24 Days to go!

Spring

Yes I’m counting. My stomach is in knots. Can’t wait to see the lovely new kitchen and start buying furniture for my our new home in the small sleepy village in Abruzzo.

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The Folks of Abruzzo

Villa-Santa-Maria-5Four weeks today, yes I’m still counting. I get weekly emails from my amazing contractors in Abruzzo, showing me the progress of my kitchen, my lovely staircase, and of course my new gas boiler. This may be oh so boring to some folks, but these emails keep me going through the long winter days at work.

I can’t believe how friendly the village folks from Colledimezzo are. I now have an English-speaking contact there. A wonderful gentleman who lives close to our new home. It may be our new home, but the old stone building is probably hundreds of years old. Some things are worth waiting for, and this is one of them. I can’t wait to become “one of the folks of Abruzzo”

Colledimezzo

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The warmth of the folks in Colledimezzo is amazing. I was sent this photo today in a message on Facebook. It’s from one of the only English-speaking people in the village. I was given his name as a helpful contact, and in his very first message he welcomed me, said how happy he was I’d made contact and sent me this beautiful photo of the village. I wish I were there now.

Vasto – Abruzzo – Italy

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Amblingh Residence – Vasto – Abruzzo

Going over photos from my last visit to Italy, I found this! The view we enjoyed while we ate our last breakfast in Italy after our whirlwind house buying visit. This photo was taken from the breakfast room of the beautiful Amblingh Residence in the gorgeous sea-side town of Vasto. I’ve added it to my list of favorite places. It was the epitome of Italy. Beautiful beaches, restaurants with tables outside, high up on a cliff and overlooking the turquoise waters of the Adriatic. By day the gentle waves reflected golden sunlight. By night a bejeweled coastline.

Any doubts I had about spending our money on a retirement home in Abruzzo were dispelled as I ate delicious local breakfast breads, washed down with cappuccino and soaked in the view with a background of Italian conversation.

Check the link above to discover the best place to stay in Vasto. Can’t believe I want more people to discover this beautiful old town. Instinct tells me to keep it to myself, but it’s just too good not to share.

My Italian Kitchen

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No, this isn’t my kitchen, but I want the preparation for my first meal to look like this. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that back in August of 2017, I made a trip to Abruzzo with my daughter, to look at a place to buy. I made arrangements to view five houses while we were there. Three in Colledimezzo, one in Celezna and one in San Buono. In November my daughter flew back for the closing and we are now the proud owners of Via Badia No. 1 in Colledimezzo, or lovingly know to me as “The Old Olive Mill”.

The house is a beautiful stone building and has never been lived in because it is in fact a beautifully renovated olive mill. Anyway…since January the contractors, recommended to me by our wonderful Realtor Monia Di Guilmi, have been hard at work. Maurizio, the carpenter, send me photos of the kitchen yesterday. It looks amazing. I was so excited I wanted to immediately jump on a plane and shake his hand. In less than two months we’ll be there.

I’ve been managing contractors long distance, and I have to say I’m incredibly impressed. We’ve had the electricity connected and a gas line run to the house. All with the help of Google Translate and some very helpful people. Vincenzo has been amazing. Not sure exactly what he does, but my realtor refers to him as “The Engineer” and then there is Franco the builder.

When we get to meet up with these folks, we owe them all a drink! I feel like my new home has been built on friendship and love! Can’t wait to call it home.

 

Sandra Thompson’s 61 Birthday

Great!
Like I need a reminder!
I get home from a rough day at work and unlock my computer to check my emails and what pops up?

Sandra Thompson’s 61st Birthday is tomorrow!

Couldn’t they turn it around? Couldn’t I be just 16?
No that wouldn’t do at all. I had no eyebrows when I was sixteen. I’d shaved them off because David Bowie didn’t have any and I was (and still am) his biggest fan. He’s gone now of course, on a new adventure. I hope I see him again some day.
If I was 16 I wouldn’t have my beautiful daughter, I can’t imagine a life without her smile.

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I’d not have met my eccentric, quirky husband.

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Hey 61 is middle-aged now. I have a few years ahead of me still, and I intend to cram lots of good things into them.

I might be 61, but I’m not dead yet.

The R Word

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For years retirement seems to be a long way away. Something you NEVER need to think about. Then all of a sudden you’re in your sixties. You still enjoy good health, but don’t quite have the energy you used to. Retirement is constantly on your mind because you don’t want to be too old to enjoy it.

All of those questions pop into your head.

“Do I have enough money?” being the biggest one!

Most folks don’t even save for retirement until they’re in their forties, if at all. Saving for retirement means admitting we’ll get old one day and none of us want to face that fact.

Let me tell you this, I’ve never thought about retirement so much as I have these past six months. Now, I believe I’m looking forward to it. Am I scared? Yes! I’ve brought in a pay check my whole life. What is it going to feel like when I don’t?

I have a pension, but will it last me until I die? What if something comes up that takes all of my money? There’s certainly a lot to consider.

There is also one other BIG thing to consider too. Death isn’t reversible so retire before it happens, and enjoy your golden years doing what you want to do!

2017 – The Incredible Journey

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Christmas is almost here and the year almost over. What an incredible year it’s been. I spent last Christmas in England with friends and family. Took a trip down memory lane. The New Years Eve fireworks in London were amazing.

July took me to Naples, Capri and the Amalfi coast. My yearning for a better, slower life in Italy became overwhelming.

August found me in Abruzzo looking at homes and discovering a beautiful area I’d never visited before. The Chieti province of Abruzzo is bursting with beautiful scenery in its perfect position between the mountains and the Adriatic. Sitting on a hilltop is Colledimezzo, my second home.

It’s a long time since I was this excited about anything. My whole family shares that excitement. Now from afar, I’m conducting an orchestra of contractors who are putting the final touches to our new family home. With the help of Monia, our realtor, we’re turning a lifetime of dreams into a future reality.

It may be a while before I retire, but I’m looking forward to it now. The year of 2017  turned out to be an incredible journey.

Happy New Year to everyone. Make your dreams come true!

Decisions!

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I’m not wishing my life away, but I am yearning to be in Abruzzo. I want to sip my morning Cappuccino and think, shall I drive to the mountains today? Or shall I dip my toes in the Adriatic?

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Me in the Middle

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I’m the one in the middle. Always ready to laugh, always ready for fun. As a kid I was ALWAYS in trouble. I turn every situation into a story.

Other than my family, the important things in my life are writing and visiting Italy. I  finally realized my Italian dream and bought a house in the small village of Colledimezzo, which is in the Chieti province of Abruzzo. I’m just as pleased as punch. I have another dream to fulfill now, to make it as a writer.

My second book, Ghosts on the Sand, is almost finished. I’m working on the last short story in this compilation. It’s called “The Engineer” and is a tongue in cheek black comedy set in Italy. Watch out for my new book and help me achieve my writing dream. Who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it.

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