New Home – New Life – Retirement

Well here I am! Been talking about it and planning it for three years, but never really thought it would happen!
I’m RETIRED!
In my head I thought I’d leave the US in a blaze of glory. I’d planned on hosting a leaving party at my local bar for a few close friends, but COVID came along and stopped that!
The two wonderful folks I supported at Western Union, hosted a small, safe, socially distancing party, which was absolutely wonderful. I was able to say goodbye to a few close friends who’d made a difference in my life. I had to fight back the tears as they said lovely things about me…were they really talking about me? I almost stood up and said STOP, I’ve changed my mind…I’m staying, but here I am, thousands of miles away in Southern Italy.
I miss my daughter, and I miss my friends, but I know they understand I needed a quieter, more relaxed life. I’m very lucky to be able to follow my dreams.
More stories to come.

Pre-Flight NERVES!

It is August 25th today, and two day before I fly to my new home in Italy! Of course my suitcase is overweight because of the things I forgot to send with the movers.
Two days before I fly and so far…my flight hasn’t been cancelled or rescheduled with impossible connections. (yet)
I’m nervous though!
I know I have to wear a mask, obvious, I always wear one when I leave the house. Now I have to take a plentiful supply because I have to change my mask every four hours on the international flight.
Also, the cabin crew can’t help my stow my carry on luggage in the overhead compartment. Makes sense, they have to consider their own safety and touch as little as possible. Yes, I had to re-pack my carry on to make it light enough for me to lift over my head.
I have two suitcases when I’m only allowed one. The second is much heavier than I’m allowed.
Instead of make up in my liquids baggie, I have disinfectant and hand sanitizer.
I have to take food on the plane with me, no guarantee I’ll be fed on the domestic leg of my journey.
Along with all of this, I worry about COVID.
I’ve never travelled through Amsterdam before so that airport is unfamiliar to me. My normal route is Denver/Frankfurt/Rome. This time its Denver/Atlanta/Amsterdam/Rome.
Did I mention I was nervous?
Pray for me everyone.

14 Days

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Counting the days until I sit in this little piazza in a tiny village in Abruzzo. Can’t wait to enjoy a cappuccino in the bar after my morning walk. This little village that will be my forever home. I’m longing to see it again and see the folks who live there. No cheek kissing for a while, but I’ll still feel their warmth as they welcome me back to stay.
My worldly possessions and treasures are there, including my husband. He quarantined for a week after his long journey from Colorado, then took a COVID test and yes…it was negative. Today he ventured out with friends and bought a car. It’s all becoming real.
In 14 days I’ll follow him. The same ugly route with two plane changes because flights from the US to Italy are few and far between right now.

14 days and counting!

Evening Calm

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One of the great things about today was I actually needed to set my alarm to wake me up at 7:00 am! That may sound nothing to most of you, but I normally rise and shine at 5:15, so actually sleeping to 7:00 am is quite an achievement.
We spent a beautiful day on a pontoon boat on a Grand Lake in the Rocky Mountains. It was a perfect, sunny beautiful day. Everyone laughed and talked, drank a little wine, shared stories. If only life were always so relaxed and simple.
Now, I’m sitting on the patio of a great rental home in Fraser watching the world fall asleep.
Life is good

Shedding my Stress

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The last six weeks have been incredibly stressful. Making an International move during a pandemic isn’t the easiest thing to do.
On Friday July 31st, we left our home of 22 years for the very last time. It was no longer a home, just a house, an empty shell. The lovely couple who bought it will make it their home now. They were excited and full of plans and ideas…all I have now are memories.
Exhausted, and still stressed, we checked into the airport hotel. After a “bon voyage” dinner with my daughter and son in law, we had an early night. My husband’s flight was at 6:30 the following morning. A flight to Rome that filled us with trepidation. Fear of catching COVID on the way. Fear of being refused entry to Italy, even though we’re residents…so much fear.
Still trying to relax, I headed up to the Rocky Mountains with my daughter, son in law, and their pups (Queen Tess and Fendi).
We drank wine, had some good food and watched lovely sunsets, but I couldn’t relax until I knew my husband had arrived safely in Abruzzo.
Finally, yesterday morning, my cell phone rang and the number displayed was “Lester Italian”.
“I’m in Pescara, I made it.”
Pescara was the last leg of his journey before he picked up the rental car and drove to our home in Colledimezzo. Now he must quarantine, and then be tested for COVID, but I’m not worried about that so much. My gut tells me he’s okay!
Now, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, I can finally shed my stress and count the days until I join him.

