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.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pots and Pans and .............?

Crunch time is looming. Lately we have been at that most frustrating of stages in our adventure--so much to do but so little to do. It's not quite close enough in time to pack and yet a sense prevades that we should be doing something--anything--knowing full well that a month from now we will wonder why we waited so long to do whatever those things are. And--my mind is just as muddled as that last sentence is to the reader. Now you share in our mindset.

Pots and Pans
One issue looms large in my mind--and it shouldn't as there is only one answer--NO! But, I want my pots and pans. I love my pots and pans--nice, heavy, fun to cook with Calaphon pots and pans. How can I cook with out them? They are so solid in the hands--so substantial--so cookable in.

Now--we are not shipping anything. We are taking only things that fit in our duffel bags--all 7 of them--70 lbs each. We only have the airplane weight allowance. Clearly pots and pans are out of the question. And--if we take them, they must come home. I know all this and my mind "capisce--ma voglio mia pentole!" To make matters worse, Ken is not providing much sympathy--to him a pan is a pan is a pan--clearly he is not at home in the kitchen nor does he understand the intricacies behind that marvelous meal that he finds on his plate. So, I will make do with what is there already and then will have abundant excuse as to why our meals are less than 5 star.


Other big questions loom and envelop us.
  • How many pair of jeans will we each need? Fewer then here since laundry will be less simple. Clothes dryers are not the mandated home necessity as they are here. Power supplies are more constricted and so items that most US kids aren't even familiar with in the 21st century--clothes lines and clothes pins--are the de rigeur medium thoughout most of Italy--except in winter and other rainy days when drying racks take over as much of the inside living area as possible. I understand that it can take days for jeans to dry and soft and supple they won't be!
  • And this is a biggie--the dollar is in serious decline right now, perhaps reflecting the impact of our burgeoning national debt. If a person stays put here, this does not loom as an issue of financial concern but for those who travel and/or live outside of the US this is a concern of major dimensions . For instance, if an item cost €100 that is $126.27. A few days ago, it would have been almost $130. And--the signs point more towards continued devaluation of the $ rather than improvement. So we deal with the question: "Should we buy things here that we know with certainty we can buy at local shops and stores in Greve and Florence but at an increased cost?" Wisdom is not always easy to come by and right now we are rather short of it.
  • How many books in English and how much local curriculum should we take for Casey? Since he will be learning how to read, write and learn in Italian, will he have time for work in English? We certainly have no intention of having this year be all work and no play for him. As a matter of fact, we hope that play and fun compose his main focus and memories. But--he will need to be able to hold his own in fourth grade upon our return. So another quandry puzzles us. (This is Casey's school in Greve.)
  • And finally--for now but now for real--how do we replace Rita and Lino who were to be our friends, mentors, safety net and more next year but, because life is never predictable or ordinary, are now moving to Boston two weeks after we arrive in Greve. We are devastated, but, we have faith that God always has a plan and so are confident that once there we will find people to fill the void. I wonder who they will be and what they are doing right now?
So--you have a sampling of where we are at the moment--a lot of thinking and not much doing.

Friday, good friends are having a party for us--I suspect that after that things will suddenly get very real, panic will set in and the count down will begin. And then we will be sipping the wines of Fattoria Viticchio as we survey the lovely views over the vineyards outside our door. Come join us.


Ann said...

I would suggest getting books in the States, before you leave. Or have them shipped over. You can probably find a book shop in Florence that has books in English, but expect to pay a lot more compared to what you would in the States, and that's not even taking into consideration the devaluation of the dollar.

Jane said...

Thanks for the input. I hope we meet next year.

We did send 2 M-bags of books there already--lots of reading! This time I was talking specifically about school type books for Casey to keep up with lessons here. But--have decided not to worry too much about that.

Giulia said...

I was reading Ann's advice and thinking that the very best way to get books in English in Italy is through Amazon... I have no idea about text books, though...