July 4th, 2020



It's the 4th of July today but we aren't celebrating. We had tentative plans to attend a social distancing picnic with the AWC at the beach, but the weather and pandemic fears caused it to be cancelled anyway. It's been raining steadily all day, an unending downpour in various degrees of severity from drizzle to hard-enough-to-bounce off the asphalt. Ah well, the lawn needed the water.

Despite the rain, we were super busy today. Anders was up and out of the house before 8 am to fetch a rented trailer van and as soon as he came back we filled it up with furniture and various bags of stuff to go to charity and then filled the rest of the trailer with garbage/recycling to go to the dump.

I don't know how the dumps/recycling centers are where you live, but they are VERY organized here. There is a container for everything and signs telling you exactly what you can put in each of them, and staff to check that you aren't being willfully stupid or contrary by throwing things any old place. There was even a double container for furniture and other donations but the woman there looked over our stuff and rejected it all. :D

We ditched, finally, the mattress and box springs from the American double bed that I bought BEFORE I met Anders, back in Chicago (the antique black walnut frame is in the attic, now). The bed moved from our room to Karin's and then was languishing in Martin's room. Since all the bed sizes are totally different here, we couldn't get a replacement mattress that fit; it was time to say goodbye. It makes me sad because I LOVED that bed. I know putting it in the attic was stupid, because it will probably never come down from there again until we move/die, but I still couldn't bear to part with the headboard and footboard. The mattress and box springs went into a specific container designated for those "and sofas". There were containers for wood, cardboard, garden waste, electronics, chemicals, plastic, you name it.

We pitched everything that was for the dump and then headed to a huge charity shop that takes donations, in Lund, where we dropped off the furniture and other various bags and boxes of miscellaneous stuff that I'd been gathering during the course of the year, to donate to the annual Flyinge flea market that usually takes place in August. I suspect, though we haven't actually heard anything, that it will be cancelled this year, due to COVID. The charity shop was hopping, full of people, only two of whom had masks on. We were pretty much in and out, after handing over our stuff. Too many people in one place is freaky nowadays.

Then we drove to a different part of Lund and picked up a bed for Karin (one of Anders' colleagues gave it to her when he moved back to Germany), plus a huge mirror and shoe shelf for her room. So, the bed she had in HER room, which was actually MARTIN'S bed, is now back in his room. It was musical beds for a bit, there, and not in any sketchy way. Now I'm trying to organize Martin's room and clean it up, since the moving of stuff caused chaos (Karin also got rid of her dresser, and since she doesn't yet have a replacement, her clothes are in HIS, plus several bags all over the place).

Good thing I didn't have any plans today, eh?

Then I called and talked to my mom and sister for a bit. My grandmother is still hanging on, but they expect the end will come any time now. :(

I've also spent quite a bit of time today investigating ways to get our stimulus checks deposited. I went to our bank office on Thursday after work only to find out they will not accept ANY foreign checks whatsoever and haven't for years. Then I went down the street to the other bank that I had been told MIGHT accept/cash them. The woman I talked to told me that...well, maybe, but the whole thing is currently up for discussion in their upper management since they are now getting so many inquiries from people about these. She said I should first call the IRS (!) and make sure I was entitled to the check, which, ...what? Give me a break. Because it was in the news that the IRS actually did send out checks in error and was recalling them (though not from people like me). And then, if the answer was yes, I could choose to come back and they would cash the check...to the tune of 1500 SEK and several weeks of waiting while they apparently MAIL IT BACK TO THE US FOR VERIFICATION. And if it is refused, you don't get the fee refunded. So.

I had also heard that Paypal might be an option and apparently it is...if you are in the US or have your account attached to a US bank. After quite a bit of mucking about with Paypal's website and their app it appears that their service won't work for us. Last attempt is to see if I can deposit it with my American credit union account via their mobile app. Fingers crossed! I have to call them next week to get help because I don't have all the info I need here. Karin got her letter on Friday, with her name, her address and the country we live in all misspelled, so who knows if it will work for her to sign over the check to me so I can deposit it at my credit union as well, or whether we have to request a new check for her from the IRS.

Now, we're going to go finish up our Independence Day Saturday by watching a movie about a real American hero: Mr. Rogers.

Happy 4th to you all!