COVID COVID GO AWAY

For a whole week we’ve enjoyed open restaurants, shopping and long lazy lunches in the local restaurants.
No self certification forms were necessary because the region of Abruzzo was in the yellow zone and this was allowed. Our local bar was open until 6:00 pm, which was wonderful because we were able to talk to people again. Yes we were hiding behind masks and keeping our distance, but it was so nice to feel almost normal. Glad we went out for lunch today, it may be our last chance until March 5th.
As we left the restaurant in Villa Santa Maria (we were the only customers), Mario, the lovely man who owns the place thanked us and told us that we’d be his last “in house” customers for a while. How will these businesses survive?
I’m sad, but not complaining. I understand that we need to eliminate this virus. Masks, distancing and vaccine, along with a semi lockdown should do the trick…we hope. This terrible virus cannot be allowed to take hold of Italy the way it did in Spring. Maybe, just maybe we can get it under control by the Summer. I long to wander along the beautiful Abruzzo beaches. I’m desperate for my daughter to visit. We have this lovely (300 year old) new home that is begging for her laughter.
We’re lucky to be here, some people are less fortunate. Every day I count my blessings, but also mourn the loss of freedom.
Stay safe everyone, and be patient.

Abruzzo Orange Zone

Thank heavens for my beautiful surroundings! It will help me remain calm.
Last night I learned that the region of Abruzzo has been bumped up from the Zona Gialla (Yellow Zone) to Zona Arancione (Orange Zone). This means bars and restaurants must remain closed and we can’t travel out of our municipality without a good reason and the relevant documentation. Abruzzo boasts very low COVID cases, but they are rising faster than they should.
This morning we went shopping fairly early. We drove to Oasi in Lanciano and bought enough food to keep us going for the next two or three weeks. I am happy to report we didn’t see anyone filling their trolleys with toilet rolls. In fact everyone was buying just what they needed. No panic buying or emptying shelves. What a refreshing change. On the way home we stopped off at a local cantina and purchased a couple of 5 liter boxes of local wine (Pecorino), wouldn’t be good to run out of wine during a lockdown.
This evening I joined my friends at “Bar for You” in the Piazza because after today it will be closed until the number of new cases falls. Lovely evening with lots of laughter, and a few tears. How will these local bars and restaurants survive? I’m sure they struggle as it is. My heart goes out to them.
Let’s hope the new outbreak of COVID is controlled soon and things can be as close to normal as possible for Christmas. After a grueling year we all need something to look forward to.
Stay safe everyone.

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.