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

Sunday, May 12, 2002

Diary: 5/12/2002

Dear friends and family:

Before starting with the Adato Diaries proper, we wanted to congratulate two different blessed events:

First, we wanted to wish Art and Barbara our best wishes on the birth of their son Ryan David Rosenfeld - born Tuesday at 11:45.

Second, the exact same wishes go to Paul and Rory on the birth of Kemmett Malaya Saunders Nazareth - born Thursday at 6:07pm

This week in Switzerland is Leon's last before returning to the US. There were a few more surprises left in store - like our final electrical bill. Just like our welcoming, the final charge was around $600. How this amount was racked up between March and April 24, I will honestly never know - especially since the house was basically turned off for 3 weeks of that time!

This past week was also a short one, the Ascension holiday taking up both Thursday and Friday. So the result was that the week at work was pretty much a ghost town. Unfortunately, Leon wasn't able to take those days off but at this point staying busy is better than sitting around.

The week in America was equally quiet.

Of course, Mother's day on Sunday was difficult on both sides of the ocean. Nancy and the kids made sure that Debbie was well-cared for, and some pretty stiff phone charges were racked up from Leon as well.

Aside from that, we are now just marking time until next Saturday (or, as the girls remind us - 6/7 of a week).

Debbie, Leon, Heather, Isabelle, and Joram

Sunday, May 05, 2002

Diary: 5/5/2002

Dear friends and family,

This note marks the second-to-last Diary entry from Switzerland. Only 12 days and a few hours left (depending on which time zone you are counting from) to go!

In America, Debbie and the kids went to see a concert with Sam Glazer at Temple on Monday. They actually got to hang out with him a bit and watch the rehearsal, and Debbie and Heather actually got to see two concerts in a row. It was a great time and everyone enjoyed it a lot. The CD is now required listening in the car.

Debbie continued to make arrangements for the house - we now have solid dates for the painter, carpet, security system, closets and we are closing in on the fencing for the back yard and Debbie's dream kitchen.

Over the weekend, Heather and Isabelle attended a girlscout campout. Isabelle just went for the day on Saturday, but Heather camped out with the rest of the troup. Everyone came home tired, relatively dirty, but very very happy.

In Switzerland, Monday was the etat de lieu on the house. To make sure this process runs smoothly, Nestle contacts a cleaning group to help put things in their best light. Leon arrived at 3:00 to find the house completely cleaned out, from the crumbs at the bottom of the bread drawer to the dust at the top of the doors.

To make a long and relatively tedius process short, everything went off without a hitch. Nobody had to buy a new oven, or had to stay late and wash windows.

On Wednesday, there was the "cadre" meeting, which is a twice-a-year meeting of all the Nestle staff. Just a small, informal gathering of 1200 Nestle employees, not counting the retired folks and "friends" who are also invited!

Other than that, the week was spent working with Martin.

Leon spent the weekend just hanging out with our friends the Ayres and doing a lot of relaxing. A welcome change from the 12 and 14 hour days during the week!

This coming week is a short one in Switzerland - Thursday is Ascension and Friday is an unofficial GLOBE holiday. Aside from that, both in America and Switzerland we'll have to see how things develop.

As always we thank you for your support, guidance, and friendship and hope that this letter finds you enjoying the Spring season (whether wet and grey or sunny and warm).

Debbie, Leon, Heather, Isabelle, and Joram