This morning I woke up and went for a run. Don’t be mistaken, I am not a runner. But we live less than a block from the most beautiful park and it seemed foolish to not take advantage of every moment I could possibly spend there. For my fellow Portlanders, think Laurelhurst Park only along a canal and containing a fountain, statues and a small bird aviary. Its called Het Plantsoen, which I think is just, “the park”. It has its own website and some really interesting history for you nerds out there. I mean look at this picture I took on my morning potty walk with Django.
So I am running along like a champion, suffering, but sporting brand new Adidas running shoes that were 40% off! (<— see I was born Dutch at heart). Then Janis Joplin’s “Piece of my Heart” comes on my running playlist. Here, maybe you should just listen to it now while you are reading this…
I hit my halfway point “runners high” and while the song was playing and I was prancing and grooving to the music like a goon. It was really the first point in my first month as an expat here that I was able to see beyond the to-do lists, the stress, the loneliness, and feel that once again God has given me, as he always does, everything I have ever needed.
I left my entire family behind in Portland to embark on this adventure, and have since been surrounded by new family from literally the moment we stepped off the plane. And of course surrounded by kitties which is always good for the aching soul.
We had two weeks to work on getting the house livable by buying appliances and having floors put in, and to work on the many logistical details like getting registered with the city, opening bank accounts, getting phones etc…. After the two weeks was up, Piet had to start his new job in Amsterdam and I was left alone surrounded by projects to tackle. Throughout all of this, the family has been so helpful I feel we can never repay them. Installing our floors and dishwasher, picking up the animals from the airport, bringing us a temporary table and chairs, helping me get a handle on our small, ivy infested garden….the list goes on. I am looking forward to being able to treat them all to dinners and coffee once we get our furniture. With any luck, we could be getting it this week!
This month I embark on a new stage on our life here. I start Dutch lessons, I will finally (hopefully) be able to register with the city and start my residency process, we will receive our belongings from Portland, and we even have a couple visitors coming. On top of that, we attended a new church this Sunday. I don’t think I was, or am really emotionally ready to fill the space that our Evergreen community in Portland occupied, but its a start.
My goals for this month are to venture out on the bus to see family (or maybe even a bike ride once we get our road bikes from Portland), and to take at least one day trip on the train by myself. I also want to get some new painting done this month. Please help keep me accountable folks!
In the meantime, we’ve purchased a milk frother. Our home coffee consumption has leveled up to cappuccinos anytime we please. How fancy we are!