Don’t you hate it when you are living in your new house and you don’t have internet yet so you start what promises to be a nice long blog post, all about the final adventures of your container, and it’s kicking right along and you’re being witty and pithy and all these other good things, and then you hand the computer to your son to do his homework and he closes your document without saving? Yeah, me too. That’s why I’m compulsive about hitting Ctrl S. Um, mostly, that is.

So, nearly a week in the new house. It’s a lovely house, really. We moved in last Thursday, the day the container arrived (spoiler!), but we still don’t have internet. I guess 3rd time’s the charm, even in these modern times. We ordered it last Thursday, ordered it again on Saturday, and ordered it again today (Wednesday). They’re promising we’ll have it tomorrow. If you’re reading this, you’ll know they eventually came through.  Ironically, it was easier and quicker to get wireless internet in Morocco than it is in America; there, we went in to the office, requested it, paid a deposit, and had it that evening. I feel there is a lesson in this, although I’m not totally sure what it is—especially since these same people (Maroc Telecom) just sent us another bill, in spite of the fact that when Donn closed down the account they made extra sure we didn’t owe them anything before they gave us back our deposit.

As you may have noticed from my last several blog posts, I’ve been struggling a bit with being back in the US, but something good has come of it. We are the proud owners of a new house! Ok, the house was actually built around the time I was giving birth to my firstborn (I feel that is metaphorical; can you see it?), but it is new to us. It comes complete with a man-cave (Donn’s garage-office; our friend Tiffany came up with the name and it fits) and a lot more wall to wall carpeting than we are used to. I am hoping this means we slow down our average of broken glasses. We are rapidly making it a home and it feels good. We received the keys to it on my birthday, rather a fun detail.

In some ways, this was a relatively easy move. We’ve never shipped a container before, but this is the way to go. No more agonizing over what to keep, what to store, what to give away, what to sell, etc. Just bung everything in. And the result is that we seem to have a lot of stuff. I don’t know. We move a lot; we’re not pack rats. We get rid of things pretty easily. How can we still have so much?

In spite of feeling this way, I’ve moved into Stage Two of the Expat Returning from Africa Reverse Culture Shock (ERARCS for short. What do you mean it’s not a good acronym?) Stage One is where you go into a Target or Fred Meyer’s and are completely overwhelmed. Sometimes you feel nauseated; once, returning from Mauritania, I stood in front of a wall of hand lotion and started crying. I was used to Nivea, original or almond, and I could not handle an entire wall of choice.

Stage Two is where you walk through the stores and you want one of everything. Soap dispensers for the new bathroom! New hand towels—the old ones are kinda disgusting now. New tea towels too! And wouldn’t that shelf be cute on the wall above the table? Oh, look, cute bedding too! Curtains! And look at those pots and pans—you’ve always wanted one of those tall ones with a colander in it! What about a fall wreath for the door?

It is endless and sometimes nauseating too, and don’t worry—I’m not acting on these impulses. I’m still working on getting my kitchen stocked. And pictures hung. And getting rid of all these boxes!