easier each time. The USA does have some great shopping and other perks that I'm sure you will enjoy. The girls can play soccer this summer that would be fun to watch.

    I love the spring pictures I'm very jealous of that it's still cold and probably will be for a few more weeks.
    I can't wait for spring.


  3. Please, please, please can I be the trailing spouse?


  4. Seeing the house as an empty shell is the hardest part. I had tears in my eyes when we said goodbye to Hermance. It's really hard.

  5. Don't be fooled, Sherry C. These photos are from previous years. The forecast calls for snow tomorrow.

    A note to the Captain: you would loose your mind, and you know it. How cute that you still believe I'm trailing. Do you believe in the tooth fairy, too?