Tuesday, June 29

isn't it ironic?

I'm almost laughing. I've spent the last few months moping around inside my head at the fact that I am leaving Italy. Outside I'm bursting really, and loving loving everyone around me. Here I write it out and so perhaps you've missed that part.

A year ago I wasn't happy with how things were going in Italy. I loved my family life, I loved the culture and our city, but I needed more. I hadn't bonded with anyone after two years and that frustrated me. I realized that if I were to leave then, no one would miss me and I'd hardly miss them. And I set out to change that.

I quit my job and dove back into Italian classes. I spent my free time working the beginning of friendships I had and left behind the ones that sapped my life. I reached out more and pushed myself harder. And it worked.

I got that heartache I was looking for. Am I sick somehow to want this? I feel torn apart at having to move away from my friends in Italy. I want to cling to them and see them everyday, share their joys and sorrow. Sometimes I feel I can't possibly move away.

But I also feel lucky and joyful. I love these people and I'm looking forward to that feeling of welcome and warmth when I return to this northern most town in northern Italy. I'm tearing myself out of that cocoon of sorrow that keeps wrapping up around me. Part of me wants to hide away and disappear... and I won't let myself do that anymore. I suppose that was something I did in high school. Friends carry too much value for me now, and not that I can't live without them, but I don't want to.

Wednesday, June 23

bye bye love

There's something so beautiful about saying goodbye to the people/places/times in our lives that have brought so much joy to it. Saying goodbye makes you reflect and really appreciate what has become such an integral part of your life that you've stopped thinking about it so much.

For me, it's many things at the moment. This beautiful city that beat me against closed doors for so long, and then finally showed me the side way in. Generous friends that didn't back down from the language barriers, who kept urging me to claw my way through. Gentle teachers that I found so abrasive from the start. And even the regular faces that took months to soften their expressions from scowls to kind recognition.

Saying goodbye makes me appreciate all the work that we have done to feel at home here. It really does feel like home, and I know that I will have a flood of good feelings come rushing back when we visit in the future.

And an especially sweet goodbye to a blogging friend who has recently passed. Bobbie was one of my biggest supporters and spread jewels of wisdom and beauty into my life. She always made note of the bright side of things. A woman much after my own heart. I will truly miss hearing her written voice. My sincere condolences go out to her family, especially her daughter Kitty.


Friday, June 11

hello from Trasloco

Sorry about my post yesterday. I generally avoid making apologies when it comes to posting (or not) here, but I think I let a little too much crazy show yesterday.

We're sorting this evening and it's going slowly. I'm still freaking out a little as Tuesday seem to be quickly approaching and more and more activities get crammed into the space between now and then. I need to collect my thoughts.

The shipping costs break down to $3.85/lb. With that figure in my head, I'm "weighing" carefully whether or not something stays or goes. Even things that I never questioned keeping before, like books are getting the boot now. National Geographics... bye bye. Egg, Dairy, Wheat Free Cooking... uh, see ya! I'm not looking forward to piling up the books from the library.

The kids are sorting too and started out really well. But then I started pulling things out of closets that they haven't seen in a while and suddenly the pile is growing. I think I'm going to have to make some cuts behind their backs. But I don't think it's fair for me to rank the importance of their things. I'm allowing things like the giant shark tooth shaped piece of drift wood that Punkone has had on his nightstand for the past two years...

I keep reminding myself how excessive everything seemed when it arrived here from the states. We let them ship everything thinking that a recreation of their home would give them a sense of stability. They didn't need it. It was like an excessive Christmas as box after box of toys was opened, remembered and then set aside.

They've changed so much in three years. Instead of a two foot high play table, we're thinking of setting them up with desks. The donation pile keeps growing with word puzzles and animal lotto and non-slip step stools.

One thing I can say for moving is that it gives you an opportunity to shed old skin and show off some new and vibrant colors.

Thursday, June 10

don't grease your wheels when you're going uphill

I think I can
I think I can

Moving date is scheduled for June 15th. I'm hoping this is a good sign.

See, 15 is my lucky number. For a long time it was just because I was born on the 15th.

