16 December 2010

What I Miss...

We've been in Norway for six weeks today and these are the things I miss about the US:

Toilet paper.  Yes, Norway has TP, but not good 'ol, wipe your butt with a cotton ball TP.  European TP is more like wipe your butt with newspaper, not a particularly pleasant feeling.

My extended family.  I am very close with my parents and my brother & his family.  We would see each other weekly and I can't do that now.  There are some...who would say that is not such a bad thing, but it is for me.  I also have a LOT of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  While I don't seem them as frequently, I will miss the family Christmas Party on the 18th and that makes me sad.
2008 Canton Home Coming Block Party
Final Farewell Party.

24/7 access to groceries.  There have been a few times already when I'm making dinner and realize I don't have that one ingredient I need and that the store is closed already.  My husband gets nervous when I go off recipe, but he's not starving so my substitutions can't be all that bad.

Delivery.  There maybe some restaurants that deliver, but I've not found them yet.  Which means I have to cook every night.  And let's face it, sometimes you just don't want to cook.

My car**.  Still not here.  While we do have access to a car on the weekends, I have not driven since 4 November when I drove around to use up some gas before the shippers came to pick it up.  I love to drive and miss my car.  With the heated seats.  

My friends.  Yes, I can Skype and Facebook and VoIP them, but I can't get/give hugs when needed.  I'm a very tactile person and I really miss the physical contact.

A real washer and dryer.  I miss being able to put a real load of laundry through the washer and dryer in under 90 minutes and have the clothes be clean and dry.  The quickest wash cycle on our washing machine here is 54 minutes and that is the handwash cycle.  The dryer can't handle a normal load and keeps overheating, which means I have very small loads and keep the window in the laundry room open to avoid said overheating.  As of today, the dryer can't even handle 6 socks without overheating.  Uggg.  Luckily I have a clothes line so my sheets/towels are very fresh smelling!

Fahrenheit.  I'm not a math wiz so I have to keep converting to Celcius when I cook so I don't screw up the meals (trust me I learned that mistake the hard way!)  I also have to convert when doing the laundry.  PFF has already lost a couple of shirts due to the water being too hot.  

Being settled.  We've been here six weeks and have moved twice.  First to temporary housing and then to our permanent housing.  While the number of boxes is dwindling, I still don't know where some things are (usually when I'm trying to make dinner.)
I'll find a home for this stuff eventually!

Starbucks*.  I love good, strong, dark coffee and Starbucks has it!  But there is not a store here.  Princess misses some of the pastries and her favorite drink too.  I am not alone in my longing for a Starbucks here, there is even a Facebook page dedicated to lobbying for a Norwegian Starbucks and it has over 27,000 fans (plus 1 more once I 'like' it)

My church.  We belonged to the best church back at home.  It really was like family and I really miss going on Sundays.  We were involved, there was always lots to do, the kids enjoyed going and felt like they were part of something bigger.  There are several churches here that have English services,  but they don't have the friends and family we left behind.

Comforters.   Yeppers, can't find them.  Thought they were in UAB, but nope.  They could be in some of the boxes we've yet to unpack or in our supplemental HHE, but I really have no idea where they are and it gets cold at night here. Thank God for polar fleece blankets and snuggling!

Ok, now that that is off my chest, here is what I don't miss:

Humidity.  I'm from Boston and moved to DC in July.  Now I'm in Norway and it is snowing as I speak.  It is beyond cold and I love it.  Granted it is December, but I don't believe it will be in the 90s with close to 100% humidity during the summers here.  I will relish it because in two years when we are at some really, really hot post, I'll have my memories to sustain me!

Commercials.  Norwegians don't do TV commercials like Americans.  That is ok with me.  And they are in Norwegian anyway so I really don't understand them as it is.  

Censoring.  You'd be amazed, or maybe not, at what they show on TV. 

Our house - in Norway.
Our view of the sunrise.
Our house.  We sold our house shortly after PFF started A-100.  We'd been there 12 years and I really thought it was the only house I'd ever have.  We loved our house, but it was an 1880's farmhouse and like the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie", if you started a project it evolved (quickly) into many tangential projects.  And it didn't have a fireplace.  Our permanent housing has not one, but two fireplaces, an incredible view, no sharing of bathrooms, and the garage PFF wanted.  Better still - we don't own it!  No mortgage!!!!!

The Boy in our front yard.

Being settled.  Confused?  Don't be.  While I wish we were completely unpacked, this whole move-every-two-years lifestyle really appeals to me.  Maybe it's the ADHD, but I will never be bored! Better still, I will learn how to weed through what I truly need and what I really don't need.

Status Quo.  I have never been one who likes things to stay the same all the time.  I am having new experiences, meeting new people, learning new languages (albeit slowly), trying new foods and think my life is awesome!  It is certainly not for everyone, but for the Global Geraghtys it works.

*My awesome sister-in-law just sent a package that included a pound of Starbucks coffee!!!  We love my sister-in-law!

**The car just arrived in country and should be on the road and in my possession some time next week!


  1. What an incredible view! I love how you point out the good stuff there. (Glad your car is en route too!)

  2. I agree with the TP in Europe....it's awful. We are lucky enough to have a US Military base close by to go buy whatever products we miss.

    Your house is just AWESOME!!! The views alone are worth it. Wow!!!

    C to F conversions are totally annoying. I've put a permanent shortcut to a website that will do it for me, on my desktop.

    I feel some of your pain, but the views you have.....

  3. I will gladly and willing deal with crappy TP and a few other inconveniences for the view I have for the next two years!

  4. Hey, try drugstore.com for the TP...we used that in Iceland and I don't think I paid a dime in shipping. For SBUX, think I used cooking.com and again, prolly not one red cent in shipping (bought in 'bulk')...Love the house!!

  5. Jen, I still have the websites you gave me in RVK! Between drugstore.com, netgrocer.com and ebates.com, I should be golden and able to sit with no problems while I drink my *$ and watch the sunrise!

  6. Hi :) New here! {My hubby and I will be going on Navy foreign area officer duty this coming year and FS blogs are the closest thing to the type of lifestyle we will be living I can find!} I am with you on the "status quo" thing-my greatest fear in life is blending in!