Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Just Money; Nobody Died

You could call this a Good News/Bad News post but in the end, "It's just money; nobody died." So that's the Good News.

It started last week when suddenly my laptop died dead in its tracks. Bottom line, it was the motherboard. Kaput. All my data from the internal hard drive was saved; all the programs were lost. But, good news, some of my most important programs, like PhotoShop, will be installed by the techies on my new laptop hopefully by the end of the week. The bad news is that everything costs more over here, especially when you do the dollar to euro conversion (1 Euro = 1.4503 U.S. dollars right now). Nor was it how I expected to use my money right now. BUT...nobody died!

So now I'm using Astrid's laptop, thanks to her undying generosity....and am figuring out how to process pics through Picasa for this post. So far so good....except for wrapping, which I forgot how to do....

OK. Now to the fun stuff....

THE TRUCKPACKS ARE HERE! We had them delivered to us instead of renting a van and driving to Rotterdam to pick them up. It didn't take long to calculate that we were better off to have someone else do the hard work for us. However, would you believe...the driver did not come with a hand forklift! So we had to empty the packs from the van while he waited for us. Actually, he helped us, thankfully. In the end, it took 50 minutes to get everything out of the van for him to leave (with a nice tip, I might add) and another 40 minutes to get everything up into our 1st floor apartment. By 11 a.m. on Friday, the deed was done, 5 weeks after my arrival in the Netherlands!

After all was said and done, it cost almost as much to receive the go0ds here (again, after the dollar to euro conversion) as it took to ship them over the Pond from the States. And that's without having to pay any tax. Something's not quite right about that picture! But it's just money...and nobody died!

How's that for a mess!

The good news is that Eva was with us for an hour's worth of help. She's the girlfriend of Astrid's son, and is totally worth her weight in gold. Thank you, Eva!

Now you know what I've been doing since last Friday! Astrid, too, as the chief builder of shelves and organizing space for me as I unpack boxes! Little by little, beetje bij beetje.

Once I get my new laptop and once the unpacking is done, I will feel like a new woman. All the birthing pangs will be forgotten. It all was just money. Nobody died. In fact, if anything, as we start the new year, all is NEW. All is being born!


  1. Hurray!

    So much of all this was expecting one thing and getting another. Like the timing. If you'd known it would take this long and didn't expect it within a week, you could have waited with patience. But when you expect soon and every day is a delay, that seems like eternity.

    I can't believe he didn't bring a fork lift! And how on earth did you ever get everything up to the apartment? My goodness.

    The next question is, where will it all go? Well I guess that's where Astrid's shelves come in.

    I do hope you will give us an "after" picture. :)

  2. Oh my dear Ginnie,
    it must have been a chock to arrive in Holland at the Coldest Winter since a long time. (It's cold in MI too).
    But, I know you are "Jack of all trades" fixing the most;))

    We are allways thinking about a weekend meeting friends in Europe.
    Just now Düsseldorf has 1. priority
    2: Amsterdam or Paris.
    3. Nice

    We keep in touch
    as we are of a very selected vintage;))

  3. I had to laugh at 'It's only money-nobody died.' That's the only attitude to have, Ginnie. Congratulations on now having your own things around you - I know from experience how much more at home that can make you feel.

  4. I've always admired your positive outlook on everything! Oh we are always going to have lots and lots of challenges, but it's the way we handle them that really show what our character is made of.

  5. I had the it's just money thing happen when.. November or so... And I certainly laugh too. Now I wish I was there so I could be that techie to help you out!!! And I'd do it for free as long as I got a photo hunt out of the deal!!!!

    We still have to go through our storage but with an added person in the house, it is a little cramped.. But that's okay because nobody died. hehe..

  6. Ruth: We all know what they say about expectations! Thankfully. I'm learning to let them go. My laptop won't be ready until next week, and I'm just accepting it. What else can I do?!

    We had a hand truck and a moving cart from the complex that we used to get everything up to the apartment...and an elevator, thank God! By now almost everything is put away...3 more boxes to unpack today, mostly nic-nacs...and then pictures to hang. We plan to finish over this weekend, so not bad, even if I do say so myself. :)

    Tor: Acually, I love cold weather and have not had a problem with it at all. It reminds me of when I was growing up in Michigan...during those years when it was still cold!

    Do let us know when you decide to make it to AMS because we will make sure we go to meet you. FINALLY!

