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Relocation is never boring if you’re married to someone like Travis, who simply can’t contain his inner cowboy when the opportunity presents itself.  October 30th was the day after his birthday.  It was also the last full day at our flat in Switzerland, which meant it was our last day to pack up our personal items for storage, pack the things we’d be taking to Germany for the two of us and the critters (road tripping with a cat is always fun), and to clean before the  new tenant arrived.  She’d be there the following day at 10 am.  For us, chronic procrastinators, this meant we knew we’d be up most of the night.  Rather than spending the weeks leading up to our departure preparing for our  imminent relocation to Germany, we really mostly hung out with friends, watched movies with Simone until the wee hours, and slept in every day.

Smart, right?  Why do today what you can put off ’til tomorrow.

On the 30th, when we probably should have been getting an early start on cleaning and packing, I was still single mindedly focused on baking.

Yes, baking.

Instead of packing up our kitchen pans and whatnot, I was still baking well into the evening.  One last batch of rich and gooey walnut brownies to use up the rest of the butter and cocoa powder.  One final batch of urban legend cookies to use up the remaining chocolate chips, oats, and a precious portion of my American brown sugar.  Batches of strawberry cobbler, strawberry/rhubarb bars, and rhubarb cake.  By the time I was done, our fridge and freezer were empty save for a few ice cream bars and some yoghurt.

Why did I feel the need to bake?  It’s the best way to say goodbye and to try, albeit in a grossly insufficient way, to thank so many folks who’ve become such a big part of our lives in just one year in Switzerland.

I’ve been spoiled with several deliveries and packages of brown sugar and chocolate chips from friends. Baking just isn’t the same without certain ingredients.

We’d been sharing goodies with friends for weeks, but I still had two more deliveries to make.  The first was to Fribourg to drop off some brownies for Ángel, the Spanish-speaking employee at Emmaüs who had helped us so much in finding furniture and household items when we first arrived.

The second was to our neighbors in Onnens who’d invited us over for traditional Eritrean coffee and dinner on Swiss National Day.  I had a bag of clothes that didn’t fit me anymore (too much Swiss wine, chocolate, and cheese in the last year), so Travis and took them next door along with a plateful of baked goodies.  We’d forgotten to let them know our exact departure date, and they were disappointed to find out we’d be leaving the next day.  The kids had fun taking photos with our camera before we hugged them all, promising to let them know when we’ll be back for our furniture so they can still make us dinner one more time.

With one last delivery of baked goods and a group photo, we say goodbye to our neighbors.

We popped over to Simone’s for a coffee with her, Carlos, and Nicole after dinner before finally really getting down to the business of packing.  In the midst of wrapping glassware and cleaning the bathroom, Travis got a second wind while rolling up our mattress to put in storage.

I doubt he expected me to get a photo of him, and I know he doesn’t know I’m posting the photo on here, but it’s too good not to share, don’t ya think?

Travis rides our rolled up mattress like a bronc

Travis (and Touille) are bull riders in the making.

While our mattress is hardly the equivalent of riding Dillinger, Trav did last at least eight seconds.  I can’t really tell if he was riding “correctly” or not since he was riding a mattress, but I think that with the right hat and spurs, he could definitely pass as a cowboy.

If you’ve driven through Vantage, Washington a million times and never stopped, take a half hour next time and hike up to Wild Horses Monument. It’s worth it.  Just don’t get bucked off any mustangs.

It’s nice to know that if this new job in Germany doesn’t materialize, we can always move to Montana where he can be a real cowboy.

I’m sure there’s a market there in need of wranglin’.

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