Life giveth and life taketh away…

Silence on the blog front typically means that all is well and there’s nothing much to report. But sometimes it doesn’t mean that. In this instance my lack of posts has been due to a preoccupation of a more stressful nature.

It would seem that our renters back home have fallen through. The past month’s rent cheque from them bounced, setting off a chain reaction at our bank, freezing our account, which is extremely tough to unlock when dealing with an 8 hour time difference. 

We don’t have a clear picture on what is happening back home which is tough and really quite stressful. What we do know is that our current renters can’t pay and so we find ourselves in need of new renters who can. This gets tricky when we’re on the other side of the globe.

Thankfully we have the very best friends back home, stepping in and offering to help in any way they can. Even an offer of a truck and a few burly men to “help” the tenants move out. We feel badly, they are a young family who are clearly in over their heads.  

But wait a minute, might that be how some people are describing us now? “Oh that poor young family in Switzerland, in way, way over their heads.” Perhaps my stories of near dumpster diving and apple-filled bras had you all aware of this fact long ago. Are we the last ones to figure it out!?

Is that why a package arrived in the mail today with an extra large bra, labelled “Apple basket”? True story!

Helena wasn’t so sure how this was going to help her get more applesauce. Well done Ruth, this provided a good giggle in a day that desperately needed some comedic relief.

Yes, the lack of rent from home has a significant impact on our budget. It is a stress that is weighing heavily on us. But the prospect of securing work here is far better than back home in Alberta where people are either still being laid-off or have been searching for work for well over a year without luck. This year has sure given us a better appreciation for the uncertainty all those families back home have been facing.

We’re still committed to this experience. It just means that now this experience involves an intimate understanding of the Swiss welfare system. Who said moving to Europe was glamorous?

It has been hard to navigate through the tumultuousness of these past few days without the kids being impacted. Admittedly our stress and worry has caused us to be short with them, to be distracted and unavailable to them. Kids know when hushed conversations are happening. When the air is full of far too many heavy sighs.

As one friend reminded me, we need to be the thermostat, not the thermometer for our families. It’s our job to maintain a climate we can thrive in. 

We have proven to ourselves that we don’t need a lot to make us happy. It is our time together that the kids crave more than anything and that we can still provide. 

Life carries on here for the time being. The determination and action this has spurred is balanced by a wistfulness, wondering if we’ll be able to make it through the year.

Pretty bikes somehow carry with them the promise that everything will be ok.
Taking in the view of this place. Sure hoping that our time here doesn’t have to be cut short.
Taking some time to chill…until I noticed that the Swiss elastic-band chair was over 600CHF. Chill time over. “Get up! Get up! Get up RIGHT NOW!”
Enjoying the Fall colours.
Practicing the art of smelling roses. Deep, slow inhalation. It’s a sneaky way of teaching her how to meditate.

We continue to plod along at our everyday routines and mayhem, school, hockey, being neighbourly. Just when we were starting to feel really settled here it seems the rug is being pulled out from under us. But our new love of cats has taught us a thing or two about clinging tight and clawing your way back up.

D with the rest of the hockey crew getting ready for team photos.
Grandma asked the other day what the name of the hockey team is. We were stumped! We have no idea…but we’re pretty sure that’s a lion on the front of the jersey. (This is his ” come on Mom, you’re really embarassing me” face.
He’s on the far left. Good thing they kept him on the edge in case we need to be cropped out…

And if all else fails we can just stick our head in a fountain and pretend all our troubles will go away.

Helena’s favourite way to keep cool.

So that’s the news from here. Not great I’m afraid. Please keep your ears open for anyone who may be looking to rent a really lovely, furnished home in Bragg Creek. It comes with the greatest neighbours. Plus it will mean I can stop researching the legalities of prostitution here. (Just kidding Ma! I promise we’ll come home before it comes to that.)

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