With a little technical assistance from Ross I think I've got a handle on posting to my blog again so . . .
Finally we are back in the U S of A
But first, I must do a little reminiscing about our journey from there to here because it was very emotional and very exciting and very exhausting.
I miss a lot of things about Hasselt and I really miss my little garden of cobblestones, ivy and moss and flowers that bloomed with only rain water.
This is Winslow's last of many visits he took to a cafe'. The world traveler, he was.
Celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary just a few days before departing.
I wasn't sure it could happen, but somehow all this managed to turn into . . .
On one of our last days in Hasselt, we had dinner with our good friends and neighbors. From left, that's Anse, Pieter, Esther, Bert, Jim, me, Ross and Annemie. A difficult and bittersweet farewell as we don't know if or when we may see all of them again.
On one our last nights in Hasselt, we were treated to a farewell dinner with some of Jim's colleagues. It was another bittersweet evening as we were excited for our new adventure and reluctant to leave our old life behind. Although I didn't get to know each one of Jim's co-workers personally, I was lucky enough to get to know quite a few. These are some really great men and women who became friends and whom Jim has a world of respect for.
Moving day in Hasselt. Loading a trailer this size on a city street is a complicated matter. A lot of planning and scheduling and permission from the city must be done to allow these trucks to block the sidewalk, the parking spaces and the bike lane. Everything must be done pronto.
Everything from upstairs must come through a window down to the street.
The international moving company was very efficient.
We wouldn't see our things again for more than 60 days so there was also a lot of planning when it came to packing for the flight - as noted in photos above!
This is Hasselt. A great city to call home.
When we left Belgium, we had dinner and spent the evening with Ross. We said our good-byes because we also wouldn't see him for a couple of months as he finished his job contract in Brussels.
The flight across the pond is really long. If you've never done it, it's difficult to imagine sitting in one place for 10 plus hours. Not long into our journey, I took this photo. It's the display that constantly reminds you of how far it is!
Just when you think you've been in that seat as long as you possibly can . . . you realize it's only been 4 and a half hours and you aren't even halfway! I actually didn't get out of my seat the entire trip.
Mostly because I didn't want to upset Winslow - who also didn't move for that entire trip. He sat right there where my feet should have been. My ankles might have been swollen! Good news was that he traveled in the cabin with us rather than in the cargo like his first trip. Good thing that worked out because I wasn't sure how I was going to smuggle him on board, but he was definitely not flying cargo this time.
Fast forward. We landed safely in Atlanta. Spent a few hours getting the rental car. Drove a couple of hours and spent the night in Birmingham to get a head start on the drive south. Went to Wal Mart at 3:00 a.m. It was 10:00 a.m. in Belgium. We were up and ready to go! We drove to Ruston and had a nice welcome home visit with Jim's parents whom we hadn't seen in a very long time. Then finally to Longview . . .
and our very own house!
The first of our moving trucks - delivering all the stuff that had been in storage in Texas all the time we were in Belgium.
Some of this stuff had been packed since Ruston (2010) because we'd moved Ross out of the Ruston house AFTER we had already moved to Belgium. A few things we forgot we even had.
Then, right on schedule, 2 months later, that very same shipping container from our front door in Hasselt made its way to our new door via the port of Antwerp, the Atlantic Ocean, the port of Houston and I-20!
Finally, all our worldly possessions in one place.
The fun part - unpacking and organizing and
A LOT of discarding. We kept the little girl :)
All settled, so of course, the next logical step is home improvement - our dream for the last seven years and our bane for the last seven plus months!
It's all coming together.