Squirreling away

We have "squirreled away" all of our 'German animal' knowledge we have learned over the past 2 1/2 years. 

It was a big education for me.  Who would have known that animals are SOOO different in another country.  (And who would have known it would have been so hard to read the signs at a zoo to the kids when they are in German?)  Well... I now know a lot about the German animal kingdom...including the fact that I am going to miss all of the little creatures that have come to visit us here like the hedgehog that I thought was a porcupine or the fox that didn't seem phased by my screaming when I saw her, or the big ole fat pigeons that decided to build a nest in our tree and most of all this baby red squirrel that decided to take up in our backyard and front porch... much to Rocky's displeasure.



Rituals...We all have our own...

Part of Wiki's definition of ritual -"It may be performed by a single individual, by a group, or by the entire community; in arbitrary places, or in places especially reserved for it; either in public, in private, or before specific people. A ritual may be restricted to a certain subset of the community, and may enable or underscore the passage between religious or social states."

Well, now that we are almost 2 weeks out from our house being packed,  there is a single individual in this Hoff house that has begun the "the last time" ritual surrounding our move.  It goes like this...."this is the last time we will take an 'inner country flight' in Germany, "this is our last fire in the fireplace" or "this is the last box of Muesli we will buy in Germany."  It is his ritual, I guess we all develop our own in order to make the passage called change. 

However, this ritual of his makes me do my own ritual of immediately plopping down on the floor, Indian style, and doing humming to the tune of avoidance..."what move, pack what?, what 'to do list'?" 

Well, today I thought about new ritual...everytime I return from the butcher or bakery it will go like this---"Yup, this is your last apple strudel in Germany, yup...this is your last 100 grams of pepper salami...yup, this is your last taste of rauchen schinken."  But then, I snapped out of it.  The thought of him Indian style on the floor humming...well, enough said.  

Rituals....they enable us to make the passage. 


To Go...in Stuttgart

Even though I haven't used them, it is cool to see that it is so easy "to go" here in Stuttgart.  They seem to be everywhere...bike rental stations or an electric car rental station.  I am pretty sure they will not have these stations in Alabama, but I am positive that I will be able to get a "carpet cleaner to go" since these seem to be in practically every store.....


Stuttgart Saturdays Window shopping

Oh how I am going to miss our Stuttgart Saturday afternoon dates that included jumping on the U-Bahn, doing a little strolling past all the windows on Konigstr., having a little sip of stress relief, and finishing with and early dinner in one of the dangerously delicious restaurants that didn't fit into my ww points so well.

This past weekend, we did some actual shopping so we could stock up on our European goods....here we are stop one- Breuningers.


Dear Blog--

Dear Blog,

It is true...I have been avoiding you.  For now, knowing I am moving, and  I write about all the wonderful things and the great times I am spending here with my friends here in Germany, it makes me jump right in the front seat of an emotional roller coaster. 

Blog, it is so hard to put in words how emotionally challenging it has been for me preparing for our move back to the states and when I try, I decide to go with "avoidance".  Yes, I am excited to be moving back to my friends/family, sunshine, and fried okra.  But the flip side of this 45 vinyl, is moving away from this place in Germany that we made our home for the past 2 1/2 years.

I admit, I am one of those fortunate ones that have made and KEPT incredible friends over the years.  It is what makes the color so bright in my coloring book.  But it has been a bit different as an expat....We made strong friendships, because that is what you have to do as an expat living so far away from home ...You are in a foreign country so these friends become your family...your support network...your key to not feeling isolated. You by-pass all of the formalities of a new friendship and jump right in with your whole body and soul. 

So blog, here I am slowly making my exit and saying my goodbyes to the family I made here in Germany and the new way of life I learned to embrace while living in this foreign country.  I am sure it is a tad of relief to those that have had to suffer thru my bad German and my tongue is probably going to have to relearn 'southern-ease', but that is all part of the record.

So blog, I promise to try not to avoid you the next few weeks, but to share with you all of the wonderful things I will miss about living in Germany.  My first share is our 'last trip' to Berlin to spend the weekend with one of the families we became friends with during our time here.  We played, we toured, we ate Spanish tapas, we spoke bad German, we watched our children act like it hadn't been 7 months since they had seen each other, and we navigated thru a new zone of our friendship that involved a few goodbyes and "until next time". 

Your loving friend for life

"I've missed him, but I still have him down for the count"

"I will go with you anywhere-as long as we are together"

"but we must...so "till next time" xoxox



Life in this Hoff house, the last month, has seemed more like a ride on the state Fair's "Tilt-a-Whirl". 
It is only my second move 'over the ocean' but I am beginning to decide you just have to spin in whichever direction the "to dos" take you, enjoy the ride, try not to throw-up when your nerves come un-done and get off only when the ride stops and try to walk in a straight line.

Thankfully, my ride took a few pauses the last week....As soon as I got back from London, I hopped on a plane for a 4 day quick trip to Alabama to handle some pre-move details, then hopped back to spend a great Easter week with all of the Hoff's who flew in from Oregon to enjoy a bit of Germany with us.

About Me

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Stuttgart, Germany, Germany
We are living as non-military expats for a second time in Stuttgart Germany. The first time, we moved from Alabama to Stuttgart, Germany in December 2010 for three years and now are back after six years.. This is a great adventure for our whole family that we enjoy sharing.