Life in “The Little City.”

We have landed back in our former postal code, most noted for ranking amongst the “Top Ten Wealthiest Cities” in America for more years running than I care to count. Criticize that all you will (and I have), there is something to be said for familiarity when returning from seven years abroad.

Though, we did not return to our home. The lucky family to whom we sold it now has that 3,000 square feet to clean, and a one-third acre of garden to mow and rake. We’re in a modern flat in a stylish complex with full concierge and pool that even has its own dog park, whilst we “figure it all out.” CTF can not be bothered with the dog park, however, since the adjacent city park is teeming with bunnies and fox scents to follow and even a small creek in which he can indulge.

But I digress. Some years ago our city tax dollars were spent on a new city “logo” that was met with mixed reviews. Or, perhaps it was the Mayor who was met with mixed reviews. (That is a story for another time.) I personally much preferred the refined, “City of Falls Church” to the childish and expensive word cloud, The Little City but what do I know.


The day after I landed I hurried to the flat to await furniture delivery. As a housewarming I gifted myself entirely new furniture. Seven years of an eccentric IKEA/antique mix will do that to a person. Jack and Lovely Fran brought CTF over to his new home in the morning, and he settled in on his mat to supervise the activities of the day. (Yes, there is carpet in the bedrooms. Yes, I hate carpet.)

The first piece for the living room arrived in the morning; the supervisor gave high marks for comfort.

The supervisor also approved of our bed; well, at least the mattress. (The bed would not arrive for two additional days.) I think the blanket I purchased in Cairo draws attention away from the awfulness that is the carpet.

A dear friend dropped by with a Welcome basket. Clorox wipes and all-natural hand soap. The friend knows me well.

Dining pieces were next to arrive. Though I purchased the chairs and the table separately they blended together beautifully.

On that first afternoon we even had the excitement of a fire drill! CTF was not fazed at all. And, look at the size of that kitty!

Next to arrive, my ride!  Ain’t she gorgeous?

Friends highly recommended “Carvana” to us, basically an online vehicle vending machine. Since we knew we wanted another MomMobile, I just waited until the right color appeared in their database and then pushed the button. A couple of days later, Viola!  A petite gal arrived in the Carvana-labeled (and sparkling clean) tow and lowered the car to street level. We signed the paperwork, which included a 7-day return guarantee, and pulled the wagon into our garage space. I commended her taking on what is, in America, a traditionally male job and asked her about life on the road. She told me that there are still a few pervs at the Truck Stops who try the, “Hey Pretty Lady, do you need someone to drive with you?” line, but thankfully she has her killer Shih-Tzu with her at all times.

Before parking the wagon for the evening I added a special touch.

The following day, AIR FREIGHT! The most important 525kg of our household arrived, but delivery was not without drama. Though we had reserved the loading dock, the Asshat Dumpster Delivery Dude was irked somehow and thought it a good idea to drop the dumpster to block our delivery truck’s departure. I gave Dumpster Delivery Dude a piece of my mind. In English. And it felt great.

This is Dumpster Delivery Dude moving said dumpster. #GirlPower

More drama. The bottom of one of our crates was damaged during shipping (Lufthansa, I’m looking at you), resulting in substantial damage to one of our family photo books. Much time will be needed to reprint the photos and recreate the album, alas.

And then there were boxes. Seems our supervisor is asleep on the job.

So many recycled trees gave their lives for our air freight packaging.

Chopsticks and a wine cork. Priorities.

My squad! (No, I am not a fan of blonde cabinets, either.)

Piece by Piece the furniture I purchased for this next adventure arrived. In search of accent pieces, though, on one warm afternoon I wandered into a local store with CTF (the owner did not flinch!) and a glorious restored cabinet (with casters and so much storage, too!) on which to perch the whopping 49″ television that the boys brought home a day earlier spoke to me.

Recycled Furniture? Happy to do my part for the environment. Shopping Local? Because, why not? But shopping DOG-FRIENDLY Local? I feel like I’m back in Vienna.