The move to a new apartment this month added to the stress of dealing with my stalled German citizenship application, having less than two months left to plan a bar mitzvah, and juggling all of the usual “back to school” issues.  We have downsized from our luxurious (by our standards) 120 square meter flat in a classic Altbau to a 96 square meter flat in a mammoth orangey-mustard eyesore of a building directly across the street from an S-Bahn station.  Now that I’ve scrubbed the place clean, unpacked and organized, and made two trips to Ikea, I can say that it’s starting to feel cozy, but that doesn’t apply to the vastly downsized bed I now have to share with my 6’3”, 230 pound husband who our new landlord has dubbed “the bear from Montana.”

At least my emotional temperature has gone down a few notches since my last blog post.  I’ve added two new documents to my citizenship file (thanks to the Holocaust Claims Processing Office in New York!), received an offer of help from a Jewish attorney who lives in my neighborhood, had a lengthy discussion about my citizenship application with a reporter, and had a few good cries at inappropriate moments. I feel renewed hope that my citizenship will come through, but after nearly 16 months of waiting I still can’t see the finish line.

Now that our family has returned to a state of semi-equilibrium (we have a happy 8th grader, 7th grader, and 2nd grader!), it’s time for some more fun.  Olivia turns 12 next week and we are taking her to Dresden this weekend with friends to stay overnight in the Schloss Eckberg.  While she is transformed to a princess for a day, I’m hoping to catch some of the residual pixie dust in the air and bring it back to Berlin.  At least the weekend getaway will be a good tension tamer and should help me to face whatever new set of challenges lies ahead.

Schloss Eckberg