So...I graduated in May 2014 with my AA degree! My laptop died right after final exams and I have not replaced it yet. Hopefully I will work something out soon. I missed the graduation ceremony because I was in Canada right after final exams to run my business. Then I flew back to Austria in June for my son's 11th birthday.
It was his only birthday wish, so I closed the business to go. It was a hard decision financially, but good thing I went because the very next day my DH was in the hospital with life threatening blood clots. They kept him 11 days. Thank goodness I was there! They brought him home in the ambulance, but by then I really had to go. I begged my son's teacher to let me take him out of school 2 weeks early, but she refused. The threat was he would not be allowed to continue on in gymnasium, which in Austria is a big deal.
So, I stocked the cabinets full of groceries and went back to Canada and then a few weeks later had to return to get my son, leaving DH behind because he was not cleared to fly due to his poor medical condition.
Then, more big news for 2014. I got my business in Canada under agreement. Really, I basically gave it away...just enough to pay off bills, etc. But there was just no way I could keep up with everything, the season that did not mesh with my son's, my sick husband, etc. So, that summer, every day - in addition to running the business, my son and I were packing and moving out of our attached 4 BR house...mostly by ourselves, ugh! But I was afraid of sale delays and moving out in snow, ice, frigid temperatures. And boy, was I ever right because the closing was scheduled for September and happened in December!
Photos of summer 2014/Canada below.
Flew back to Austria with my son in September 2014 for school via a quick trip to Mass. to see my family.
Returned to Canada (round trip via Boston so add a 2 day drive each way) for a week the end of September to run a big event for the business. Still no sale, so returned to Austria, again via Massachusetts, so drive, drive, drive. Went back to Canada in December for the sale (snow, ice, freezing temperatures), back to Mass. and then Austria in time for Christmas.
Sadly, still no visa so I ended up going back and forth several more times, like a yo yo all winter as both my son and DH really needed me, but I never dared stay over my allowance of days.
Every trip to Austria meeting with attorneys and trying to get a visa. The whole issue is that my DH is unable to work because of his medical condition, so even though he is an Austria and our son is 1/2 Austrian, there was no way for me to get a visa. Finally, one very nice man at the visa office suggested I apply for a student visa since I was still not able to get a visa. So, I applied to UniGraz (photo at the start of this post - sorry not so good because I was a passenger in the car), and got my acceptance letter in MAY 2015. Yeah! This in itself was amazing because of deadlines and every document had to be authenticated with an Apastille, even my high school diploma, college diploma and all transcripts. I have moved so many times since high school graduation - over 25 years ago, and I have stuff in 3 countries - totally amazing I could even put my hands on some of the required documents. Anyway, go to visa office with my acceptance letter - hoping for a visa, but no such luck...yet. They tell me to come back in September.
One one of my trips back to the USA...I went with 1 of my sisters to Florida, in February, to see my Dad. He is a snowbird! We had to change our flights 3X because Login kept getting buried under snow and flights were cancelled. So we were pretty happy to get down to FL and were really lucky to have perfect weather. FL can be so hit or miss in February. I wish my son could have gone because last time he was in Florid he was a 2 year old and doesn't remember it.
Then my son flew into Boston in February for his school break. I was a nervous wreck because of all the snow storms and the airport shut down just about every other day, but he made it! Below is a photo of him snowshoeing across a lake in NH. This little trip helped make our time apart not be quiet as long, without me using up precious days of allowed time in Austria.
We had planned a ski trip with the cousins, but he came down with a very high fever those 2 days. Fortunately he rebounded and we were still able to have a lot of fun.
Winter on Cape Cod...oceanside and bayside. It has to be pretty cold to get ice chunks like that in the bay!
After he left, eventually I went back to Canada to wrap up some paperwork and visit friends .
This is the highway in Canada in late February, oh dear....made a long drive even longer.
Returned to Austria the end of March. Here is my son on a mountain hike in Austria, in April.
We were lucky and got a discounted 3 night package at the beach in Italy in May. It was the first family "vacation" we have had in a ling time! I am happy we went off season because I can not imagine 1 million people a day at this beach, but that is what it is peak season. In all my traveling, I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it before! In case you haven't notice, I tend to enjoy less crowded places!
Out of time, I had to return back to Boston and went to Canada to visit friends...just for a bit because I was back in Austria for the end of the school year.
Back in Austria for the school year end.
My son and I went to Mass. For 7 weeks of summer. We had a wonderful summer! My first summer of not having to work 18 hours a day for weeks on end in years! Wonderful! We went to the beach, fishing, lots and lots of fishing, lots of visiting with family, camping, mini golf, some museums and a whale watch. The days chugged right along. But toward the end my son was anxious to get back to his father...and Austria food, which he prefers over US food.
So, now I am a student at UniGraz. I have classes 4x a week. As soon as this semester is over, I will look into getting a job too, I just want to get through Christmas first! I am very excited to be able to continue my studies here! Really, things are finally looking like things will work out. It has not always been easy...many, many times so hard I just didn't know how to stand it anymore, but I kept going, step by step. Five years is a very long time to go through what my family has gone through with my visa issues!
I do not really know where to start, back at Blogging, but that brings you up to date. 1 year, 8 months is a long time to be out of the loop. I have really missed writing, but with technical troubles and my schedule, it just didn't happen. I am really happy to be back at blogging! If you are still reading my crazy absence in review...than I know my blogging can't be too boring! But hopefully no more hopping back and forth across the ocean all the time. I just want to settle in here and stay put for awhile!