Thursday, March 15, 2012

Oma's Pages #39

Oma’s Pages #39
Now we had a place plenty big enough for a table, but we did not have a table to put in the place.

With all the Senior couples gone we needed somebody to help us with some of the big stuff. A lot of the furniture was in pieces and had to be assembled.

This is our closet and it came to us in pieces with no instructions. We one of these for each bedroom. In the Netherlands they do not build closets into the house. You must buy a free standing box of some kind to put your clothes in.

It was a Monday night so we invited all the JoVo’s to come over and see our place, have  Pizza and help carry the big pieces of stuff we still needed to move.

These are the JoVo's and Elders who came to help us that night. 

When everybody helps it is fun and you can get things done without so much stress.
Have you learned that in your short lives? When everybody helps... it is fun and you can get so much more done than when somebody has to do it alone.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oma's Pages #38

Oma’s Pages #38
The City Groningen, where we live is so far away from all of the other cities where the other Senior missionaries serve that it made it a real sacrifice for the Senior couples to come up and help us. When they came up to help us put in the flooring in our new apartment, they brought up the mission van. We had to take advantage of having both the van and people to help us by moving our stuff whether we were ready to do it or not. 

It was January so it was cold and this was the only place in the whole house to put our coats

Sister Pankratz helping

Sister Pankratz, Elder Pankratz, Elder Beckstrand, and Elder Anderson

The Pankratz working side by side to get our floor in as fast as possible

This was the only way we could transport our furniture and stuff from one place to another.
This was also the first day I drove a car here in the Netherlands. Driving here is very very very very different from driving in Utah. I was scared, but somebody had to do it. The other Senior sisters would not even try to do it. None of them had ever even been up here in Groningen except the Andersons when they brought us our bed, and then they did not stay very long. Negotiating the Dutch streets and road rules when you are familiar with them is a challenge. None of the other Sisters had the expertise of this town to even attempt to drive. We had to go over to our old apartment to clean it and pack up all the rest of the stuff. So I did it. I took a deep breathe and said, “I can do it.” 
I prayed as I drove away from the new apartment to go back to the old apartment with Sister Beckstrand and Sister Anderson in the car with me. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes... Oh wait, I am the one driving... so I opened my eyes real quick. I only took one wrong turn. I realized it was wrong right away. It took me into the center of Groningen which is the one thing I did not want to do. I also did not want to panic the other sisters so I just let my instincts and my memory of things I saw when I was riding in the car with Opa take over. Very soon I connected with a road where I knew exactly where I was. I was so surprised that I was able to drive us back to my old apartment. We packed up the stuff without much problem at all.

Sister Beckstrand making lunch for everybody

All of the big stuff was moved that day even though the floor of the new place was far from being finished. The men finished laying our bedroom and part of the kitchen. Opa and I did the rest of the floor by ourselves one day at a time after they all left. The Elders volunteered to help us once for about two hours. Other than that we did it all by ourselves.

We would get up and work for awhile and then go out to do missionary stuff, come back and work until we had to quit which was about 10pm. This apartment building has a lot of rules about living here... no noise late at night is one of the rules. Sawing and hammering make a lot of noise. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oma's Pages #37

Oma’s Pages #37
Once we had made all the legal arrangements to get the apartment then we had the massive job of finishing it. Yes I said finishing it. In the Netherlands when you rent a place most of the time what you get to rent is an empty shell. We were so lucky that this place did have a bathroom that was finished and it had a stove and very small refrigerator.
This is the master bedroom looking out of the window

This is the master bedroom looking from the window to the door

This will eventually be our laundry room

The sink is straight across from the shower

To the far left is the toilet, then the shower stall... yep, no shower door or curtain at this point, and the tub is a bonus since hardly any homes in the Netherlands have tubs... It is an American thing. The edge of the tub shows on the right side of the picture.

What looks like a small cupboard that Opa is putting things into is actually the total size of the refrigerator, including the freezer. It is three tiny shelves and a freezer that is four inches high
Our new adventure was in finding flooring and light fixtures that did not cost a lot of money but were still good quality. It was a lot of work. All of the other Senior couples who were here on missions came to help us. I was so glad that Opa was a builder all of his life so that he could tell us what to do and how to do it. And he could tell whether things we were doing and buying were good or not.