Immigrated! Children’s Book!

Added on: 10/24/2011 07:10 pm

Immigrated on: World Animal Day, Tuesday, October 4. 2011
Left Thousand Oaks on: Thursday, October 13. 2011
Moved in new house in Davis on: Friday, October 14. 2011
Official lease start date: Saturday, October 15. 2011
Written on: Monday, October 24. 2011

Dear you.

How have you been doing lately? I know you all have been dying to hear something from me , and I feel very ashamed that it took me over 5 months to write a new blog.

You Dutch people must feel awkward that I’m writing in English now. I could write it in Dutch too, but maybe I’m a little bit too lazy for that, I’m not sure.

Besides that, guess I always want to do things thoroughly and writing in Dutch feels like I’m not doing it thoroughly. But I hope you can all understand my English?

The update is a big one: Jeroen and I have immigrated to the United States of America. I wrote about Jeroen winning the DV 2011 Lottery, and thus winning Green cards to live and work in the U.S.A. We started out in Thousand Oaks, which is near L.A., and  it seems like paradise to us, because of its fabulous trees and views. Keith and Amber were there to assist us in our first steps on American ground, and they did that in an unprecedented manner.

They made sure our start in the U.S.A. was as smooth as it could be.

We then had to find out where we wanted to live and considered the following places: Thousand Oaks, Walnut Creek and Davis. The first is like I mentioned: a very pleasant place with the most beautiful trees I have ever seen and very friendly people. But the neighborhood is not as accessible as we would have liked it to be, for Jeroen and his potential customers, and for me to educate and instruct in German and/or Out Of Body Courses! Also to me it is very important to be able to bike, and in Thousand Oaks I would have been the exception, and I’m not good in biking uphill! Biking isn’t common throughout the U.S.A. and the main reason is that the hills and mountains make it impossible. Bikers are like stray wild, they are outlawed in a way and not safe at all. Only in some places, you can bike.

We looked around in Walnut Creek, but felt the people there were not outgoing at all (except from the nice lady that showed us an apartment): they didn’t look at us, didn’t greet us very friendly etc.. This was very different in Thousand Oaks!) The traffic in Walnut Creek was very confusing and not relaxed too. We didn’t feel welcome in Walnut Creek!

It was a more than a 6 hour drive from Thousand Oaks to Walnut Creek (it’s in San Francisco East Bay area), and it was already in the late afternoon, but we decided to drive up to Davis the same day and we arrived there late. The sun was already setting and in the last light of that day, we arrived in Davis.

Then, the magic hit me, it truly did!

We were driving through this very friendly little city, where all the houses are some way or the other covered with (kind of low) trees. It’s like a fairy tale  city: a lot of houses lying in what almost seems to be a sort of forest. Anyway: this is what it looks like in the evening and at night. The houses (many of them with no floors) are all very different, but ‘equal’. It seems all people are equal here, for the houses do not differ that much in size.

I (inwardly) had the strangest sensation  – I’ve never had before – that everywhere I looked, bubbles of energy were rising from the houses and trees, upwards to the sky. Like this whole city was just sparkling and bubbling with energy. The energy here was and is very much alive! I guess I perceived the astral version of the city.

I wouldn’t have noticed it like this, when we would have arrived there in the daytime.

We arrived so late because we took the ‘wrong’ way, by accidentally avoiding toll ways; this was a set up by our Tomtom.

We chose that option, because we were confused about it, and then had to drive two hours from Walnut Creek to Davis, instead of one, when you do want take the toll way! (and pay a $5 bill for it).

But this was good, because now I got hold of the astral sight of the city, and it was our first acquaintance with Davis. To me it seemed it took forever to get to Davis; time was crawling by the minute as Jeroen was driving to Davis, instead of flying, but hey, we arrived at exactly the right time.

