All our worldly possessions. We actually did it!
Have you ever watched Amazon Prime’s “Patriot”? It is a darkly funny, slow spy story. John Tavner, the story’s hero, often finds himself in scary, tortuous situations. When asked how he does it, he says, “I just go halfway and one more step.” His point being, from that point forward, it is less painful than going back.
Today, we have reached halfway and one more step.
My last post seems like a lifetime away. Everything was looking rosy and true to plan, and then Putin attacked Ukraine. BTW - in French, his name is spelled Poutine (like the Canadian cheese curd, gravy, French fry dish). I think Putain is more fitting as it is a French curse word, but I will remain slightly classy and refer to him as Pootin.) When we made our plans, we never factored this into the equation.
Do we change plans and move to Canada? Our options are limited. Halifax is uninhabitable 4 months of the year, same for Hamilton. Vancouver Island is affordable only for the super-rich, which definitely excludes us. We could rent there, but we sold all our dependable vehicles, so getting there is a logistical challenge given all of our possessions must go with us.
After a one-week news fast, and miles of coastal runs and walks, we decided to move forward with the uneasy decision to stick with the original plan of France. Given what Ukrainians are facing, ours is a plight of choice with myriad options. We can’t complain. If things don’t work out, we can leave.
We returned to Salem and wrapped up the final details of life in Oregon. Thank you to our dear friends who: took us in, gave us luggage, gathered with us one last time, loaned us a car, drove us to the airport and more. We are blessed and we know it. Oregon is hard to leave, but leaving our friends is heart-wrenching.
This week, we submitted our visa applications and now begin the wait for approval. Of all the hoops we have been through, the visa process was the easiest. We stayed at a hotel across the street from the office and arrived 15 minutes early for our appointment. We were the only applicants there.
We were told that usually, they process 25 applications a day at that office, but since Pootin started his war, applications have dropped to about 12 a day. We should have our results in two weeks.
We feel at peace with our decision. Everything is over but the waiting and that is completely out of our hands. We feel a calm we haven’t felt since before our trip to France in October.
We are spending this leg of our journey recovering from the last seven months. We are rebuilding our bodies, calming our minds, and diving into our French language studies in earnest.
Last evening’s run was accompanied by a particularly cacophonous choir of tree frogs. (Listen here.) It is one of the things we missed about the south while living in the Pacific Northwest.
Back to “Patriot”. Give a listen to “Train Song” by Vashti Bunyan - https://youtu.be/U_cZyavt06U This is a beautiful song that repeats throughout the series. Our gift to all you acoustic guitar-loving friends.
We appreciate you all accompanying us on this journey and hope you are as excited as we are about taking “one more step”.