WE HAVE OUR VISAS! Yes--it is true. The Foreign Ministry in Rome has approved Casey's application. What a relief it is to have that hurdle behind us and know that we can move ahead with confidence. It never made any kind of sense that approval would be denied; however, in dealing with a country's bureacracy logic does not necessarily prevail. It is reassuring that this time it has.
So--where are we at this point? Housing arranged? Check! School for Casey determined and ready? Check! Travel plans made? Check! Banking arrangements in place? Check! Bill payment plans in order? Check! Health insurance needs determined? Check! Yard and pool maintenance arrangements? Check! Deciding what to bring? You must be kidding! Language competency-Ken and Jane? Hardly. Language competency--Casey? Coming along in rapid fashion.
Oh my--this little sojourn is so much more complicated than we understood when first we dreamed. It really isn't until one actually starts planning the doing that all the complexities begin rumbling around in the head. What happens if the sprinkler system breaks (which happens not infrequently)? The water heater blows? The yard becomes a jungle? Mail? Taxes? Bills? Payment notifications such as insurances and taxes? Appliances break? And on and on and on.
Each problem or need has a solution; it's just that there are so many of these little details to address and resolve that sometimes my head feels like a topsy turvy spinner--skittering across the floor before colliding with some unmoveable object. Many people who embark on a similar journey sell their homes which simplifies matters considerably. But--that is not an option for us since our plans are for just a year--we think. We need a place to come home to. Plus we have been in this house for 29 years and the thought of having to sort through all of our accumulated treasures and junk is the nightmare in contrast to our adventuresome dream.
But,--we have it all pretty much under control with solutions formulated or at least in mind. And--with SKYPE bringing phone call expenses down to almost nothing between here and there, it will be easy for son Jeff, who is moving into the house while we are gone, to keep us informed of things we MUST know and deal with. Hopefully, these will be kept to a minimum!!!!
Our big concern for Italy that had us going in circles looking for a solution was how to get a car-- which we must have. Every lead we followed ended at an impenetrable wall--leasing wouldn't work, renting was much, much too costly, we need residency to buy and that takes several months, etc. So--what to do?
Again things just seemed to fall into place once we were there two weeks ago. Between our friends Rita and Lino and our landlord Alessandro, the problem was solved. Lino's car dealer will either lease us a car or sell us a used one which he will buy back less somewhere around €1500 at the end of the year. Lino will be working with him on that so that when we get there we will have options clarified. We still may need to wait for our residency before we can buy. But--no problem as Alessandro has offered us the use of one of his company cars until we can get things lined up.
It amazes us how everything seems to be coming together and how many little things are happening that we could never have asked for or expected. We know that the only explanation for all of this is that this segment of our lives is in God's plan for us and for Casey. That He is orchestrating it all--assigning a court judge who gave us the order we needed for Casey, gifting us with good friends we did not even know a few months ago, providing a landlord who is gracious, warm and welcoming, providing a built-in playmate for Casey, leading us to a location with a school that not only welcomes Casey but anticipates his coming, arranging for a helpful woman to work with at the notoriously inhospitable LA Consulate, and so much more. Clearly there are many who will say that all of this could have happened the same way for someone not crediting God, but, I know that for us, God has been the overseer and has paved the way. So, I thank Him.
Finally, I don't have any really relevant pictures to use with this entry but visuals are fun----so ---------this is Casey with his Italian tutor, Lara. He has taken to these lessons with more enthusiasm than we have ever seen him tackle anything else in his young life, even baseball--another good sign that we are OK with what we are doing. Right?
Ciao and A Presto
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.