I was going to call this segment “Terms and Conditions” because when The Shaker told me that we had the opportunity to live abroad I came up with my own “terms and conditions.” But honestly, the decision was made over a martini … are you surprised?
Our family was given tickets to see the ice hockey team, the Carolina Hurricanes. I picked the girls up from school (they were 7 and 9 years old at the time) and drove them to The Shaker’s office. We were told that he was in a meeting with one of “the big guys” and would be done shortly.
From here we went to The Texas Steakhouse for a quick meal. When the waitress, who was a little over 18 years old, asked us what we wanted to drink, I asked for a glass of Merlot. The Shaker, leaned over to me and said, “Umm, you might want something a little more stronger than that.” I immediately turned to the this young lady and said, “I would like to change that to a Bombay Sapphire martini with 2 olives, please.” I will never forget how by asking for a simple martini could frightened this poor girl have half way to her death. Not to mention the shock on Gin and Vermouth’s little faces. I remember seeing the look on Gin’s face, “Mommy doesn’t have martinis until after we go to bed; it’s not my bed time!” Immediately after the waitress’* departure, I turned to my husband and said, “For the love of God and all that is holy, please tell me you have a job!” (His company was currently “reorganizing”). This was his response: “Yes, but not in this country.”
Already, The Shaker had been traveling about once a month back and forth to Amsterdam. So I said, “Are we moving to Holland???” Now, I should say this, it took me about 4 hours to agree to move from the San Francisco Bay Area to Raleigh, North Carolina. I really don’t know what my problem was over that move, because I really like the Raleigh-Durham area. I met Olive there! Need I say more?
But I digress … I made this decision to move to Holland in under 30 seconds and without my martini … it arrived soon after.
The next morning The Shaker went to work and met with the man who was in his office the day before. They had a routine meeting and afterwards The Shaker said he wanted to discuss his decision. The boss, who is Dutch, was a little startled by The Shaker telling him of his decision to move to Holland so quickly. The Shaker said this about me to him, “When Sarah makes a decision and it’s yes, you go with it! You don’t wait for explanations.” And this statement is still true to this day.
|This is us on Family Hockey Day|
2009 at the girls' hockey club.
We were part of a team was called
"Team Gin and Tonic."
We came in 2nd to last.
This was March 2004 and the terms of The Shaker’s contract was 3- 5 years and the plans were to return to the United States after this. I thought, at the time, you have a contract and I want one too. I asked to have a beach house at the Outer Banks and to travel to Barcelona, Spain. Officially, we have been here in The Netherlands for 7-1/2 years. We arrived in July 2004 on the morning of The Shaker’s birthday. I do not have a beach house (yet) and as we have seen many wonderful places here in Europe, we still have not been to Barcelona. Gin is demanding that this happen soon – very soon!
The Martini Knitter
*A note to that young waitress, if you are reading this, you brought me the perfect martini. I sincerely hoped I said thank you