Sorting and Stockpiling

We’re getting closer to our move date, and we’re going through our stuff but also thinking about (clinging to?) the things we’ll miss. I say “we” but maybe it’s just me doing the clinging.

I find it funny that when I left the U.S., I was stockpiling American things I feared I wouldn’t be able to get in Germany: Trader Joe’s salsa, children’s OTC medications, inexpensive winter gear. Now I have the same frantic hoarding tendencies but for German things, as if somehow I can take my memories with me only if I find enough items to hold them in.

We’re really trying to get rid of things, not collect things, but if I could stockpile all I wanted, here’s a list of some favorites:

  • Alnatura dark chocolate from DM—best cheap chocolate ever
  • Ritter Sport dark chocolate with hazelnuts (yes, they do have it in the U.S. but I hear it’s not the same)
  • Weleda bath and beauty products
  • Alnatura lemongrass soap
  • Whole grain spelt (dinkel) bread
  • Ready-to-eat mango lassis from the refrigerator aisle
  • Fresh apricots (they just don’t grow these in the southeastern US, and the ones you can get from California are mushy by the time they get to you)
  • Fleur de sel—best salt ever—yeah, it’s French, but it’s easy to get here
  • Wine—goes without saying
  • Cheap vintage linens from the thrift store (okay, I may have collected a few of these, but reports have been widely exaggerated)
  • Nutella collectible football glasses
  • Wooden toys—any German toys, really
  • Absolutely everything from the Waldorf basar
  • Kids’ rain pants
  • Cheese—so cheap and delicious here—a mozza ball costs as little as, I kid you not, 50 cents!
  • Rooibos caramel tea
  • Burda Style magazine—the awesomest sewing mag ever
  • Homeopathic German medicine—oh yeah! It really works.
  • The unbelievably thick walls, high ceilings, and beautiful doors of our apartment
  • Chocolate croissants baked just a few steps from our flat

But most of all I’d like to stockpile the things that couldn’t be packed up, even if we had the space:

  • Bike rides through the forest
  • Coffee and running and lunch dates with friends
  • Sunny afternoons in the kindergarten garden
  • The smell of freshly baked bread from the downstairs bakery
  • Kind neighbors
  • My kids’ knowledge of German

For the last two plus years I’ve sought out English reading material wherever I could, and now suddenly I’m desperate to have some German books for the kids. I just got Richard Scarry’s Mein allerschönstes Wörterbuch (it’s similar to his other books but with German and English labels). Also ordered Das grosse Liederbuch (The Big Song Book, illustrated by Tomi Ungerer) on the advice of a friend, hoping we might be able to preserve some of the folk songs our son has learned in German kindergarten.

The probability of him losing his near-native accent is the thought that stings the most.

But I won’t dwell on that now. Okay, off to get some errands done and hopefully, just a tiny bit more writing before the clock strikes midnight. Have a good Monday.

12 thoughts on “Sorting and Stockpiling

  1. Thinking of you and your family as you prepare to leave Germany and head for home. You have certainly taken good advantage of your time there. And I have enjoyed reading about all of your adventures. What wonderful memories you all have made!
    Love, Aunt Terry

    • Thank you, Aunt Terry. We will be thinking of YOU this weekend. We are so bummed to miss another big milestone. Please give our love to everyone. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the blog. Hope to connect with y’all sooner rather than later. xo

  2. I’m so happy that I got to experience so many of the things on your list even the sunny afternoon in the kindergarten garden. We have really enjoyed our three visits to Germany EVEN the hospital stay which as you know was a blessing in disguise. I’d really love to have some of that lemongrass soap. It’s my new favorite fragrance. Birthday coming up soon – hint, hint. Love that chocolate too! It really is good. I still have a little from our last trip.

  3. I can sure relate, it’s been 4 months now…I think after the forests, bread,and no shopping on Sundays, it’s the THICK, relatively sound-proofed walls…I feel like we’re living in a cardboard box sometimes…Happy Travels when the time comes!

    • So nice to hear from you, Donna, and to hear from someone going through what I’ll go through soon (though I know you were here much much longer). I forgot to mention in my list our local forest biergarten and the forest playground complete with cappucino stand. Really, what could be better than a place your kids can play while you enjoy a real cappucino in a real cup—or a real beer? This we have to import. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Ahhh, what a lovely list of memories:-) I do have potential good news thought: I have found Rooibos Caramel loose leaf at, and it is very drinkable:-)

    • Oh! You just made my day! I don’t think I ever would’ve thought caramel was a great flavor to match with tea, but once I had it at a hotel and now I just can’t stop. We love it. Thanks for the tip. Can’t wait to see you!

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