We Really Aren’t in Kansas Anymore …

(This post is a true vintage from 2010 when we first moved to Canada from Switzerland. Happy Anniversary to my family!)


We really aren’t in Kansas anymore . . .

Let me preface this with saying that I really love my new home, my new country and so much around me. I have very few complaints and when I do complain it is more often than not just me realizing that I am no longer living in Europe. The last 10 years for me were spent in Europe and getting used to that lifestyle took some/much adjustment. Now being back in this side of the pond I am also needing some time to readjust.

Two weeks ago, a few days after we moved into our home, quite the storm was brewing outside. The wind was blowing in gusts and the rain was coming down quite heavily all day. Tuesday is garbage day in this section of Oakville. Recyclables such as paper, cans, bottles and organic matter are picked up weekly. However, in order to keep the waste down and citizens recycling more, the regular trash (you know, the diapers, styrofoam, and other such things that can not be recycled) are picked up every two weeks.  After searching around for the perfect garbage can over the weekend that could not be toppled over by ravaging raccoons (yes, we have loads of raccoons) nor blown over in the wind gusts  we found one that would suit our needs. Honestly, this little task alone took a visit to Wal-Mart, Home Depot and finally to my new favorite store that sells much more than only tires, Canadian Tire (think Metro in Germany minus the membership).

On the day of our big garbage pickup, I did some more errands in the morning, as one is prone to do when setting up a new house, and came home at lunch.

Driving up I saw that the paper, organic matter and bottles had all been picked up. ¨Great, it is all coming together and all before noon,¨ I thought. And for those of you who have done this type of move, you know what I mean. It’s the little things, right? Parking the car I realized that the garbage can lid was back on properly. How nice it was that the garbage collectors took the time to put the lids back on while those who did the recycling pick-up threw the bins back onto the lawn rather haphazardly. So in the gusty, rainy weather I brought everything safely into the garage – which is where you put everything but I will write more about that another time. I needed to put some trash away that had been accumulating in my wonderful rental mini-van and *gasp* . . . the trash had in fact not been emptied. Now what? I felt so silly. Perhaps I had not recycled properly and the trash collectors decided I had failed in my recycling duty so no trash pick up for me.


I mean, it certainly happens in Germany that a garbage man decides that too many items are in the trash which needed to be recycled and then …no trash pickup. Maybe that was the case here. Deciding to take a more laid back approach, contrary to my personality, I decided to deal with my mistake of refuse division later in the day.

But about two hours later I heard that sound – the sound of a large truck making frequent stops. By the time my brain got moving, as well as my legs, it was too late. The garbage collectors had come and gone. And I learned a very valuable lesson – they leave a ¨calling card¨ informing the residents that the trash has been collected . . .


Yes, you see it correctly my friends in Germany and Switzerland. The garbage cans are thrown onto the lawn and driveway and no matter what kind of great garbage can you bought, be it $20 or $140 (plus 13% tax, of course), these cans will also be blowing in the wind, across the neighbor’s yard and into the street.

And that, my friends, was neither the first nor the last experience reminding me that we really are no longer in Kansas anymore . . . and I like it that way!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Merle says:

    Wow, 4 years! Happy Canniversary! 😉

    1. Brigitte Fessele says:

      If I had done my math right, I would have figured out four, not three, years 🙂
      But my point remains the same!

  2. Brigitte Fessele says:

    Isn’t it funny what things stick in our memory! They don’t have to be important, but they surely leave a lasting impression, like the garbage cans which, when thrown onto the lawn or driveway, indicate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the garbage has been picked up [?] It’s hard for me to believe that your move across the Atlantic happened three years ago. How could that time go by so quickly? But in some ways, it also seems to me that you’ve lived in Canada much longer than that. And I think I feel that way because from the very beginning, the people in what has become your new home have been friendly and welcoming to the whole family. And because of your own outgoingness and friendliness, you have made friends for yourselves in the neighborhood and beyond, and so as parents have made it easier for your children to find their own friends as well in this new country. And some things were carried over for the children from the old country to the new one, such as arts and sports and horseback riding, which shows them that the love of their parents is *always* there, and that is more important that anything [?] Love, Mom

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