Greetings from St. Johann Tirol, Austria

Homeward Bound

After five years in London, I'll be back home in the good ol' U. S. of A. in less than 12 days!  We've had a busy past few weeks packing and preparing for our international move. Mrs. Crab has taken the lead on the pack-out, creating detailed inventories of everything we own that's going on our move. Our first step was to decide what we are and are not keeping. We decided to sell almost all our furniture, since most of it was just cheap Ikea stuff. We also decided to sell all our electronics since they won't work in the US. We held a yard sale last Saturday and are happy to report that we sold almost everything! There was a line out the door when our yard sale began!

The government packout involves separating our remaining belongings into three categories: UAB, HHE and check-in/carry-on.  UAB, or Unaccompanied Air Baggage, is 250 pounds of stuff that will be flown directly to our new apartment in the Washington DC area.  HHE is HouseHold Effects; we are allotted 18,000 pounds of such stuff including kitchenware, books, linens, extra clothes, photos, framed pictures, furniture, etc. This stuff will be sent to storage and we won't see it again for up to a year when we arrive at our first overseas post. The final category is check-in; as the name implies, it's stuff that we are carrying on the airplane as either check-in or carry-on luggage.  Mrs. Crab has done a fantastic job separating everything into different rooms. On Tuesday, a representative of the moving company came over to conduct the pack-out survey and he was impressed at our preparations.

Next Wednesday is our "pack-out", when all the UAB and HHE stuff will be packed and shipped out. After that, we'll be living out of our suitcases!

In the meantime, I've been also busy filling out tons of government forms, plus dealing with the usual moving tasks like canceling our utilities, saying goodbye to friends and doing some last-minute London sightseeing!

More to come!