We ate some good vegan pizza and hit the Wifi in the Pizza restaurant. We by then – disappointed about Walnut Creek – had in fact already decided to live in Thousand Oaks (and Davis was just a curiosity, though I picked it out in The Netherlands as the best possible spot, because of its geographical location and it’s flatness, so I could bike), but while we were sitting there, eating and WiFi-ing, I said to Jeroen: “We seriously need to consider this city, I am not sure about it, it  could be something.” Jeroen agreed. After sleeping a night over it in Walnut Creek (where we stayed in a small hotel), Davis started to grow on us, and the next day, we decided to visit it again, to check it out again now during the daytime, to make sure what we felt being there. We drove up there again (now in one hour, not two).

And then things really changed fast. Again, we saw people biking everywhere, the same friendliness in everybody’s faces, we heard very clever, bright, verbal word jokes and conversations on the streets and on the terraces, I felt that sparkling energy in the houses, in the trees, in everything. We saw how open and just bursting with energy this little city is, and then Thousand Oaks was overruled by this little giant.

We decided to look for a house in Davis! So we did and we found it. We were looking on Craig’s List and couldn’t find what we were looking for (we looked at some houses by driving around), but then I changed the settings in Craig’s List to houses with a rental price under  $1600, not under $1500, what Jeroen had set. And: there it was and popped up: our house. it wasn’t even $1600, and why it did pop up suddenly now, i don’t know, but there it was. Our eyes started to shimmer and we both said: let’s go there now to check it out. We did and fell in love! It’s the most lovely house, at least twice as big as the apartment we had in The Netherlands, with front, side and back garden, car port, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath rooms (with 1 bath), a huge kitchen with extra kitchen island and a very large, and very bright living room. Tiles on the floor everywhere (I am allergic to carpet, and most houses in the U.S.A have that, and because of it were not eligible), and screen doors and windows everywhere. The kitchen  is brand new.

The house has a washer, dryer, a very big refrigerator and even a dishwasher.

In the front garden, there is a robust, straight, healthy and friendly pine tree and in the back garden there are four lovely trees. One of them is located in the middle at the back, and is offering shade against too much heat and sunshine.

This was just perfect and we applied for it immediately. We succeed (we had to pay two months of deposit, instead of one), and we could move in that same week on Friday. We were in Walnut Creek and Davis on Saturday till Tuesday. We got back in Thousand Oaks on Tuesday and left that Thursday again, where we stayed in the very good Econo Lodge hotel. The next day (Friday) we got the key to the house and then we had our own house!

Two strange things happened while being in Davis. We hadn’t even signed the lease yet, but after checking out the house on Sunday and doing some shopping, Jeroen returned (with me ) to the Econo Lodge and I then felt he was driving the wrong way when he drove up the parking lot of the hotel. I expected him to drove up to ‘our’ house, this was spontaneously and unwilled, it just came over me!

Another strange thing happened the next morning. I woke up early in the hotel and thought I was already in our new house (again: we hadn’t even signed the lease yet) and thought I heard guys shoveling the branches and leaves that were piled up in front of the house (not the hotel!). They do that here: people makes bunches of their garden leaves and put it on the street and then the local authorities come to pick it up. I thought a) I was in the house already (it felt like ours already!) and b) I ‘heard’ shoveling of leaves and branches.

But none of the two applied, though they applied in the Cosmic sense of the word! Because later that day, I discovered, the leaves and branches, that were there the evening before, had been indeed picked this early morning, for they were gone now! So it seemed not only my spirit was already living in this house, I had actually made some kind of out of body observation that was true. This all gave me the pleasant impression everything was going as ‘foreseen’.

It did, because the house owner actually approved us for the house and Jeroen didn’t even had to show proof of his income (we had to pay extra though: one month more deposit, in general you only pay one month deposit) and we could move in, after bringing the cashier’s check (you pay with them here).

We are very happy in our new home and garden. We started gardening already and are attracting birds by feeding them and hanging a Hummingbird feeder in the tree and planting flowers. Yes, there are Hummingbirds here in Davis, we saw them several times already, not yet in our own garden.

