It was sixty degrees and sunny today. Hard to believe that two weeks ago we had snow! GG is packing her gear to head off to Winter Sport in the mountains of Germany tomorrow with her family. I am anticipating wearing shorts and getting out the telescoping yard tools to start Spring Sport tomorrow in the garden!
In our garden, we have a three story wall with ivy growing from the ground to the top of the wall – which is technically the neighbor’s house. Tomorrow, I’ll practice my rusty gardening skills and make sure that the ivy doesn’t climb over the third story. I can’t wait not to have to wear socks!
The kittens have grown enormously, most in length, legs and tail. I am still waiting for their heads to catch up with the rest of their bodies. They have also graduated to being allowed to run up and down the staircases – mostly to tire them out. Proving that they have springs for legs, they can jump four feet into the air now. Pickle is the more outgoing of the two but Olive has her own special determined charm. Like when she wants attention, you need to look out because her head seems to be made of concrete and she rams it into your chin in particular when she wants attention. She is also fascinated by the computer screen and teleconferencing so every time I need to Skype or whatever, she attends.
I’m busy going from one hustle to another, to generate business for the company and keep everyone headed in a unified direction. It’s definitely an exercise in rodeoing cats sometimes.
This week I had two of my three mandatory sessions for inburgering (becoming a resident). These are the sessions about Dutch values. I’m in a big group, of 24. I’m the only one from the US and it’s been a really powerful experience. The women leading it have taught me a thing or two about inclusion, at an entirely higher level. The model we are participating in was developed in Rotterdam and is way better than expected. Not some stuffy, bored civil servant reading from a PowerPoint.
When I hear the stories and experiences of my fellow newbies, I am confronted by how easy my immigration journey was in contrast. It’s also given me a number of things to think about, what it means to be an American and where I sit in the world. We have one more session to go, next week.
In one hour and forty minutes, my apartment in Amsterdam will officially be sold. There is the three day thinking time for the buyer and it ends at one minute after midnight. It feels a bit weird still. It seems that I seem to be on 2-3 year cycle for living somewhere and moving on to the next place. The good news is the next time we move, we will have way less stuff!
Henry and George are doing their thing. They will also be glad of warmer weather because they were not fans of the wind! They still don’t like anything that gets under their ears.