God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Location--But First a Digression

I really wanted to, was going to and will write a paragraph or two about location, but, first, a few words about Casey--or KC as he is now re-identifying himself. It is such fun truly absorbing and experiencing a child growing up. We are learning that we see and appreciate so much in this process that simply eluded us and went unrecognized when we were parents--raising children, involved in our own work and ambitions, worrying about making the $$'s stretch, busy being upwardedly mobile. There is definitely something to be said about perspective that comes with age--particularly when that is accompanied by freedom from those early life stage worries. Now we see the little things that in reality are harbingers of things to come and provide clues into the workings of little minds as they try to sort out who they are and what growing up means.

Casey delightfully shares what is on his mind and what strange twist the current topic of thought has taken--sometimes in more detail than we ever what to know--as when he tries to explain what went wrong when rivulets appear to be running down the wall behind the commode. His word images are so vivid that I can only laugh uproariously as the story takes on characteristics of a Saturday morning cartoon.

Anyway, this week on the way home from school, the mute button had been pushed on his normally uncheckable loud and boisterous exuberance. He spoke softly, his English was impeccable, his manners were exquisite and the topic of his conversation was much more refined (in a 6-year-old way) than his normal discourse on who was looking over the stalls in the boys bathroom that day or who had managed to get his name on the board in class (always glad to share this when it isn't his--and, even when it is.)

Then, he provided the explanation for this new him. "I am practicing being a young man." Where that came from and what prompted it is a mystery, but----it has provided us with a whole new weapon in our aresnal of behavior control techniques. We just have to say "Where's the young man?" And--sometimes he emerges!--maybe.

It was just about that day, or maybe the next, that his papers began coming home with his new moniker--KC. I think it is kind of neat and so have no problem if he has exerted a little independence and promotes a new image. Actually, when in Italy his little girlfriend, Sofia, in Montepulciano calls him Kaazee (sort of a soft slur which is really charming.) So--he could even go with KZ to be really unique--or when we are living in Italy.

Sofia and Casey--Italian Charm, American Infatuation Posted by Hello

OK--enough on Casey or KC--as you can see, I kind of get carried away with him.

LOCATION: Now that we have selected a school and trust that all will work out there, the question has become where to settle. We have been to Italy many times, but for some reason, can't picture exactly where Bagno A Ripoli, a suburb of Florence, is or what villages will be close enough to conveniently transport KC back and forth to school each day. And--of course the question is how to contact a rental agent who can work for us from afar. So, begins one of the many little processes which will be a part of the inordinate amount of time this little venture promises to steal. We have a list of agents from the school, maps, friends and cyber contacts who, put together, should make this piece surmountable.

You may ask why we choose to deal with this concern so early on in the planning--well, here is an example of dealing with bureacracy--Italiano style. In order to apply for an Elective Residency visa, we must have a rental contract signed and stamped by the local government agency in Italy. One can't just go and find a place to live after arrival. So--this is an issue that becomes important right from the beginning. Of course, this little glitch gives us a perfect reason for a pre-"big trip" trip--something we want to do anyway so that Casey (KC) can check out the school, know what he has in store, have some gelato and visit Sofia.

More later--but off to buy some patio furniture and other mundane errands.


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