More Time to Walk!

I was lucky enough to work for a great company before I retired. Loved the people I worked with and miss them terribly, but I was always juggling my time. When COVID hit and we began to work from home it was even more difficult because mornings ran into lunchtime, afternoons ran into evenings and before I knew it the day was over.
Weekends came and went in a flurry of paying bills, cooking, shopping and before I had time to rest it was Monday again. Of course it was even more frantic for me towards the end of my working career because we were selling our home too.
Now I’m finally retired, and living in Italy. My time is my own. A few chores, maybe a little laundry…then I can go for a walk, read, write (I will get that book finished eventually).
The other amazing thing is, I really don’t have many bills to pay. I lived in the US for 25 years and seemed to be constantly shelling out money. Property tax, gas bills, electric bills, homeowners insurance, car insurance, umbrella insurance, the list seemed endless. I hadn’t realized how expensive it was to live in America until I left. Of course I still have bills to pay, but not many.
Now I spend more time in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes. I walk daily, sometimes twice. My joy of photography has been reawakened.
At the moment, I’m restricted because of COVID, but next year at some point, road trips will be possible. Short breaks visiting different areas. Hopefully I’ve got ten good years in me before I’m decrepit, so I’ll make the most of them, retirement is a good thing. If anyone reading this is contemplating retiring early, do it!
Now I just need my daughter to visit and things will be good! Go away COVID and let us live again!!!

The Taste of Christmas

I woke up this morning feeling out of sorts. Grumpy, headache, just generally off! It was the first day of a new lockdown. When we moved to Italy we planned to travel and explore, not thinking COVID would last this long. Travel is on hold of course. The local businesses have a bigger problem. Lock down is crippling them. It has to be done though. New cases were increasing.
I made a pizza for lunch, worst pizza I’ve ever made, and I’ve made a lot. I kept telling myself to snap out of it, but it didn’t work.
Around 3:00 pm (still feeling grumpy), I walked up too the piazza to catch the vegetable van. My spirits were lifted a little as I chatted to friends in the village and breathed the fresh air (with a hint of woodsmoke).
The vegetable van turned up and I couldn’t resist buying a big bag of mandarins. Freshly picked, leaves still attached. I headed home with a smile on my face, Colledimezzo does that to you. The mandarins looked so good I peeled and ate one as soon as I got home. It tasted just like Christmas.

Retirement Riches

No I’m not talking about money! I’m talking about getting a full eight hours sleep, not having heartburn caused by stress anymore. I’m talking about having the time to enjoy hobbies that had fallen by the wayside. All of these things make me feel rich.
I woke up this morning at 8:00 am. That is AMAZING! After a leisurely coffee, I showered and then popped up to the pharmacy for some new masks…yes unfortunately COVID numbers are rising so I want to make sure I have an adequate supply. I stopped by the village shop for a couple of things I needed, and then back home in time to get ready for lunch with our good friends at a wonderful local restaurant. The food is so good here!
Came home and baked, it was raining outside, baking seemed like a good thing to do. Shared my baked goods with our Italian friends, which made me nervous because their cooking is so excellent. They invited me to stay for a cocktail and some good conversation.
Perfect day! Now I’m relaxing and doing whatever I like.
Priceless!

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!

Wasting Energy on WORK!

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Oh dear me! I’m tired, exhausted, I need some ENERGY!
It’s February and cold.
Not much daylight, and yes, I am getting old.
I rise at 5:15 am and stretch, not sure I’d get through the day without stretching those limbs. I lift light weights fifteen minutes and use the step machine for a little while too.
Then its shower, coffee, yoghurt, granola and off to work!
The day is a blur of calls, meetings, invoices…….you know, I think thats the problem. I feel fine in the morning, but that thing called work is sapping my energy.
I think I need to give it up!

This crazy little thing called retirement (Part 8) Vasto – the confirmation

 

We spent one more night in Atessa. After our huge lunch, we couldn’t eat another bite, but we wandered through the beautiful little town one more time. Cocktails completed the evening.

The next morning we set off to meet Monia, our realtor, in San Buono. Google managed to get us on a road that didn’t exist, and I was terrified we’d never be seen again, but we made it. San Buono was a pretty little village, but the apartment we went to view wasn’t a patch on the house in Colledimezzo. From San Buono, we followed Monia to Celezna. Celezna was slightly bigger than the other villages we’d looked in. The hill it was on was much higher, and the views were breathtaking. The house, on the edge of the village, had a terrace which boasted views of the Adriatic. Tempting, but not tempting enough to turn our heads. We’d already found what we were looking, our mind was made up! We stopped in a small coffee bar and told Monia we’d made our decision and wanted to make an offer on the house in Colledimezzo. Then we cheek kissed Italian style and went our separate ways. She had other clients to see, and we were heading to Vasto for our final night.

Vasto was a beautiful surprise, as was the Residenze Amblingh where we spent our final night. The photos I’ve posted are just a few to tempt you to come back next week and read about our afternoon and evening in Vasto. It may be my favorite town in Italy!

Lazy Sunny Afternoon – The Tax Man

Staying with the old tunes. Starting my Sunday with so many chores to do, made me think of this song. Always thought it was Lazy Sunday Afternoon. It is actually Lazy Sunny Afternoon…oh well, it won’t be lazy.

I’d breeze through my chores when I was twenty, or even ten years younger…or five for that matter, but now, they don’t seem so important anymore. I get distracted with things I really want to do.

Yes, I was young when the Kinks recorded this song. Now, not so much. Still enjoy it though. It’ll be in my head all day today.

When I could SLEEP!

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When did sleep become such a rare commodity? When I got old I suppose!
I remember the days I could sleep until noon. Saturday nights at a night club, Sunday mornings in bed, woken up by the smell of mum’s Sunday roast cooking in the oven. Those were the days.
Now, if I’m lucky enough to get to sleep within an hour of going to bed. I’m awake at 4:00 AM and gremlins crawl into my brain. They wake up my stress areas and make me think about things I don’t want to.

Life was much better when I could sleep!

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