Sunday, May 19, 2002

Diary: 5/19/2002

Dear friends and family:

This is it - the final diary entry written (mostly) from Switzerland and the entry that marks our full return to the US. Like many transitions, this one is bittersweet. There is the inevitable combination of what must be left behind, what awaits ahead, and all the could-have-beens that fall somewhere in between.

In Switzerland, Leon made the last trip to the house to pick up a few remaining items and tie up some loose ends. Just a few small things: some cords, a telephonse, a freezer. Stuff like that. It was a nice sense of closure, packing the car up and driving away.

The weather was pretty much beautiful all week - clear skies that showed off sunrises and sunsets, the lake turning from aqua to blue as the water warmed up, the mountains cold and imposing as the tops remained snow-capped even as the new buds on the trees began to turn the bottom halves into a swirl of verdant earth tones.

On Monday, a sad business was concluded as Leon turned in his beloved (ahem!) banana yellow Corsa. It was a terrible parting, to be sure, but somehow he'll find a way to get over it. Of course, he may still never get over all the teasing he took. Next to the "post-car", his used Ford Taurus will seem downright mundane and boring.

Tuesday Jeff and Paul shared a nice dinner and complained about life, work, the universe, and everything in between. A great time was had by all and they ended up staying out much too late.

On Wednesday night Leon shared another wonderful meal with the Knox's. It was wonderful to share another evening in a house that has provided us with so much comfort over the months, and to compare life now to the old neighborhood, and to engage in our favorite game: guessing the future.

By Thursday things had definitely started to wind down. A bunch of folks from work went down to the lakefront and shared some drinks and laughs. The gentle waves were an interesting counterpoint to the stream of people dressed up and bar-hopping down the shore.

After that, the Ayres', Martin, and Leon decided to get a pizza. There was an important lesson to be learned - pieces of squid, shrimp, and clams are not good toppings for a pizza. Unfortuntely, Leon learned this at 3:00am that night instead of 9:00pm when the pizza was being ordered.

Friday was the day for goodbyes. It was a quiet day, where nothing much seemed to happen and time fairly stood still. And then Leon and a couple of co-workers were in the car, driving to the airport and hearing about how both the Brussels and London air traffic control systems had been down for 4 hours. While Leon had high hopes that his flight would be OK (assuming nothing else crashed!) the other guys in the car were a little more subdued. However, everyone got onto their flights and home safely.

The flight home Saturday was pretty uneventful. As can be imagined, the reunion was both exciting and tear-filled. Then it was just a matter of lugging everything back to Nancy's house and collapsing for the night

We really haven't done much on Sunday, just spent the day hanging around the house and "decompressing" from everything that's lead up to this point. We are now counting down the days until we take posession of the house (10 to go) and until we move in (about 27, we figure). But the worst is definitely behind us as we work on this last leg of the marathon.

That's all for now. This week will be a busy one as we settle back into our usual routines. We'll let you know how it goes next week.

Debbie, Leon, Heather, Isabelle, and Joram

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