Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In Case You Were Wondering

It's been on the evening news the last 2 nights so perhaps you have heard that Atlanta has had historic flooding after days and days of relentless rain.

In my 22 years here in Atlanta, I've never seen anything like it. Typically we are in drought alert and on water rationing, year after year. So for g'son Nicholas to have had 2 school days off for flooding in the county, that's saying something. Thus far, 10 have lost their lives in Georgia and Alabama due to the rain. Countless others have lost their homes/possessions. Back in 1993 I lost my condo to fire and have been wondering what would be worse, fire or flood!

Personally, I've been fine! The yard was becoming a jungle as the rain started several days ago, but because it wouldn't stop raining, I could never mow it. Yesterday, however, we had a day of sun, so I decided to cut the grass. The grass was dry BUT the ground was so soggy, the mower wheels left muddy ruts:

Now I ponder which was worse...the jungle or the ruts!

Switch gears now and let me update you on something else you may have been wondering about: the house selling and my upcoming move to the Netherlands.

After 7+ months of no bites of consequence on our For Sale house, the decision was made to refinance it back to a 30-year mortgage and Quit-Claim me off the deed, buying me out. It was a win-win situation, lowering the monthly mortgage and allowing me the freedom to move on with my life.

God willing and the creek don't rise, I expect to be out of the house and moved to the Netherlands by the end of November. The estate sale, getting rid of the last of my earthly possessions that won't go with me, is scheduled for the first weekend in November. After that, my car will be sold and...that's all she wrote!

In the meantime, I'm checking off the list all those things that came to mind the last weeks/months when I couldn't get to sleep. It's one thing to move to another city but to move to another country?! That's something else.

For example, did you know that when you apply for emigration to another country and have to get certified copies of your important papers (birth certificate, divorce decree, name change, etc.), there has to be an apostille (pronounced ah-pa-STEEL) added to authenticate the certified copy? And it's not in the same courthouse where you get the certified copies!

So I took 3 hours today to go get certified copies that I already had (they can't be older than 6 months by the time you start the emigration application and mine were a year old) AND to get them apostillized (if that's a word). You can imagine my sheer delight in finding out what this mystery was all about...and talk about getting my education! Attached (with a brass-plated rivet!) as a cover letter to the certified document is this apostille, specific to the Netherlands, that tells them they can trust the certified document to be valid. And at the very bottom it states "THIS APOSTILLE IS NOT VALID WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." How's that for jumping up and down and backwards and forwards to get something validated!

So now you case you were wondering. I have NOT drowned or lost any possessions still remaining. And while the house still has no bites for selling (in fact, it's off the market while the refi is in process), it looks like I have an end in sight, at which point I can move on with the rest of my life.

Thanks for case you were!


  1. I can't believe I didn't call you! Duh. It's strange that I just didn't believe anything would be happening to you. :| I guess because you were emailing . . .

    Of course Peter was in Nashville at the time too, and I didn't know if they had problems there as well, but we were hearing from him all along so.

    Wow, what a lot of follderoll you have to go through to move to another ocuntry. I got a kick out of your description of it. Won't December be grand? :)

  2. i have been wondering and i'm so glad you posted! All I kept thinking about was "Ginnie lives in Atlanta! I hope she and her family are ok."

    On another note...wouldn't it figure...I'm probably going to Atlanta sometime this winter...february or march...and you'll be in the Netherlands! Maybe you can plan a trip back to visit the family and ... lil' ol' me. heehee. Otherwise, I'll just have to find a good excuse to go to the Netherlands...we've always wanted to explore that part of the world!

  3. What happened in Atlanta is just terrible. Well, the grass does not exactly look attractive but you are still so lucky. Oh, and moving to another state is pretty difficult - you can be just happy you are not from a Third world country, because it is much harder for such people. Anyway, good luck.