When deciding due dates for my daughter the calender said the 10th and the ultrasound said the 20th so I said, "let's just make it the 15th."

She was born on the 15th. 45 minutes after my water broke weighing 10lbs even (no, not 15) but without a scratch on Mommy. I felt pretty darn lucky that day.

My husband's Mom, wife, and daughter were all born on the 15th. He's lucky too.

So, moving date scheduled, pre-pack survey done and I decide I've got a bone to pick with the moving company. We booked the move right before we took off for Sicily. I had one other quote come in higher than them, so decided to just count our losses and sign. Contract signed, scanned, sent and we're off for Sicily. For those of you who have never moved overseas, let's just say the move is more expensive than almost anything you can put in that box.

Week later come back to emails to find quote number three... a whopping $1300 dollars LOWER than who we've signed with. Ugh.

Upon closer inspection, it turns out that not only is this quote for the same services, but it's almost entirely handled by the same companies!!! There's the Italian start, a big ship in the middle and the US end. Only difference is the final mover in California. In fact, we booked our move with the central player (the trans-atlantic) part of the Q3's plan.

So I call up our mover to ask what's the dealy-O and he spews something about XYZ Port fees not being included and then Q3 says they are included and then I go back to our mover with something along the lines of figure out how to sort this out there or I'll cancel and rebook with Q3.

Mover lops $1100 off the original quote. Apologizes for not being able to match but hopes I'll accept the new quote.

Since when did $1000 dollars become something so trivial? This is amazing to me. And I have to tell you that it was difficult to accept the revised quote. I felt like I'd been scammed. Why didn't they offer that in the first place? Is there a softball team somewhere that won't get matching jerseys after all?

Since school has let out I forget what day it is. Feels like a Tuesday but I'm pretty sure that's not right. I need my planner now more than ever.

To illustrate, Punkone served us breakfast this morning. He has a "no clothes, no service" policy (it was posted on the kitchen door). This is because his sister and I spend the morning in our underwear. I think all the lack of scheduling around here is really getting to him.

Wednesday, June 9

trials of traslocare

Traslocare= To move. Conjugates as transloco = I move

Seems like the perfect word for "moving". Think of it as "trans-crazy."

There are more than just a few crazy things about moving in Italy:

Unless you're renting a "furnished" apartment, the kitchen is yours and you need to buy and install it when you move in, and naturally, move it out when you leave. This is an insane waste of material, time, and money, but that's just the way it's done. If you happen to be reading this blog from Trento and you need a spiffy 3 year old kitchen at a great price, please let me know.

Light fixtures also go with you. When we moved in there were literally no lights wired in the house... just a bunch of live wires hanging from the walls and ceilings here and there. Another insane waste of time and money.

Offering used items to people seems to be taboo here. Apparently it's taken as an insult... you need to tread these waters carefully and with only the very intimate of friends lest someone take offense. From someone who is an avid hand-me-downer, garage sale and thrift shop scavenger hunter this cultural quirk is hard to understand.

No garage = no garage sales
No thrift shops
Internet sites advertising sale of used items are not as hot here as they are in the states. We've posted everything with little to no interest. The only items I've been able to sell are to other expats.

This leaves me with the last resort option of calling the local church and asking them if they can find a family who needs all our furniture, electronics, and outgrown clothes. I'm not a big fan of this as accepting these kinds of donations usually comes with the expectation that you're a member of the church. I'd feel better about helping someone without the underlying (or explicit) expectation that they subscribe to a particular faith. However, it's still much better than leaving it next to the dumpster.


The other can of worms that I'm dealing with right now is reapplying for my husband's green card. The department of homeland security is SO much fun.


Waaaa... I can hear you all crying out for my dire situation and I couldn't leave you like that. There-there... There is a nice shiny silver lining to my rain cloud: We just finished a week of sailing around the islands of Sicily...


Sicilian fish market


granite e brioche (breakfast)

Caper bush flowers on the Volcano crater

Small islands off Panarea

Beach cove on Panarea


I think I'll be alright. ;)