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Even More Goodbyes

November 10-15
written November 13, and later

Dear Friends and Families,

I left the last diary with a cliff-hanger: what would Marianne's cardiologist say?  It is still a cliff-hanger.  The doctor said he didn't think anything significant was wrong, but "just to be sure", he ordered an angiogram.  As I write this, that test will be tomorrow, so we will hang on this cliff for another day or so.

Meanwhile, our relocation seems to be going well, although the "project" requires almost constant tending.  I think we have notified all the businesses here in Germany that we are leaving: phone company, electric company, city government, bank, magazines, and health, car and house insurance companies. Every day I wonder who we have forgotten, but it's been a few days since something has turned up.

We seem to be up-to-date on mover paperwork.  Navtrans will get the furniture in two weeks and has scheduled a place on a boat leaving Bremen on December 11 and arriving in Oakland January 8.  Meanwhile, Rinkens, our car shipper, has planned a boat ride for our Audi container from Bremen to New York and a train ride from New York to Los Angeles.  We will watch the weather news for the Atlantic, Panama Canal, and the eastern Pacific with interest.

d131110_02%20cooks.jpgd131110_08_toast.jpgSunday, neighbors Marion and Harald in fact, invited us to dinner.  Everyday we see the outside of their house, one almost as old as ours, but this visit reminded us of what a nice job they have done remodeling it inside.  They also teamed up for a wonderful Frankish meal of klöse and rolladen, local potato dumplings and beef rolls - very traditional.

We find ourselves visiting our normal haunts for "the last time".  On Monday we wandered around Bamberg, our favorite German town and the place where our favorite car gets it's checkups.  The weather was sunny and crisp and we knew we would miss these wanderings, although I may not miss the $1,000 Porsche bills for routine service on the Boxster.

d131111_02_Peter.jpgd131111_04_away.jpg That evening, our friend and car-customer Peter picked up the newly-serviced car and drove away.  Marianne cried a bit.  I broke out the Dr. Seuss saying.  ("Don't cry because it's over.  Smile because it happened."  It is a mantra we are repeating more and more.)

d131112_02_Sold.jpg Tuesday, Theresa and Helmut stopped by on their way from Berlin to their home in the Rheinland-Pfalz, near France.  We had an enjoyable lunch with good conversation, as we always have with them.  This time, they topped off the visit by buying two of Marianne's paintings, further pushing her along her art career.  We hope Fresno will offer time and space for more of her art progress.

Gradually, home is changing, as pictures disappear from walls (some moving to clients' walls), extras get sold off, and contents get rearranged for packing.  Even the garden trees are fading as fall colors shift to winter skeletons.  Maybe this makes it easier to leave.

We will keep you informed as we go along.

Going along  -- a diversion
On Thursday, the 14th, I wrote this from the Uni-Klinik in Erlangen.  We had been there five hours and Marianne had just been wheeled away for her angiogram.  She had been interviewed by admissions (in German), a student doctor (in English), and a real, though young, doctor (also in English).  She had had an EKG and had contributed to six or eight blood sample bottles.  Everything seemed positive.d131114_02_BadArm.jpg

 Three hours later, after I had reviewed a whole range of outcomes in my head, Marianne rolled back to her room with a big thumbs up!  The angiogram had found nothing but perfectly fine arteries. Her right wrist, the launch site for the probe, is a bit of a mess, but she'll get along as a lefty for a couple of days.

Back to our original plans.

Getting ready for the move is proceeding smoothly.  I'm glad we started early, but by now it seems like we have been moving forever.  We are down to one car and have sold as much of our things as we really need to.  We have filled out shipping and import paperwork for both our household goods and our car.  Payment for our haus here in Germany is planned for the end of December, well in advance of our mid-January house closing in Fresno.  Hopefully the euro-dollar exchange rate will be good.

We have planned a going-away party in two days, up at The Kellerhaus Cafe.  Herr Hofmann and his team are doing all the preparations, an approach far easier for us than our normal hosting activities.  Of course, if Marianne's angiogram-recovery had involved a  bit too much, we might not have been able to make our own party, but that seems not the case.  It would indeed be strange to be absent from both the preparation and the execution of our party.  We'll see, in the next story.


John and Marianne


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