  4. Ruth: Well, you also knew that if something had happened, you would have heard! So no news is usually good news. Thankfully! And yes, December will be grand...after a mighty spectacular Thanksgiving, I'm guessing! :)

    Mad: Thank you M'lady! That means a lot that you were thinking of us here in Atlanta. And regarding your trip in February or March, you never know! If I have not gone through emigration yet, I'll have to leave the country at the end of 3 months, which will be the end of Februaray. So you never know. I may see you here in Atlanta yet! But if not, we'll give you a GOOD excuse to fly over to Holland! :)

    THS: If that grass is the worst of my situation, Ella, I am indeed very lucky. So thank God, yes! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. Ginnie, I didn't know you were moving back to Amsterdam, that's wonderful!

  6. After going through tropical storm Allison in Houston, which was a flooding event rather than a wind event, I always get nervous for other folks going through the same thing. I can't remember the totals exactly, but I think we had 20 inches in 24 hours. It was stunning.

    Your description of the paperwork process reminded me of a funny quirk of banking when I was living in Liberia. When you went to the bank to transact business, you had to stand in a separate line for each transaction. So, if you had one check to cash and one to deposit, you stood in two lines.
    If you had a check to deposit and wanted cash back - two lines!

    I don't remember what I was up to, but I remember having one five-line day. It took all day, too. Well, I exaggerate. It took about six hours ;-)

    Old expat blessing: May all your encounters with the bureaucracy be expedited!

  7. RD: Not to AMS, Stacey, but nearby to a city called Gorinchem. Close enough and easy to get to whenever friends come to visit!

    SA: We're getting more rain right now as I write this, which is bad, Linda, for those who are already saturated. The floodwaters will rise again. So sad.

    Your Liberian experience is like so many other when I was in Peru and Guatemala and Mexico...nightmares when it comes to getting things done. Sigh. I'm afraid we've become very spoiled in America. Even our worst-case scenarios are a breeze, compared to other countries!

    I love your expat blessing...and gladly receive it! Thank you.

  8. Ik ben trots op je dat je bijna alles voor elkaar hebt.
    Ik zal je van Schiphol halen en naar ons nieuwe appartement brengen en dan........kunnen we met ons nieuwe leven beginnen.
    Dank je wel voor je niet aflatende vertrouwen en liefde voor mij.

  9. Yea, I was wondering! It was all on the news in Norway too and when watching the flood, I said to Diane right away: "Our blog friend Ginnie is there!"

    Thanks for telling your okay!

    Wishing you a wonderful Sunday and a great week ahead!

    Btw: I had another guided tour in Oslo last week - a Singaporean was visiting ( check my last post about it). I hope you can make it if I can arrange a Blog Gathering in Oslo next August.

  10. Oh Ginnie - although one door did not close, another looks like it's opening.... This is still great news and well just maybe a place where we can really hope to visit! :)

  11. Astrid: Our Journey has brought us this far. Soon we will be together!

    Renny: I am definitely keeping next August in mind for your Blog Gathering. Let's see what happens!

    ET: One day we may see you in Europe, Jen, so hang on to your hat. :D

  12. Ginnie, Dennis had told me you had not floated away and I was VERY happy to hear that! Oh my - I am not sure that I realized you had a move coming so quickly - will be here before you know it....because where the heck did summer go? As always I love your pictures - this and the last few blogs as well. Thinking of you and sending lots of love for all good things "expedited"!

  13. Judy: Believe it or not, we're still getting rain in-between dry days, so it is such a weird feeling to realize we're still in the Atlanta area and not somewhere else. It would be like if So. CA. got all this rain. Unheard of.

    Thanks for your good thoughts sent my way. You know I appreciate every one of them!

  14. I have been wondering.....I have never heard of what you are doing...either with you house or with your immigration papers. Who knew it would be so interesting to immigrate? glad you survived the floods....and I read about your "nonadventure" with your grandson but agree that you are definitely on one of your own! Good to hear from you!