It’s Saturday night and I’m typing this from our makeshift basement come kitchen come family room. Things have started moving quickly towards getting the house back to normal. Yesterday was a big day, with a moving company depositing a storage pod on our driveway, wrapping and packing everything in the affected rooms and moving them out into the pod.
We have met the project manager who’ll be in charge of everything (great), flooring adviser (great) and on Monday we’ll talk with the kitchen designer who I am expecting will be…great! Everyone we have dealt with – from the young man at the insurance agency call centre who took my rather stressed call when we discovered the water, to the dry out/clean up crew, to the adjustor…even the trio of guys who expertly packed and moved our belongings yesterday – has been wonderful. It’s certainly made everything as stress free and painless as possible.
Watching the movers wielding their tape guns and bubble wrap rolls yesterday, did bring home to me the reality of what is ahead of us this year. I’ve alluded to big changes for us, but after a couple of pointed questions from friends(!), it’s probably time to spill the beans.
When we left Belgium we had a few regrets in terms of missed travel opportunities. While of course it’s just not possible to see everything we did feel we could have got around a bit more, and we don’t want to be saying the same thing about our time in the United States. We are very fortunate that Richard has flexibility around his work location so we want to grab that opportunity and make the most of it. Whenever Richard came back from a trip to the West Coast he was always so positive about it and made lots of comments along the lines of “I wish I could get you all out there”. Fate smiled on us when Richard mentioned to a great friend of ours here that we were looking to spend some time out west – her response, “have I got the place for you!”
She has great friends who live in a not so small town in Oregon, which goes by the wonderful name of…Bend! Years ago it was known as a logging town, but now it’s a mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, hiking, climbing, camping and golfing mecca. In late November my friend and I made a trip to Bend where we stayed with her great friends and had a wonderful weekend exploring as much of the city as we could. Our hosts were amazing, taking me everywhere, helping to set up appointments with rental companies and giving invaluable advice as to what part of town would be the best place to be in.
By the end of the weekend we’d found a great little house and I was confident that Bend would be a pretty cool place to take a bit of time out, spend some more time as a family in the outdoors and see more of the US. (From Bend we can easily get to places like Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco…there has even been talk of Alaska!) I had a chat with the principal at Olive and Edie’s school and she had no concerns about us taking the girls out of school before the end of the academic year. We are going to attempt a spot of unschooling with maybe a bit of online school on the side. The house in Bend has been rented for three months starting at the beginning of April and hopefully this renovation won’t get in the way of that start date. We were all ready to put the house on the market after Christmas but the leak has delayed that somewhat – trusting that all will work out ok!
So there you have it – the next step in our adventure. I’m looking forward to sharing many tales from the road with you all. I’ll finish with another beautiful Bend shot…
Until next time…