The Elephant in the Room

I’m going to start this off with a quick disclaimer. I am very fortunate to be able to have an experience such as living in a foreign country. Dreams are made of this. I am stoked to travel, to try new things, and meet new people. Really, I am. BUT…..

I am beyond homesick. I think I was a bit naive when it came to thinking I’d just fit right on in and get the hang of things. I certainly haven’t had a bad experience, and for the most part people have been very friendly. But I constantly feel out of place, that every outing is a battle. Do I have USD or euro on me? Does this place take an EC card? Will my food take 3 hours to get to the table? Will my kids keep it together to go out to eat?

I have met a few people and have become friends but it isn’t that well established friendship feel. (I know you have to start somewhere but in uncertain times you crave not having to explain yourself.) I miss my friends back home terribly, miss our kids’ play dates full of giggles and rambunctiousness. I miss knowing that even if there were no plans to get together that day that they were always there for me. I miss feeling comfortable and just relaxing. I miss my routine, as mundane as it seemed some days. I miss the Oklahoma spring, full of loud thunderstorms and the warm sun shining on your face. I miss spray parks and BBQ, listening to country and driving down the interstate. I miss the zoo, Sonic cherry limeade, and baseball games on a warm summer evening. I miss the ranch and I miss knowing we had friends or family relatively near by to watch the kids if we needed a night out. I miss my family and the mountains, taking a weekend off and staying at Glacier Park. I miss being able to be around for big occasions like graduations and birthdays. I miss being able to run in to a store and get out relatively quickly without incident. I sorely miss carrying on a conversation with the general population, or even just understanding what someone just said.

I mainly just miss feeling normal. The house is pretty much done, and slowly feeling like home. But the days are long, the rain seemingly endless, the internet and phone still not connected…leaving me to feel very alone.

I know this is temporary. I know things will settle and things will be great and they may have to drag me kicking and screaming to go back someday….but right now I just miss home.

20130517-211344.jpg

Willkommen!

Well, here is my third stab at blogging. It seems that I fancy the idea of being a blogess but my ambitions soon fall by the wayside. Why on Earth would people want to read about ME? Surely they must have better things to do. And I’m not going to kid myself…I’m sure you all DO have better things to do. But this time, I’d like to do more than just a weekly ramble. Instead, I want to share a journey with my friends and family.

You see, one year ago in the beginnings of 2012 I was daydreaming about the end of deployment #2, dealing with a very rambunctious 2-year-old, and was very VERY pregnant. Well homecoming came and went, the 2-year-old turned into an even more rambunctious 3-year-old, and the pregnancy resolved itself…err, that is to say that we have a now 9-month-old who looks to be just as rambunctious as the first. We certainly have our work cut out for us! But I wanted more out of 2013.

No no. Not kids. I’ve had my fill thank you. Perhaps it isn’t wanting more, but rather something different. A change of pace, a change of scenery. I want to do things. See things. Taste things. So what does a girl do? Well if you’re a military spouse you can start bugging your one and only to update their dream sheet. For those of you outside the military world a dream sheet is a list of where you’d like to go for the next assignment. Oh the places you’ll see! Or that’s what they tell you. But I have yet to see this make much of a difference.

Until one day it did.

And there I was….”We are going WHERE?”….”And WHEN!?”

Germany. Our #1 slot on our dream sheet. Surely they will give us the standard 6-7 month notice. No? March it is then.

And that’s how we ended 2012, in a flurry of activity of important documents, medical clearances, passports, and hocking things on Craigslist as if auctioning my entire house had to be done by the next day.

So the Rindals are off to Germany. Excited to see new places, meet new people, enjoying a cozy German house, tasting the goodies from the bakeries, and experiencing a chilly Christmas market. But as my head fills with the possibilities, I also slowly realize just how good we have had it here in OKC. A nice home, wonderful friends who have been there for us through thick and thin, family who adores us, fabulous teachers, and the comfort of just knowing our way. Sigh. Why didn’t New Years 2012 Shannon think of all these lovely perks before getting hung up on moving? So classic me.

Regardless, 2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year. Besides trying to sell a house, sell a car, pack our stuff, ship a car, travel around the globe with 2 small children PLUS find a German house to rent, set up German utilities, get an international drivers license, and live day-to-day German life all the while NOT knowing how to actually speak German? (for now…I have every intention of learning more than the slew of Eddie Izzard phrases I’ve picked up along the way.) I’m sure we will have a reality show in no time.

So this blog…I don’t promise you fabulous writing or award-winning pictures or anything. But I can promise you the world, or my little European portion of it. I’m almost positive this will boil down into photobombs, tasty treats I encounter, frustrations of impossibly small appliances, and the learning experience of a lifetime that will no doubt have me crying and wanting Taco Bell to soak up my tears at some point.

And with that disclaimer… A little “Cabaret” should do it.

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!
Fremde, etranger, stranger.
Gluklich zu sehen, je suis enchante,
Happy to see you, bleibe, reste, stay.