Bundle of Cuteness

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I was miserable yesterday. It rained and stormed all day. Oppressive! Made me sad!
I texted my daughter to ask he how her day was going and she responded with a photo…it’s Queen Tess! Made me smile! Also made me remember I’ve been distracted from the Children’s story I’m writing about this bundle of cuteness.

Just Let me Fly

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To my friends my retirement plans appear to have gone smoothly. Things just fell into place!
They weren’t back stage watching me manage contractors across the Atlantic. Rising at 5:00 am, translating emails, working with furniture stores, banks, Realtors and trying to understand how to get things done the Italian way.
Luckily for me, the folks in our new village are wonderful, kind, helpful people. We couldn’t have done this without them.
“Oh things have gone so easily for you”
NO! It has taken perseverance.
Now we’re in the final chapter. House sold, furniture donated or sold. This final piece of the puzzle should have been easy. Book a flight and “hey presto” we’re on our way to Italy!!!
Not quite! Thank you Mr. Trump, for not being a great leader, actually for not being a leader at all.
Thank you for making Americans unwelcome in Europe! Luckily for us we have Italian residency and UK passports, but getting a flight from the US to Italy is almost impossible. We’ve had two cancelled already.
This isn’t the fault of Delta Airlines, who have been outstanding and helped us through this mess. I rebooked my flight for the third time yesterday, thanks to the great travel agents at American Express. They went above and beyond to help me. Lets hope the third time is a charm.
It isn’t COVID 19 that is bringing the USA to its knees. It is the way it is being handled, or should I say, not handled. Please Mr. Trump, in your last few months as President, show some compassion and decency to the folks of country you promised to “make great again.”

Sleepy Village

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Days are slipping away. I sit sipping my cappuccino and reflecting on my life. We are soon to leave our Colorado home of over 20 years. Actually it’s not even ours anymore, we’re tenants now, until we move out on August 1st. The house is sold to a wonderful couple who fell in love with it, just the way we did all those years ago. Every window has a view, mountains, trees, deer, sunsets. I know they’ll while away the evenings on the deck, watching the sunset, listening to the silence of dusk after the birds decide to slumber.
I’ve never tired of this house, or the view, but I have grown tired of the busy American lifestyle. I love my job, and the folks I work with. I’ll miss my friends, but the years seem to be flying by. Wish my daughter was moving with me, but she’ll visit. I’m ready to take life at a slower pace in a sleepy little village called Colledimezzo!

Having a Misty Moment

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I woke up this morning with anxiety! It’s June 20th.
In less than two months I’ll walk through the front door of my home for the last time.  My home of over 20 years! In  less than three months I’ll leave my job and board a plane, leaving the country I’ve lived in for over 25 years.
Can’t deny my blood pressure and stress level are pretty high right now.
I’ve done this before, why is it so stressful this time?
Maybe because I’m retiring too!
Also because my daughter will not be coming with me. She’s grown up and married with a life of her own. She’ll aways need me, I’m her mum, but I’ll always be there for her. It will just take me a little longer to be by her side.
This old house is empty.
My treasures, the things I can’t live without, are on a ship bound for Naples.
My memories are in my heart.
My daughter will visit and enjoy her new retreat in the beautiful green countryside of Abruzzo.
I’m just having a misty moment.
It will pass.

Staying Alive – 2020

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It has been a bumpy year! Who’d have thought we’d be fighting a pandemic, along with all of the other trials and tribulations this year has brought. I’m not naming any, because we’re all sick and tired of hearing about them.
Through all of this mess, I’ve sold a house, sent my personal possessions to Italy and sold most of my furniture. Not an easy task, but one that had to be done.
This sixty three year old heart has had palpitations. This sixty three year old brain has been working overtime, and keeping me awake. Sometimes I wondered if I’d make it to Italy.
Now, we’re almost there. I have a “final day” at work on the calendar, flights aren’t booked yet, but will be soon.
I look at the picture of my retirement village and it keeps me alive. Three months from now, I’ll be there….

Staying alive!

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