Empty Nest

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The kids are gone, and the house is now empty.  It's just me and the cats again.  I may grinch and moan about things when the kids are around, but life is a lot more exciting when they are here.  I miss them both.

Krista went back to Canada, but it seems like she left half her stuff here.  Not sure if its because she couldn't fit it in the suitcase, or she forgot it all.  Regardless, I now have to mail these things back to her, which really isn't easy.  The trick is to send it in a way that Canadian customs won't charge her for it.  There is supposed to be something called "Free Trade" between Canada and the US, but it doesn't seem to exist.  Well, it does exist going from Canada to the US, but not the other way around. 

One Christmas I mailed a home made blanket to my then brother-in-law as a gift.  Not knowing what I was doing, they asked for a value and a description of the contents of the package.  I put "Christmas Present" and $50 as the value.  My wife (at the time) put a lot of effort into the blanket, nice material, etc. so the value wasn't unreasonable.  Canadian Customs made him pay an import duty of over $20 on the $50 gift.  Horrible!

Shortly thereafter, I had been in Canada visiting the In-laws, and we had bought some things to the point where we couldn't pack it all.  One was a painting from Newfoundland that cost $300.  We took all this down to the UPS store, boxed it up and shipped it home.  Values were accurately given for each box, so I was curious to see how much import duty the US would charge me, considering the value of this shipment was a whole lot more. 

Nothing.

Yep, nobody said a word and it didn't cost me anything other than the cost of actually shipping it home.  Free Trade.  That's a joke!  Free one way, not the other.  I didn't think it was supposed to work like that.  Somehow the US got the short end of the stick on that one....

I digress...

Nicole has gone back to OU, but at least I think she took everything with her.  Easier to do when you have a car to carry it all in.  And I think Nicole, like Krista, will be officially moved out come this summer.  She plans on renting a place starting in May, but at least she will then be able to take her cats!  Always a silver lining....

Life is back to a more stable routine now that everyone is gone.  I didn't write much when they were here, but hopefully I can't get back into that routine as well.



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