Two Familes, Two Countries, and Too Many Miles In Between

January 5th, 2014

You know, living a vagabond/expat life is exciting and I love it.  New places, new cultures, getting to live in places where other people only get to visit.  I am not sure if I meet the modern definition of a vagabond, whatever that may be, but considering I had not lived anywhere longer than 4 years since leaving home I would say that’s pretty close.  Wait, did you notice I said “had” not?  That I said because I have lived in Germany for over 7 years now, and that’s a long time for me.  A very long time.  I don’t mean that in a bad way, because Germany has become my Heimat*.  Not to take away from Oregon, because that is my home too.  I love Oregon, with all my heart.  I still identify very deeply as an Oregonian.  But now I am an Oregonian who is also at home in Germany.  Have I confused you yet?  Hopefully not.  And while I feel fortunate to have two places to call home, that also makes for a life full of compromises that brings with it many difficulties. Map Germany to America Take our current situation for example, being in the process of moving to the States.  Even though we are excited about moving to one home (close to home anyway), it still hurts to leave the other one.  We get a new house, but we had to give up our house here.  We get to explore a new area, but we have to leave an area we know.  We will make new friends, but we won’t get to see our friends here as often.  We are moving closer to one Family, but farther away from another. The list goes on and on, but family and friends are by far the hardest part and make any decisions about where to live almost impossible to make.  It’s really a no win situation though, because no matter what you decide somebody is getting the short end of the stick.  Luckily I think everyone understands that “we gotta do what we gotta do”.  Not that that makes it any easier, but hopefully that keeps them from feeling betrayed or that we don’t care. On top of that is the emotional teeter-totter we are on, and especially me.  One minute I am excited about being back in the Northwest, and the next I am sad about having to leave the Eifel/Trier region.  What’s even worse is the guilt.  Guilty that I am excited, guilty that I can’t stop making plans in my head, guilty that I know there are some parts of living in America that I will enjoy, because Germany is my new home after all.  On the flip side guilty that I just typed that, guilty that I will miss Germany so much, guilty that I am sad about leaving, because after all my first home is in America.  Excited, guilty, excited, guilty, excited, guilty.  Happy, sad, happy, sad, happy, sad.  AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!  My poor wife’s teeter-totter is much slower though.  Right now it is pretty much stuck in the sad position, which is to be expected considering this is the first time she will live anywhere other than Germany.  I am sure it will start teetering and tottering again after we get there.  I just hope I can be there for her enough to help make her adjustment as smooth as possible.  Luckily for our little Germerican they say that kids adjust easier, and so far I think they are right.  For him this is all one big adventure, and his teeter-totter is stuck on excited at the moment.  We’ll see how it goes. So I think the moral of this story goes like this:  This was the hardest decision of our lives.  For all those that we will be leaving, we are sorry.  We will miss you terribly and hope you understand that this is not easy for us either.  For those we coming to, we are excited to see you.  But please also understand that we will also be sad sometimes that we are there and not here.  The life we have chosen is a dual edge sword that cuts both ways.

German Glossary

  • Heimat = Hometown and/or Home Country

This post was actually written in December 2013, so in an effort to catch up with unfinished/unreleased posts in my “Time Travel Series” and not change its meaning this post is being published with its original date.

USA Wins! USA Wins! USA Wins!

THE US MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM BEAT GHANA!

 

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Tim Howard (Photo Credit: US Soccer)

 

There has been lots of talk, lots of criticism, and lots of speculation.  But now the first game is over, and we can all sleep easy in the notion that the US beat Ghana and grabbed 3 very valuable points! Thank goodness too, because I was tired of hearing all of the talking heads who think Jürgen Klinsmann is the wrong man for the job, and that he should have taken Landon Donovan to the World Cup. It is no surprise that Germerican Denglish stands behind Jürgen Klinsmann 100%, I mean for us there is no better possible situation than a German coaching the US team.  I just can’t believe how many Americans think they are experts on soccer all of a sudden, when most don’t have a basic understanding of soccer strategy and rules.  But that’s all for another post, right now we are celebrating the US beating Ghana! So in the long and storied (cough) tradition that is Germerican Denglish World Cup coverage, here are some pictures for you…..

 

The first goal came in the first 30 seconds.  That’s right, I said 30 seconds!  Clint Dempsey not has the record for the fastest ever World Cup goal by an American.

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Clint Dempsey, after scoring the fastest goal in USMNT World Cup history (Photo Credit: ESPN.com)

 

After that the Americans held tight on defense for most of the game until Ghana finally scored a goal in the 82nd minute.  But not 4 minutes later, the US scored again!  Also a record by the way, since it was the first World Cup goal ever scored by a US Substitute.  But what’s even better, is that the winning goal was scored by Germerican player John Brooks, Jr.!

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John Brooks, Jr after scoring the winning goal against Ghana and his first ever World Cup goal (Photo Credit: ESPN.com)

Brooks’ mom is German, and his dad is American.  Sound familiar?  Well we are bursting with pride around here that a Germerican won the game!

We didn’t get Obama to the game, but I guess Joe Biden will do.  Do you thing he gets soccer, or just showed up out of obligation? Either way, it is a good sign that the White House deems soccer important enough that somebody went to the game!

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Joe Biden with the USMNT (Photo Credit: ESPN.com)

 

Here is a funny comment about fair-weather fans:

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But here is proof that there are die hard US Soccer fans!

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Now we wait for Portugal on Sunday.  Cross your fingers that everyone is healthy, and see if we can get a second victory.

Germany Beats Portugal!

Germany wins!

 

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(Photo Credit: Bild.de)

 

Great start to the World Cup, 4:0 blowout and a hat trick for Müller! Click here to read the ESPN story on the game and here is Kicker’s coverage, for those that prefer to read their Fußball news auf Deutsch. For Germerican Denglish’s ever-expanding coverage of the World Cup (lol), here are some random photos for you.

Thomas Müller is pumped:

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(Photo Credit: Bild.de)

 

And so is Angela Merkel!

 

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(Photo Credit: Bild.de)

 

Here is a funny one for the Ronaldo haters:

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In Germany, not only is the Chancellor a soccer fan:

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Angela Merkel with Arsenal & DFB star Lukas Podolski (Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/LukasPodolski)

 

So are soap stars Felix von Jascheroff and Janina Uhse from Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten!

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Felix von Jascheroff (right), and family, who plays John Bachmann on Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten (Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/felixvonjascheroff)

 

And soccer at our house looks like this:

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My German National Team jersey (Photo Credit: Germerican Denglish)

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My wife’s US Men’s National Team and German National Team jerseys (Photo Credit: Germerican Denglish)

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We couldn’t find a sign in the states, so we had one made that’s perfect for our multi-national family! (Photo Credit: Germerican Denglish)

 

As for me, I am really excited about how well Germany played today. Let’s hope that the USA handles business later!

Real Soccer/Football/Fußball Starts Today!

For those of you that care about the World Cup, real soccer starts today!

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Germany plays Portugal at 12 o’clock Eastern Time & 8 o’clock Central European Time. USA plays Ghana at 6 o’clock Eastern Time and 2 a.m. Central European Time! Everybody cross your fingers und druck die Daumen!