    Deborah: You're a sweetheart to stop by and I thank you. Aren't you the one going to France with your husband? Ruth told me about you. And yes, it does feel good to see some of my soulful things. Together, we have made this place a home.

    Mad: You are so right. So right. I was thinking about what's going on in Haiti right now and suddenly my issues seem laughable!

    ET: The right attitude can get us through anything and not break us! Good for you.

  7. I will have to remember that line about just money and no one died when some unexpected comes along. You really know how put a fun spin on the situation. Love it.

  8. Just a van for your belongings? You were ruthless in getting rid of things if you lived in Atlanta for decades. I am a pack rat and think it would take many tractor trailers to move my things… I admire you immensely. I hope that now everything will be going smoothly – since no one died, it should.

  9. What a delightful surprise! I can just see you wriggling down into your things like a puppy into a cushion! You'll really be "at home" now - even a few things can make such a big difference.

    I know so many people with computer problems just now - I suppose it's just a quirk, but my goodness, these machines can be a pain. On the other hand - we do feel lost without them.

    It's so good to get your updates and know that things are well in your part of the world.

    I found a blog this week quite by accident, all about windmills in New York. I couldn't figure it out for a bit - then I began to remember the heritage! It looks like I'll be learning some history, too, because of your move!

  10. PC: That quote is not original with me, Maria. My ex-BIL would say it frequently when something upsetting happened. It does have a way of adding levity to a seemingly negative situation. Thanks for commenting!

    Vagabonde: It took me 9 months to downsize my household goods and reduce them to two 4' x 4'x 4' TruckPacks! It was a real acheivement, I must say. I can be a pack rat, too, so I learned a lot about giving/throwing things away or selling them on eBay/Amazon/flea markets and consignment stores. Some things are still selling as we speak. It was a challenge but well worth it in the end. Now that everything is here, there seems to be a place for it all, so I did well in the end. From now on, I am committed to traveling light! :)

    SA: Oh, I love that expression of wriggling down into my things like a puppy. You are so right. Astrid keeps saying how good it feels to now see my soulful things mixed in with hers. The funny thing is that for 5 weeks without them, it was okay. But now that they are here, there is more a sense of home. Yes, you know. Thanks.

    You may know about Mercury Retrograde, when all things electronic and related to wires/communication/transportation can go haywire? If my laptop were to die, that would be the time, and it did (this MR stint was from Dec. 26 - Jan. 15). It's a quirk with a reason, I guess you could say. Sigh.

    Ruth says she wants to see pics of my things organized, so I will do a post on that once I get my own laptop back...and PhotoShop. I am lost without it! Till then I will continue organizing...and hanging things on the wall. Concrete walls! No fun!

    Windmills in New York? Who would have thought. I'll be getting my education, too!

  11. I know it sounds strange but when your truckpacks came and we started unpacking and when I saw you organizing all your belongings in between the things I already have in the apartment, THAN it hit me, eindelijk we will make a home together.
    Each day beetje bij beetje it is getting more and more OUR HOME.....
    Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into doing this.
    After we found out that your laptop had died on you, we looked at each other and said...'now what'.....
    I know nobody died but it was not planned, but than my question would be, can we plann anything ahead?
    We always want to have it our way, is that fair, are we too selvish?
    I am glad that this comming week you will get the new laptop and I sure hope it works the way you like it, I know you will get used to it.
    I love the pictures and I just looked around.......and have een glimlach van oor tot oor, a few more weeks/days and everything will be cleared.
    Yesterday it was fun hanging things at the wall, we are getting there.....OUR HOME....thank you MLS.

  12. I wanted to come back and ask, did you notice Dutchbaby's comment on my blanket (cold winter nights) post? She wondered if the two of you have any AaBe Deken blankets? She is Dutch, obviously, living in the San Francisco area now.

  13. Astrid: I think it hit me, too, MLMA, that we are in this together when I started to see my things mixed in with yours. It's a wonderful, soulful place to be, in time and in space. Ontzettend bedankt. Too bad some of the walls are concrete and can hardly be drilled into. I wasn't expecting that. Oh well. We'll just work around it!

    Ruth: No, we do NOT have an AaBe Deken blanken, though Astrid is familiar with the brand. The wool blanket we have if from Belgium! :)

  14. ohhh dear blog friend; I can tell I'm far behind you but try to catch up!

    Glad none is dead, but being without a laptop sounds like a tragedy :lol:

    How great - after all - to see that all is good at you're end and that you are in a good mood!