Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Italian Struggles

So there are actually four of us on this Italian journey of retirement.  The Stoic One, me, Joseph and Paul. After we bought our apartment in Umbertide, Joseph and Paul said it was their retirement dream to live in Italy too, and so they decided to buy an apartment and retire to Umbertide.  Each of us is having our own Italian retirement adjustment experience.

The four of us can all blame or credit this couple.

This is Edward, Lorraine and you know who. Several years ago, Lorraine told me she was looking at property in Italy to buy.  I said you're crazy, property in Italy is too expensive.  She said no, it isn't you just have to know where to look.  Then she told me one of her friends was applying for Italian citizenship, and the rest, as they say, is history.

So Lorraine and Edward were here over the week end to say good by.  We were both sad and nostalgic remembering the time we had worked together many years ago. We have been friends for 30 years. I told her it was her fault that I was moving to Italy.  She said, I never thought you would actually DO THIS.  Sigh.  So I am here in Ventura by myself with Mr. Luca. My adjustment continues to be learning patience and waiting.

In the meantime, the Stoic One is in Italy unloading our things.  First, the shocking news.  The delivery was supposed to happen at 8:30 Monday morning, and at 8:30 the semi truck showed up in the Piazza! The actual delivery is an epic story that needs a video.  Suffice it to say, everything arrived safely, and the Stoic one is busy unpacking.

Joseph is right, the room is now too crowded. Those yellow chairs are going to have to go into the living room.  The TV does not look as bad as I thought it would.  It doesn't look as big, thank god! Once we put the yellow chairs in the living room and put down a rug and buy some lamps, this room will be done!  That's one.

My sister will be happy to know that her bedroom furniture showed up in one piece.

It fits.  Hurrah!

So the four of us are having different journeys.  Paul is back in the US doing work.  He is a vet in San Francisco, and decided to come back for the month of August to work.  He wishes he were back in Italy. He has adjusted well to living in Italy, although is frustrated by the normal things.  He is from Michigan, like me and talks to everyone and has made many friends.  His interactions have been limited by his lack of language.  His Italian is slowly improving and he really wants to learn to speak it well. The language is Paul's struggle.

Joseph is missing me and Paul. He gets very frustrated with the "over promise under deliver" Italian style, but is working on acceptance. He keeps thinking that if he reiterates his expectations that will effect the outcome.  Needless to say.....Acceptance is still off in the future. It is his struggle.

I am still waiting for Oct. 1 to get there but trying to live in the moment and enjoy my time here. I have always been future oriented so it is so hard for me to be in this present moment.  I know that Italy will teach me that but it is VERY hard for me.  Being Here Now, as Ram Dass said, is my struggle.

The Stoic one is in Italy working his ass off unpacking. He is working on his Italian but doesn't seem to frustrated with himself.  He has always been in the moment and accepting.  I really don't know what his struggle is... Maybe the 3 of us?

Monday, August 5, 2013

A new house, not my home

So I am now in Ventura, California.  My sister lived here years ago when she ran away from home.  I don't think the town has changed much in the last 30 years.

We are here for two reasons, one to visit our family, including our sweet niece Elizabeth and her new baby, and two because I love the ocean. We are driving distance to both of those things.

This is Elizabeth and baby Maxwell. She is the calmest mother I have ever been around.  Do you think she gets that from her uncle The Stoic Once?  Here he is with her oldest son, Jackson.

Jackson looks a little worried but then he always looks a little worried.  The Stoic One looks like himself. Jackson will be two in November.  Maxwell is 6 weeks old....mamma mia...Did I say she was calm?  The father is a nervous wreck.  He says he has nightmares about Jackson falling off the pier. He wondered what his dream meant.  I responded, "You're worried about Jackson falling off the pier."  I can be profound when provoked.

Here is our sweet Mr. Luca....I must say he was not thrilled with the invasion of the little ones. Jackson loved Mr. Luca, Luca, not so much.  The father asked if there any way in the world that dog would bite my son.  "unlikely" I responded, and we both moved Jackson and the dog from one another.

 I think Luca wonders where his beer is.

We are staying in a truly American style home.  It is made totally of wood, and hand made by the owner.  It is in the shape of a hexagon.  I am sure this has geometrical significance to the builder.  It makes for interesting spaces and play of light.  We have a lovely view of the ocean and a very nice kitchen. The house is like Frank Lloyd Wright in the early days.  More emphasis on interest than comfort.  We have a bean bag to watch TV.  They still make those things, and the Stoic One and I can still get into it and more importantly out of it. The beds are home made and extremely comfortable. Not many doors in the house....closets have curtains which also reminds me of Italy.  

Mr. Luca is indifferent to the architectural beauty.  He has located his food dish and the little ones have left so he is relaxed again.

The door to this house, like Italian doors in Italy, is a thing of wonder.  I can not imagine this being anywhere but California in the 1970's. It is hard to tell but that is a spiral stained glass door. you can see the reflection in the floor.

And thus concludes another episode in "How to say Farewell".

Oh, the Stoic One broke his tooth, so we discovered a new dentist in this town.  We now have dentists in every town we have visited.  Do you think teeth breaking is part of stress?