Friday, March 22, 2013

Chapter 16: Building a New Home

I've been away from my blog for awhile. We moved into our apartment a week ago, and the weather has mostly been rainy and cold. Today we had a respite with clear skies (clear in Germany just means not too misty). Lawna's week has been one of getting accustomed to her new job. She's working at a higher command level and in an job area that she has been away from  for quite awhile. It will take some adjustment.

I've been doing the apartment stuff--setting up utility accounts, getting some things repaired, fixing us up with internet access, etc. It's amazing how time consuming some issues can be that should be simple--turning things on and off. Our apartment is on the ground floor and contains the utility boxes for all of the other units. When someone else has problems with their internet or gas, the repairman has to come to our apartment to fix it. It is the same with our back yard in San Antonio: we have all of the neighborhood  utility boxes, even cable, which we disconnected years ago.

We received some of our household goods, but not the big shipment, and we are still driving a rented Mercedes that looks like my old Honda Fit, but it does not drive nearly as well. I have my German driver's license now, and Lawna has yet to take her test. She has to take it at her office on a business computer, but she has been too busy at work. I don't know when she will have a chance to get licensed. As a result, I drive  her to work each morning and pick her up in the afternoon. It actually works out well for me because I have the car for the day to fill out utility forms in Kaiserslautern and pick up stuff for the apartment.

Lawna has not been able to go to church since we left San Antonio, and she misses it. This morning as I was walking around the village, I found a Catholic church for her in the adjacent village of Hutschenhausen. It's a beautiful old country church and appears to be pretty active, all in German. I'm not a Catholic, but I think I'll go with her to church to connect with the community. Maybe they have a choir I can join. We can start just in time for Easter.

Memorial for the WWI and WWII war dead in Spesbach
The weather here is colder and wetter than I'm used to--South Texas boy that I am--but I like it. It's invigorating most of the time. The trick, of course, is dressing right. We might have some snow tomorrow. It was certainly freezing this morning, and the frost over the fields behind us gleamed in the early morning sun. I'm enjoying the dorfleben, or village life so far. I'm not working yet, and won't push too hard at it until we get the rest of our stuff. I've contacted all the people I know of to contact to teach college here, and I've kept them up with my  address changes, etc. But, this is the middle of a semester, so it may take awhile. Even DOD high schools will be winding down soon, so that substituting jobs will be scarce. I may try to work for AFEES at the base exchange.  Ramstein has more than just a BX. The Ramstein base exchange is a full shopping mall, with specialty shops, restaurants, a theater multiplex and giant food court. It is quite an enterprise, and a lot of dependents work there.

Right now, though, we're still moving in. We have a lot of goods on the way and a car. One of us needs to be around to deal with all of this. I can't wait to get our bikes. This place is bike heaven. This is going to be a wonderful three years.

Morning frost


After a rain

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