As you may know, around January, it was clear that my assignment in Switzerland would come to a close in the summer of 2009. The actual schedule of the repatriation to the US was not clear though.
A flurry of reasons arrived nearly simultaneously. Stacy had managed to injure her shoulder and elbow somehow, making it crushingly painful to lift anything heavier than a soda can. The tenants who are renting out our house in Virginia had found a purchase of a home, and were looking to get out of their lease with use earlier than expected. The winter of 2008-2009 was brutal, without sun or reasonable weather for nearly the entire winter. The winter was so brutal that we had a family of mice move into the house, right under the kitchen sink. Also, we had a little problem with ants that had never shown before. Stacy was horrified by this infestation of nature! All of these factors piled up and got Stacy to the point of deciding to move back home in April.
About the end of March, Stacy had her schedule all planned out to return early, live with her parents, and accept the shipment of our furniture just as the renters were leaving our house in May. So on the Monday after Easter, she had all her bags packed, the kids most cherished toys packed in the minimal number of bags, and headed to Zürich to take a flight back to Virginia.
Schedule of Return:
Our lease in the house in Rüfenacht does not expire until the end of July, so I will stay here to live here up to the end of the lease. So in case you are curious, here is the schedule:
- March 2009: Stacy has everything planned out for the return
- April 3rd: Last day of school for the kids. They have some get-togethers with students, and take class photos, etc.
- April 13th: The family has their bags packed and leave the house in Rüfenacht for the last time. We spend the night in Zürich at a hotel by the airport.
- April 14th: The family gets on a plane back to the US.
- April 15th-16th: Movers come to the house to pack all of the belongings in the house, outside of a few possessions I need to survive for the next few months.
- April 17th: The movers take out all the boxes they packed over the past two days. The house is nearly empty, with the exception of one couch, a few plates and bowls, a few pots and pans, not enough spoons and forks, not enough toilet paper, one kids bed, that I will sleep on (with Spider Man bedsheets).
- End of June: The rabbits get shipped back to the US.
- End of June: I de-register with the Worb Gemeinde, and have my last day of work at the office in Switzerland. This will probably the 19th of June. I start my vacation for 3 weeks.
- End of June: The second shipment of stuff leaves the house, this is the air shipment. This will be the remaining stuff that I have been living on for the prior 2 months. stuff like my bed, my chest of drawers, a large number of my clothes, my computer desk, and my personal computer.
- Beginning of July: Professional cleaners come and scrub the house down to make it "Swiss Standard Clean" -- whenever you leave an apartment it needs to be so clean that it could pass for a surgeon's operating room.
- Beginning of July: final walk-through with the landlord, with the professional cleaners on-hand -- to clean up any spots that didn't get done the first time.
- Middle of July, my vacation ends and I head back to the US.
What about this three week vacation, you might be wondering. I have never really looked forward to a vacation before. This vacation is different. This vacation is a totally selfish endeavor: Three weeks of soaring and camping at the Saanen airport. Just like laste year, but instead of just one week of rainy weather, I will plan on three weeks, hopefully not all of those days will be rainy. My plan is to live the life of a total airport bum, living in a tent with a bag of luggage, a laptop (or two, since I hate my work laptop so much, and don't use it for anything personal), my Amazon Kindle 2 and all 45 books on it, and a week's worth of summer clothes, and a budget big enough for all the flying and beer I can handle.
Remember last year in Saanen? I hope to make this year's Saanen adventure much more fun than last year's.
Lonely Living in the Meantime
In the meantime, I am living a pretty lonely existence. I have a few things going on that keep me entertained. Every Thursday, my coworkers get together for our weekly fun-time -- the BEERWALK. I'll write more about that in another story, as that is enough to feed two or three blog stories.
At home, I have a few video games to keep me entertained on my computer, and I still have a little bit of company in the otherwise empty house: my two rabbits. Thankfully, the two rabbits are here with me to keep me company. Every day, I either bring them into the house to socialize, or let them run in the garden and eat whatever they want. They are pretty good about not running away. I have trained them to understand their borders. Sometimes they need reminding, so I do have to watch over them, or they wander into the neighbor's yard, where dangerous dogs live. A crisp clap usually reminds them that they are nearing the border. If they continue, I immediately chase them back.
Getting the rabbits herded back into the cage is usually simple. I have trained them to return to the cage once I get out the broom. (Sometimes I have to tap them on the butt with the broom to help get the point home). Once back in their cage, they are always instantly rewarded with their favoirte treat: raisins.