The time has come

I wrote this last Sunday, it’s this week’s column.

The long awaited household goods truck comes first thing tomorrow morning and I’m feeling very first datish–a little apprehensive but mostly obnoxiously giddy.

We have been living here in Germany for the past two months, camping out with our original twelve bags of clothing. Don’t think that number hasn’t increased; I now have to detangle us from our temporary house one grocery bag of accumulated goods at a time. Unfortunately there is no place to put said items until all the other items are delivered.

So here I sit on this pre-delivery eve, clipping my toe nails and thinking that I should probably shave my legs tonight since it might be a while before I can get back to personal hygiene.

Thing is, these movers have a one-touch policy. We get one shot to boss them around, but the moment our poundage hits tile, it. Is. Over. Forget asking them to reposition something, it lives where it lands unless we want to haul it around ourselves (we don’t). I am therefore frantically trying to remember what we have–it’s been four months–so I can make myself a working map of where it should go.

One thing about our fabulous German house (we got brave and purchased one) is the fact that it comes with loads and loads of junky European treasure. The previous owners are old and moving in with their daughter. Their method of downsizing is simple: Leave Everything In the House for the New Family to Sort Through.

It’s a good thing the gypsies come through every few months to take stuff, there’s no way we could haul all of that to the local thrift store. (Seriously, they actually drive slowly through the town ringing a bell.) And for the record, German junk looks an awful lot like American junk.

Truly the past two months have been tough on the body. If anyone ever had sympathy for prison inmates, it is me. I hear one of the worst publicly mentionable things about prison is the total discomfort. The beds are a single mattress and there’s not a decent chair or couch to be found.

That is exactly what military “stick furniture” is like. Plastic foam couches and miserable springy mattresses.

I was at a girlfriend’s house this past week and actually sat down on a real couch for the first time in Europe. I almost went comatose on her due to sheer comfort alone.

This move has not been without it’s casualties. With all the changes and transfers and Guten tags, my Junie (3) is now peeing her pants again. I have probably handled it terribly and I’m suspicious she’ll end up in therapy because of my overall misreaction (this might or might not have included yelling, stomping and a week of early bedtime). We don’t rightly know what to do. Part of me doesn’t blame her; our life has been less than comfortable and more than a little sporadic these past four months. She’s trying to mesh into German preschool and we’re in the middle of another move…heck, maybe I should take a page from her book. Next time I’m stressed I should try peeing my pants, it might be very liberating.

I guess if all else fails, I could always threaten her with the Gypsies. Somehow I think that method might do more damage than a gentle caning. I guess we’ll go back to marshmallows. They’re probably safer on her overall psyche.

Either way, she’ll be peeing her pants at home this time tomorrow. Now that is something to finally feel good about.





  1. what caught my eye and ear (eye?) was that you said you were sitting on a “friends” couch. Well, dang, I think that is exciting, you alreayd have a girlfriend there in Germany. See how “magnetic” you are.
    And trust me on this…peeing your pant’s really gets you no where, but a rash.

  2. Marcee .... ILLINOIS says:

    Adore the posts Annie! Yep. You are my newest/latest fav!! (For a very long time too!)

    I wonder if a great many mom’s are in the same situation? No doubt it is very difficult. With 4 active kids, the house not too comfortable yet, we can all see your struggling for survival.

    Hopefully, maybe ….. at some point in time you can hire outside help. Like from an agency. I think is would be of benefit. Just thought to mention. Your sanity is important to all of us!

    Make it a great weekend!

    P.S. Yeah …. the wee-wee situation is a toughie. That is the (adorable!) child who lost out on a pal she wanted to be with as a BFF. Ohdear. Poor kid. Kindness/understanding will help. How about trying German-style Pampers? For those risky nighty-nites. In good time Junie will realize it all.

    I agree w/Wendy! Ha …. funny!