First 31 days aug13


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First 31 days

A month ago today, our plane landed and after gathering our luggage we were welcomed at the airport exit by my sister and her husband and two good friends who were once our neighbors. With flowers and a banner, very classic. Very touching also. I felt a bit overwhelmed by it. It was the first step of a new journey.

People have been asking me a lot: are you happy to be back, are you settled again? I am not sure how to respond. I like meeting my good friends again, I definitely like my house here (kitchen specially) and it was nice to be reunited with my cats. But the first three weeks we had to do without our container load. I mean without our bed. And I do like camping, but sleeping on a air mattress in your own house is not the same as in a tent.

I came of the plane with a solid plan of cleaning up and clearing out the house and the stuff we left behind four years ago and was packed up during the house renovation. Two years ago I did something similar and cleaned top to bottom with my eldest son and even painted some walls – a quick and dirty solution to hide the worst of the wear and tear. I remember we landed at Schiphol at 7 AM, we arrived at the house by 8 AM and started cleaning within an hour. In four days all was done. Completely different story this time. Boxes were staring at me from every room it seems and I was tired after two of them. Of course I could blame my jet-lag, but I guess it was more a mental issue. I said it before: Texas took a piece of my heart.

The fabulous road trip had disappeared into thin air. When I look at the pictures now, it seems like it was a holiday I took last year. Am I in mourning? In denial? Sad and happy at once. Because it is really nice to live in Leiden again. It is just the loss of all that I had to leave behind. The people, my radio station KPFT with the Local News and Open Journal, the bike rides with Toxic Shocks, Critical Mass, Urban Challenge, BikeHouston, the easy commute to work, the empty streets with no other bicycle in sight. OK, I don’t miss the potholes. And the little brown leaves in the hall are really leaves and not cockroaches. The cats are looking at birds instead of lizards. They have adjusted just fine. I need to follow their lead.

Part of it, is that I am tired of organizing, cleaning up and clearing out. I want my house to be in order, I want to start painting again, I want to start working again. I did do my first bike ride last Friday. With my sister, and that was great. My garmin clocked 61 km…

-to be continued.