Smile through the Bumps!

It looks pretty idyllic doesn’t it? It is, even on a bad day, but life has still it’s little bumps!
My broken wrist, even though it’s healing, is really taking it’s toll. The cast is heavy and tiring to carry around all of the time. I’m limited what I can wear because even buttons are a challenge. Shoe laces, forget about it! On the bright side I’m learning to do a lot more with one hand. However fastening a bra does not come into that category!!! Nor does driving. How I miss exploring new places…and shopping.

I can still walk and enjoy these amazing views. In a little over two weeks my cast will be off and I’ll throw myself into the Christmas spirit and prepare for my daughter’s visit. Oh, and three wonderful days in Rome.

I’ll leave a little poem to cheer you up!

Smile: A Poem by Spike Milligan
Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!

Friendship Window

My Friendship Window

I spend a great deal of time in my kitchen. It’s a beautiful, bright airy room…and I love to cook. Our home is built into the side of a steep hill. The two sets of glass doors at the front of my kitchen open to a balcony with a spectacular view of the green wooded hills of Colledimezzo.

The ancient door at the back is even more special. It’s a large, and very old Dutch door, so I can open a small portion and watch people pass by. I’ve christened it my friendship window, because those passers by have become my friends.

As I relax over my morning coffee, I watch the villagers climb the stone steps from the lower part of historic Colledimezzo before stopping to rest on the flat area outside my door. We chat for a while, and then they continue their climb to the piazza.

My friendship window makes me very happy!

Christmas has passed

In the blink of an eye its gone! The tree remains until Epiphany as is the tradition, but Christmas day has passed us by. It was busy with cooking, but calm. Nice to spend it with friends and glad we had friends we could spend it with.
We’re in Abruzzo and a long way from our daughter in Colorado, but she called us, and was happy. She was with her husband and they’d been skiing. Had she been miserable it would have torn us apart.
Now it is “Il giorno di Santa Stefano” in Italy, which is a holiday! The village is quiet other than the sound of the church bells.
It’s also my late mother’s Birthday. I miss her.
What to do today? I think I’ll potter around the house and faff! Yes, when you retire, there is time to faff! No sunshine today, gloomy and cloudy. Maybe a good day to catch up on the children’s book I’m writing, learn a little more Italian and then maybe watch TV and relax.
Life passes by so quickly. You’re young and then suddenly…you’re retired.
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas even if you were alone.

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!!!

Soothing the Troubled Mind

I’ve retired to one of the most beautiful places in the world. Unspoiled natural beauty. I’m surrounded by caring, friendly people, but every now and then and my troubles surface. The COVID numbers terrify me and I miss my daughter in Colorado. Yesterday my heart ached to see her so bad I contemplated just booking a flight and showing up on her doorstep. I took a long walk to think things through. Flying back to the US would be silly, a risk! I was unsettled because Italy is on a partial lockdown. I felt trapped! The walk helped clear my mind. This will pass!
COVID won’t “magically disappear”, but it will be controlled eventually, and life will return to normal. Let’s hope the new normal is a friendlier and more compassionate place.

Life is a confusing battle!

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Do we all have this constant battle? I know I do, you make a decision because it feels right, then your head says “No, wait!”

Oh my goodness, you can go around in circle for hours, days, weeks!
As I get older I let my heart win a little more, I feel as though I have less to lose. I’ve refrained from things that just don’t make logical sense, even if they feel right, not all of the time but probably 75%.

We moved to the US from England because it felt right, that was a biggie. Raising a child in a country we didn’t know so well. It worked out well, there were battles, but we have a strong, confident, successful daughter.

I didn’t quit work to be a full time author because my brain stopped me.
“You need to stay at work and earn money, keep your health insurance, save for your future.” I’m not sure if that was the right decision or not, but I don’t think I suffered from it.

Now I need to work on doing things my heart tells me to do. It’s telling me I should retire before my health suffers, it’s also telling me that the altitude of living in Colorado isn’t good for me. So I’m listening. In the not too distant future I’m retiring to Italy with my husband. We’ll enjoy the oxygen of living at sea level and the tranquility of village life. Good food, good wine and good folks.

Now my brain still struggles because my daughter lives in Colorado, but my heart knows she’s married to a good man and doesn’t need me anymore.

Maybe for once in my life my heart and brain are working together.

I hope so!

The Old Olive Mill in Colledimezzo

An old stone building in a quaint old village. From the moment I set eyes on it, I knew it was special. A building that had been restored with loving care. In years gone by, it produced olive oil. From now on, it’s going to produce happiness and lots of laughter.

It’s my new home in Italy and I can’t wait to share it with friends and family.

The Old Olive Mill in Colledimezzo!

Dance Like theres no Tomorrow!

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When I was in my late twenties, and a young mother, I had to live with my parents for a couple of months while I waited for the army to accommodate me. My husband was in the Falkland Islands and I had a young daughter. I was resentful at losing my independence and wasn’t the best house guest!

One day, when my dad was out playing golf, I heard music in the living room. It wasn’t the type of music mum, who was almost 70, usually listened to. I opened the door quietly and peeped in to see what was going on. What I saw took my breath away and put a huge smile on my face.

My mum was jumping around the living room, swiveling her hips, shaking her arms and dancing as though her life depended on it. She had her back to me and never saw me watching her. Closing the door quietly I want to my little bedroom at the back of the house and left her to dance.

When I’m feeling down I remember that moment. My mum died over ten years ago, and I’m in my early sixties, but I’m going to live life like there’s no tomorrow and dance as long as I can.

 

Poor Old Girl reaches 60

Yes, that would be me! It seems like my 21st Birthday was yesterday. I lived in Blandford Dorset, newly married, life was new and exciting. My husband baked me a coconut cake while I was at work. He prepared it during his morning NAAFI break, put it in a cake tin, then went home and cooked it during his lunch break. Bless him! It was delicious.

My next big Birthday was 40! We lived in Parker Colorado. We’d only lived in the U.S. for two years, life was exciting. My husband took me to a great Italian restaurant called Pasta’s. It was wonderful!

Now here I am, SIXTY! I live in Franktown, Colorado. Love my home! Life is still exciting. My daughter and her husband took us to “The Old Stone Church” in Castle Rock. We drank champagne and had a lovely evening.

Not sure when my next big Birthday is…..maybe it will be when I hit 100!  I can tell you one thing for sure though, life will  still be exciting!birthday

Wotunny?

Grandma!

Wotunny?

I love you Grandma!

I love you too!

Wotunny is of course “what honey?”

My mum was born and raised in the North of England, and although not quite a Geordie, she was close. I used to make fun of her accent, but I miss it so much. She’d play tirelessly with my daughter when she was a little girl. They’d sit in their make-believe airplane (under the table) and pretend they were flying to Barbados. My mum was in her eighties at the time. It couldn’t have been comfortable sitting on the floor. She didn’t have much padding on her bones as she got older. I’d prepare dinner and smile as I listened to them talk.

Grandma!

Wotunny?

I love you!

I love you too pet!

Miss you mum!

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