Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Moving Out, Moving In and Moving On

This week we picked up the keys for our furnished temporary housing in Heidelberg, where we'll live for the three weeks between the time the movers come to ship our household goods and the day we fly out of Germany.  When we toured the available apartment, it was all too familiar.  Bare walls, empty rooms, and a wealth of possibility.  Kyle and I explored each closet, opened each cupboard, glanced through each window.  The walls filled up with laughter as we joked about how we'll fill our last twenty days.

The last time we wandered through such empty rooms was the day I arrived in Mannheim, where we've lived for the past two years.  The was nothing but a pile of papers in the dining room floor, a bed made of blankets, a handful of white towels and one curtain in our home.  It would take weeks for our possessions to make their way across the Atlantic.  And yet, as we dragged my suitcases inside, I'd never been so happy.  I threw my arms out wide and spun in giddy circles that day, thrilled to be young and in Europe and in love.  The two years ahead felt enormous, solid.

They passed so quickly.

Every day spent here is a cherished memory.  Kyle and I have gained friendships, roamed a bit of the world, experimented with strange foods, learned a smattering of German phrases, and bought our first new car together.  There were hard days, when we missed our friends and family at "home," and resented each other for petty reasons.  There were dull days, which was a possibility I never imagined, convinced that every second in Germany would be adventurous.  There were exciting days filled with travel and history.  Most of all, there were beautiful days, when we overcame challenges together, and our love thrived in spite of all odds.  I am so happy to say that I have no regrets.

Kyle and I outside Heidelberg Castle last September.

After a few weeks of leave, we'll arrive in New York in late October, where we'll live for seventeen months until Kyle's Army contract has run its course.  Everything after that is uncertain.  When I try to picture the future, the image comes up grey.  We have yet to decide where we want to settle in post-Army, or what careers we will pursue.  We're both split, half wanting to return to the familiarity of family and home, half wanting to forge ahead to somewhere new.  I am grateful those decisions are a long way off yet.  We have another home to fill with memories before then.

In New York I'll finally find work again, possibly return to school, and (hallelujah!) be able to bridge the gap between my "Army home" and "old Kentucky home" more often.  Kyle eagerly anticipates being back among English speakers, and we are both thrilled to return to the many conveniences of America.  (Twenty-four hour shopping is not overrated.  Neither are free refills, ice, non-carbonated water, and the wide acceptance of debit cards.)  I am impatiently looking forward to Niagara Falls, New York City, DC, and a few trips into Canada.  I can't wait to see my favorite TV programs live again.  And libraries!  I have missed having hundreds of free books written in my native language at my fingertips.  Leaving is bittersweet, of course, but we are so excited about our next home.

I will never forget anything about our time in Germany.  We were married here.  We traveled here.  We did a lot of growing up here.  And now we are moving on from here.  I couldn't possibly feel any more blessed.

9 comments:

  1. Wiw, New York is so cool, I'm so excited for your future and I can't believe how fast the two years have gone either! :)

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    1. New York is definitely cool! I've only been in New England twice, but loved what I saw both times. Who knows? We may never leave...lol.

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  2. i cannot believe it's been two years since you came back from a blogging hiatus with news that you had eloped and were now living in germany trying to learn some german. that's crazy! i'm happy i got to live vicariously through you on castle finding escapades and fairy tales come to life and hope that your next big move holds just as much awesomeness as this one did.

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    1. Sarah, I can't believe I still have awesome readers who remember that far back! ;) But never fear! There's a castle in NY around an hour from where we'll be living. The adventures are far from over.

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  3. Carrie, it's been interesting to read about your Germany adventure and with the new changes impending, I am seeing shades of Carrie the writer emerging, as you share your authentic concerns, observations, emotions etc. You've packed alot in the past 2 years and you have come a long way from that wide-eyed teenager who spent most of her time missing her love. Time is flying by... but I am happy to see you posting more often now. Missed you.

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    1. Lyn, I've missed the writing. Writing again feels good. I hope to be doing a lot more of it in the next two years. It was way past time to dust off that old hat...

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  4. I'm so excited to see where life takes you both next!! I can't wait :)

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  5. I am so, so, so excited for you too! I'm happy to be along for the journey via your blog :)

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  6. Gosh, I can't believe it's been two years. As a reader, it feels like just yesterday, but it must feel even crazier for you! I hope you have safe travels back and know that you'll have many more adventures to come =]

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