They say that moving is one of the most stressful life events. Take that and add ‘out processing’ from current job, job searching, repatriation from one country to another — and that equals A LOT of stress! I’ve had to fill out a dozen or more forms this week and most of them multiple times because the form or instructions were unclear. I’ve had to ask many questions and sometimes settle for unsatisfactory answers. NATO just happens to be a tad bureaucratic and the moving companies needed to know everything except which toothpaste I use.

We’re trying to sell the stuff we acquired here, sort out stuff to donate and decide what to pack. There is a handy Facebook group for buying/selling used goods within the local NATO community and Dick has been busy posting items and communicating with buyers. We’re beginning to see things disappear. The difficult part is figuring out the timing so that we can use things as long as we can (like our bikes and coffee maker), but not be stuck with them on the day we leave.

Long distance job searching is challenging and our job situation is totally up in the air. I’ve applied to several jobs and have had one interview that seemed promising. That interview has yet to develop into a second interview, even though I’ve been notified that I’m still a candidate. Dick has applied to over a dozen jobs with not a single response so far. We’re not panicking, but it does weigh heavily on our minds!

We have temporary housing arrangements back in the US, but we can’t make any firm plans beyond that. So much depends on the job search and where we will ultimately be working. So we can’t look for a house to buy, we can’t make firm plans visits to family and we really have no idea what our lives will look like for the next several months.

We hosted some really nice visits with Dutch cousins last weekend and we’re looking forward to a few more visits over the next two weeks. We are also looking forward to a farewell tour of Nederland and having some relaxing down time. This is helping us avoid thinking too much about what we are feeling and will feel about leaving this place we love so much. It’s all there just under the surface.

I know what you’re thinking — we asked for all of this! We knew what was on the other end of this crazy adventure and we took on the gamble of having to find jobs and housing when it was over. Yes, that’s true and we are ever mindful of that. We’re trying to keep it all in perspective and maintain our faith in the ability to clear these hurdles. We prayed so much two years ago for things to fall into place and they did in amazing ways. Now we pray for the next pieces to be arranged. We pray that God will orchestrate over our desires, ambitions and efforts to help us find the open paths to follow. We’re open to a lot of possibility, just limiting ourselves geographically to the Boston area for now.

Stay tuned!