There is one downside, and that is that I miss my Zebra finches I had in The Netherlands very much. We had four very old Zebra finches males (two of 6 two of 9 years old). I just couldn’t take them to the United States, because of the very long flight and quarantine (1 month), they wouldn’t have survived that. I struggled for over a year what to do with them, to whom to bring them to, etc.. Finally, we brought them to a very large outdoor aviary, the most beautiful we ever have seen. They arrived there on May 18. 2011, but three out of four have passed away after some weeks and months. It was too much for them and my heart is broken by it, because we, in all nine years we had the finches, never lost one single Zebra finch male. Now they were not with us anymore, they died, one after the other. They were very well taken care of (let there be no misunderstanding) and in the most beautiful aviary, but obviously the impact was too heavy after all. Only one, our little, clever rascal Theo(dore) survived, and the latest news was that he was in excellent health and the chief boss of the aviary. I hope he still is.

So that will be the burden I carry around: our leaving The Netherlands was too much for our 4 Zebra finches veterans. Yes, they were very old, but I’m sure they could have reached the age of 10- 12 years and still had some years to come for them. I feel guilty about this, and I forever will.

Davis is the best thing that could happen to us, and we are very thankful to our American friends Keith and Amber, because they were there for us to offer us their hospitality in the first ten days. We are living in Davis now and picking up our lives here. Jeroen has changed his name to “John”, because Americans just can’t pronounce “Jeroen” (his baptismal names are “Jeroen Johannes”, so this suits him fine) and I have changed my name into my real name “Constantia” because all Americans, reading, speaking and writing that name, spontaneously complimented me on it, they think it is so beautiful, pretty, etc.. So I then thought: well, let’s abandon my nickname “Sten” then, and return to my own baptismal name. Welcome to America, John and Constantia!

We have a new used car, it’s an Audi 4, and we were very lucky to get hold of it (again, thanks to Keith). John is very happy too with our new house and everything, he’s all excited just like me. He will continue to be the “IT Guy” and I will be looking for teaching or instructor jobs, maybe in my own living room, because it is so big, I could give my OBE course in it, like I did in The Netherlands. But in The Netherlands I had to rent a course space in Rotterdam – in “DJOJ”- , but I have the best course room here in my house. With the adjacent kitchen and kitchen island and, the garden as the place to chill out during the course, it could be the best course space I ever had.

Of course this is a big adventure and we are not sure if we are going to make it here, but we definitely don’t want to return to The Netherlands, because we both have outgrown it. We love the Californian climate, the wideness of the country, the thousands of bird species, the squirrels that are as big as cats, the friendly people, the shops, the delicious, outrageous good tasting vegan ice creams. Davis is a dream for bikers too: in this little city, almost everybody bikes, and my bikers heart is jumping up with happiness every time I see this or every time I bike myself in Davis… Davis is magic with it’s so many friendly sports fields and playgrounds, it’s environmental concerns and bikes.

There is some serious astral stuff going on in Davis too (beside of the fact I am there now ), because Charles Tart lives in Davis. He was a good friend of Robert Monroe, the pioneer in out Of Body Experiences and wrote the foreword to his book. Charles Tart writes about Out Of Body experiences and I guess he paved an astral way for me in Davis.

Still, I am not finished, because my children’s book Through Heaven is about to be published. I virtually met Daniël Benjamins, who is an Apple programmer, and he offered me to make iPhone and iPad apps out of my book. This book has been waiting for more than two years, and somehow, the timing wasn’t right, because I just could not get it done, and people who were offering (financial) help, withdrew or were not heard from again. But maybe, this was meant to be. Now it will be an American-Dutch delivery, so there will be four apps: for iPhone: ThruHeaven and DoorDeHemel and for iPad: ThruHeaven and DoorDeHemel.

For the American version Andrew Maggiore stood by me, he’s the best American translator and reviser ever.

What’s up with the ‘ThruHeaven’ name? Well, in the iTunes stores the names of the apps can only be about 12 tokens long, so we had to abbreviate it. But that wasn’t a problem, and I owe the domains http://www.thrubooks.com and http://www.thrubook.com for a long time already, so I must admit I’m a bit of a clairvoyant.

As soon as they’re out, I will notify you and of course, I hope you will buy them. They are very cheap, only $1  /  0,79, so this will be the bargain of the year, if you are looking for some serious and beautiful astral soul food for you and your kid(s).

More photos: most of them taken with iPhone

Look close, that’s Jeroen (John) on top of the rock.

Our house and garden.

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