Thursday, November 19, 2009

Moving Right Along

Another milestone on the road to a new life: the 2 ABF TruckPacks are now gone. Soon they'll be on a ship to Rotterdam in the Netherlands!

I had already shown you what happened when I chose ABF for shipping my heirloom furniture back to Michigan in a ReloCube. It was such a good experience I quickly decided to choose them for shipping my personal goods to the Netherlands. Two different types of packaging but the same overall good customer service. I couldn't have asked for a better process from A to Z. Each box had a 3,000 lb. limit but I'm guessing they were less than 1,500 lbs. each. No matter, they were filled to the gills with the things that matter to me...little touches that will make our home a home.

The weird thing is that I expected them to bring out a forklift truck, not a pallet jack. To be honest, watching the man maneuver the huge boxes "by hand" was pretty scary. There were a couple times I thought one of the boxes would surely tip over and spill out all its contents. O me of little faith. The guy knew what he was doing and did a fine job. Within a matter of minutes, I waved Good-Bye...and that was all she wrote!

If all goes as planned, we'll be driving to Rotterdam on December 11 to pick them up, hopefully without any hitches. Which reminds me...I now have a flight scheduled for Friday, December 4, leaving at 9:35p and arriving the next morning in Amsterdam...on Sinterklaas day. The Day of Gifts. How appropriate, don't you think?!

I sign my quit-claim paperwork on Monday next week and then on Tuesday head south of the city for the Thanksgiving holiday with friends Peggy and Bob, coming back on Friday. My kids will be away in LA (Amy's gang) and Sarasota (Mark), so I'll do my own thing.

Speaking of "my kids," we had a delightful mountain-cabin getaway this past weekend up in the GA Blue Ridge mountains. It was our last hurrah, so to speak, before my departure: Amy, Dennis, Nicholas, Mark and me. We played cards, watched a movie, played cards, ate good food, shot pool, sat in the hot tub...and, did I say, played cards! We'll never forget it. The photo album speaks for itself, if you have a chance to look at it.

And oh, on another note, I was accepted today for my international medical insurance...with an exclusion rider on anything that may happen with my left knee (after my knee surgery in June, 2008). "Pre-existing issues" has a new meaning for me in all the health debate right now! But something is better than nothing and I'm thankful. Which reminds me...HAPPY THANKSGIVING next week to all who celebrate it. We have so much...for giving thanks.

Pinch me: I'm down to 2 weeks away to liftoff. Still miles to go before then, but watching the TruckPacks leave today felt major-major. It really feels like it's happening!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Strome Hetch

If you like spoonerisms as much as I do, this is one of my favorites: I'm in the "strome hetch," finally!

Halloween is now behind us...when once again we did what's become a family tradition, carving pumpkins, roasting seeds, eating a great lunch and playing cards. I love it that Nicholas is growing up with these memories, with Uncle Mark included.

That was October 31, two weekends ago.

This past weekend, Friday and Saturday, was my estate sale, put on by a professional family "gang" I found on the Internet. I was particularly drawn to the website and how it was set up: Good Buys. And once I called the contact lady and met her, I was sold. It was as easy as that. It helped, of course, to know that I didn't have to do anything (other than to get things ready!). I knew up front their minimum take would be $1,500, but it was a no-brainer that it would be totally worth it. It was! My only hope was that I, too, would make that much. I did...and more. AND I still have pieces of furniture and small items left that my flea-market lady wants for her shop and she's willing to pick it all up for me next week. So the opera still isn't over, in a good sense! It's a win-win situation for both her and me.

The pure joy of the weekend was fantastic, sunny weather both days! It felt like the heavens were smiling down on us. I didn't have to hang around but I did, directing traffic off the side of the drive all day long, from 9 - 4. The "gang" said it made all the difference in the world. I knew it would, which is why I did it. I wanted it to be a good experience for everyone.

Today it's raining! Cozy, cozy for me (terrifying for those elsewhere in Atlanta who will get more flooding, yet again). Little by little I am adding to my 2 ABF TruckPacks that will hold the rest of my earthly possessions.

In the beginning, I actually had to get inside the boxes to pack them compactly. I love puzzles, so the entire process has been a delight, fitting each piece in place. They will be loaded to the gills by next week, when they'll be picked up for shipping to Rotterdam. Estimated date of arrival is December 7 and we'll drive to Rotterdam to pick them up on Saturday the 12th. That's the plan.

I'm not yet exactly counting the days, because I'm still waiting to find out the quit-claim and refi date on the house. Once that happens, I'll be counting, trust me. God willing and the creek don't rise, I hope to fly out of Atlanta on Friday, December 4, arriving in Amsterdam on Saturday, Sinterklaas day. The day of gifts! Somehow that seems so appropriate, don't you think?!

But I'll post at least once more before then to say Happy Thanksgiving and bid you all adieu from Atlanta. THEN I'll be saying something like "Tunce upon a whime in a coreign fountry...."