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.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Felice Anno Nuovo!

Felice Anno Nuovo a Tutto Amicos Qui e Li!

Our little family sits in front of a crackling fire while listening to rain tapping music on the windows--yes, it is raining in San Diego! For us it is enjoyable--making the four walls around us cozy and comforting; but, it isn't the best weather for New Year's Eve-is it? San Diegans do not handle wet roads well--it is such a novelty!

Today we began taking our Christmas decorations down and boxing them up--a strange feeling this year knowing that it will be a couple of years before they come off the rafters again. A few things we are keeping out to take with us to Italy. I say it is so that Casey will have some of our familiar traditions but--really--it is just as much for me. Ken, of course, who thinks I always pack too much if I take two pairs of shoes, has grimaced a couple of times--like the pretty Christmas paper napkins I snuck in the pile. "What--they don't have napkins in Italy?" Anyway, our Christmas stockings, nativity collection from our travels, a few favorite things--like the little Santa that bobbles down the chimney and special tree ornaments will accompany us.

Actually, it isn't much at all. We'll take it over with us in March and leave it with Rita and Lino in Chiocchio, which is just a few kms. down the road from Greve. Yes--we are beginning to think in kilometers and kilograms--rather than asking for 5 slices of ham (using my fingers to demonstrate), I will be able to speak! I will be so proud! Of course, the real question is "Will I be understood?"

Along that line, next time I write--remind me to tell you about my current language teacher--Casey. Yes--it is starting already. Yesterday he laughed until he cried trying to teach me how to say 14--quattordici. I start language school next week--hopefully, I won't slow down the rest of the class--language acquistion has never, ever been easy for me and I have tried multiple times with multiple languages. Somehow reading and writing are not beyond my capabilities but speaking and hearing are molto difficile!

Well, I was going to close with a unique and noteworthy picture of Casey celebrating New Year's Eve by blowing a noise maker through his nose while playing his armpit. But--the picture just didn't turn out well--sorry. Who or what else than a 7 year old would find such an activity to be delightfully fun and a talent of which to boast! Other than being patently gross, it was a rather hysterical form of entertainment.

So I close as I began:

Felice Anno Nuovo a Tutto Amicos Qui e Li!

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