Well, we're on. Precariously still, yes, but we're moving forward and I just pray that I'm not going to write an entry a few weeks from now about how everything fell through. Happy thoughts Cindy... We purchased our tickets for 2 adults, 1 teen, 2 dogs & a cat for December 26th (sorry Nipper, we don't think you would survive the trip. By the way, does anyone want a 19-year old cat that pees in purses and caterwaulers in the middle of the night?). Our Visa de Retour arrived which really made us feel like our luck was turning around because instead of having to reapply for everything again next year, we now just have to pick up our residency cards (carte de sejour) when we return to France. I also had to bite the bullet and commit to quitting my job last week so they could hire the candidate they had in mind to eventually replace me. My last day is December 17th. I have to say that after a few pretty rough years feeling overworked and abused, they have really treated me well throughout this whole ordeal. Last week I began to inventory old files from the past 4 years and I actually started to to get into this mundane task and it reminded me of the Survivor episode when the remaining four contestents reminisce about the fallen players previously voted out. As I typed each of the production titles or talent estimates, it felt good, sort of cleansing to say so long, I survived you (and some of the evil players associated with you) and now I'm letting you go.
We've been packing and trying to determine just what personal items and furniture will make the cut (and have room) in the 20' container we've hired to be dropped off on December 20 and we need to inventory all of that as well. Now, this is an activity that I would have to rate a negative -5 on a scale of 1-10 for fun things to do with your spouse. "Do you really need to keep your 1978 nikon camera, light meter and multiple lenses & colored filters that has been in storage for the past 15 years?" Yes he does. "Do you need to keep your Barbie carrying case with clothes and dolls, including a "Twiggy" doll circa 1966." Of course I do! But, we are getting through it one box at a time without wanting to kill each other yet so that's good.
We put our house up for rent yesterday and have already had quite a few replies including a nice local Topanga family who say they are very interested in a long term lease and took home an application. We can't do anything until our loan goes through which will hopefully happen this week as it is still one of the last wildcards for us. Although we're verbally approved by the bank, until we have that check in our account, we're not going anywhere. And of course, just to throw another possible curveball into our plans, a couple (motivated home buyers) scheduled a showing of our house last week and apparently really liked it, so there's that possibility ready to disrupt all of our current plans hitting just before the holidays.
We are also going to Boulder, Colo. to see my cousin and his family in early December with plans to forfeit our CA id's for Colorado ones as Colorado has a reciporacal agreement with France that will enable us to avoid having to go through a year of French driving school and plaster a large letter "A" on our car for 3 years. We've read and been told by many expats to do whatever is humanly possible to avoid this long, tedious expensive process (all in French!).
So, things are moving along and if all goes to plan, we'll be at Petit Clos a few days after Christmas and celebrate the new year in our new home. But first the holidays to enjoy with family and friends before we go.