Just over a week ago we landed in drizzly Seattle. We’ve always loved our Seattle Skyline and it was a welcome sight as we made our way to stay with our good friends Ed and Brigit for most of the week.
We have been screamin’ busy since we landed and, as promised, we are keeping you in the loop. Re-entry has been full of unexpected surprises with a dash of culture shock. Being inundated with homelessness in Boston and Seattle was eye re-opening. It is a shock to the system after 15 months of not seeing it. Makes us reflect on how we got so used to seeing poverty in our own city. Not so happy about that.
On the lighter side, we’re enjoying reunions galore! We’ve already seen quite a few friends and were delighted to find out one set of friends moved while we were traveling…and now are our neighbors!! How great is that!? Neighbors! Before we even walked into the house the neighbor cats (Emily and Smilla), whom we love, came over to greet us. A person could get used to this kind of reception!
In this short time home we have gotten one question a lot: “So, are you changed?” Let me say that in the fog of jet-lag and a very long to-do list we can’t quite put that together just yet. We’re going with “Yes...” More to come on this one.
One thing that has definitely changed is that we don’t squeeze everything into two backpacks anymore. This is everything that used to fit in our two packs…now exploded to take up the entire backseat of a Honda. So much for travelling light.
Unexpectedly we have returned to have quite a pet/kid/housesitting business — with three separate gigs in just our first week in town!!! Yes, three! Everyone needs some help from time to time and we’re so happy to be able to help out. It’s crazy and we love it!
Ed and Brigit asked us to give sweeet Maggie a quick walk on our first day back. Would we??? Delighted! By the end of our stay we decided Maggie was the perfect pup and we hope to get one just like her someday.
Then we got the opportunity to spend a few nights with kids we used to babysit, Hannah and Adam, while their parents went on a ski trip. When I say “used to” babysit – I mean it, diapers and the whole deal. We’d take them for overnighters and it was called CampAnnerAaron. Now they are almost ready for college. We stayed with them really for their parents’ sake because these kids were 99% self-sufficient. I say 99% because in the end they did need us to sign a report card. *Sigh* It’s good to feel needed. We concluded that staying with ultra-awesome-teenagers is way easier than pet-sitting. Even at their house the kids managed to make their own meals, but we still had to feed the cat. Twixsie, we never saw you but we noticed the treats were gone. Bon appetito, little kitty.
Then, last night our neighbors ran over with a big Seahawks lanyard and key, asking us to check in on Emily and Smilla while they are gone for the weekend. Just as soon as this blog is done, I will run them over some food. I’ve never met such dog-like cats in my life. They gallup to us when we call their names. What cat does that? I guess in this case, hungry cats. They often escape from their house and follow us home. They seem pretty happy to hang out at the Char-Barr-ony…which is good as we’ll be taking care of them for a full month this summer!
Okay. So that’s the people and pets. Now for everything else. This week we:
- Closed out everything with our property manager and took possession of our house again.
- Got the title back on our car, registered and insured it.
- Got an appointment to get the muffler fixed…right now the entire neighborhood knows our whereabouts.
- Got ourselves insured. Thank you healthcare.gov — super easy and now we’re covered until we get jobs.
- Got wifi so we can blog! Xfinity stopped by to ‘fix’ our wifi. We told them it wasn’t broken, but they decided to come out anyway. They got here and then said, “Hm? Doesn’t seem to be broken.” Nice enough fellow so we’ll leave it at that.
- Got my hair cut for the first time since leaving. I could not shut-up during that appointment. Like I had never seen another person in a year and half. Sorry, Jordan.
- Some nice NMR readers gave us a bed for our return! Thank you! They even gave us freshly laundered linens which was a big help because we didn’t have to dive into our storage unit to find some. We rented a van, picked up the bed and delivered it to our house.
- Picked new paint colors for our house — something we’ve been talking about for months! We decided to use inspirations from Tanzania and Mongolia to guide us:
- Completed painting of the bedrooms, bath and dining rooms. The bedrooms got three coats of paint because we were dissatisfied with the first colors we chose. Now we’re still a bit unsatisfied, but we’re tired of painting, so this is it!
- Caulked the tub with fresh, white caulk
- First round (of many, many rounds) of yard work
- Washed clothes! I can’t believe how big our washer and dryer are! Our dryer feels soooo much nicer than hanging our clothes off of every nook and cranny in a hostal. Not that that doesn’t work… Still, I think we’ve done 172 loads of laundry already.
- Attended my first Seattle Brain Cancer Walk meeting and sub-committee meetings. Great to see everyone and can’t wait for Walk Day on May 1st! Calendar is marked!
- Aaron went to Wednesday Game Night — which is a big deal. It’s been around for nearly two decades and he rarely misses a night…until November 2014 when his attendance abruptly nose-dived. He did play against me every week while we traveled, so I’m sure he’s just unbeatable now.
- Started some preliminary job hunting inquiries.
So not bad for the first week, eh? I have to go now. Gotta remove the tape from the dining room and pull out the appliances so we can paint the kitchen. Good times keep coming as we see our house come together again. Soon our little nest will be re-built and it’ll be time to start the next chapter: finding gainful employment. Ooooh, the excitment!
In case you’re wondering, we have blogs started on Amsterdam, Iceland and Boston…along with some even earlier ones we never quite got to! With all the home fix-ups, we haven’t been able to write as much as we hope, but we vow there will be more to come! Much, much more.
Just reading this has left me exhausted. What whirlwinds you two are. I’m sure you will good when the house is more settled. Happy Home. ❤️❤️
Paint, paint, paint…we’re spiffing things up as quickly as we can!
Nice to hear your survived re-entry. Not that I was worried about your adjustment. The house is looking good. See you soon for the Brain Cancer Walk! Go Worthy of Hope!
Love, love having you home!!! Bring on the GOE project…Anner is back!!!
As soon as I unearth my laptop, look out!!!
I know, this travelling will never stop. I told you in Panama – do you remember!
I am a Lucky retired man. After we met in Panama, I was 2 months travelling with local transport, from Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) to Cape Town (South Africa).
Today, 6 weeks home and in 2 weeks I start again: Brazil, French Guyana, Suriname and Brittish Guyana…
It never stops, even when you are already 69!
Anyway, thanks for all the information of all that places you visited. It was an amaizing trip and you have an amaizing penn! Have a good rest and …you will see soon….you changed in the good way!
You are truly an inspiration, Luk! We totally remember and hope all of our travels never stop. Can’t wait to retire and follow in your footsteps!!! Anner’s grandma was still out exploring at 95, so there’s plenty of adventures to come!
Let us know if your travels ever bring you out our way – we’ll be excited to show you our little part of the Pacific Northwest.
Welcome back and love reading about your journey. Can’t wait to see how you will decorate your home !
You can check it out on Brain Cancer Walk weekend in May!