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.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Stress Has Arrived--An Unwelcome Guest

Clearly calm can not and does not prevail forever and so it is no surprise that serenity has now fled the premises.

My mind, my body my all hurts with unexplained aches and discomforts. Shoulders and neck feel as if they are stretched on the rack with the screws continuing to turn. A mysterious, hitherto unknown cough insists on being heard so that now my voice is cracked and whispery. I'm taking iron pills to off-set the trauma induced anemia that occaionally plagues me--not at all serious, just makes me momentarily tired. Of course, any one with half a brain can diagnose all of these infirmities--we embark in 17 days on this rather hairbrained adventure we have chosen to disrupt our lives with for a year.

And then--on top of the physical stuff, I am also questioning my sanity. Why are we doing this? What crazy moment in life convinced us to trade what we know for a year of unknown? Should we just back-off, undo all the plans and stay put in our safety zone? Are we out of our minds? There are people we know who would resoundingly say "absolutely!"

To top it off, as I started writing this, the termite man came for our annual termite check and--guess what--he discovered nasty subterranean termites residing in the walls of the garage--which is attached to our house. These creatures are the very nasty ones that dine on wood, causing structural damage. The remedy is to have holes drilled every twelve inches around the exterior of the house in order to pump in some chemical that protects us from being devoured. This is not what we needed to cope with at this point in time.

We just had a new stone driveway/entryway installed and the man assures us that the drilling process will crack and break the stones. All the stuff that finds its home in a garage (cabinets, books cases, water heaters, laundry, etc.) needs to be pulled out so that the crew can get to the walls. This is major disruption and time consuming work--on top of the expense that clearly was not in our budget.

So--we must decide if we should have the work done now or wait until we come back--will our house still be standing or will it be a pile of crumpled, gnawed wood? Our decision is to wait as I can't imagine that in one year termites can eat a whole house. Please tell me that is right!

So--back to the mindset. Of course, we are excited and of course we know that our decision is good and of course these are just last minute jitters--but, still, the tummy rumbles and the head spins.

I think that if it were just Ken and I, things would be different and not as overwhelming as what we would do is quite different than what we can do when the needs of an 8 year-old predominant. We would spend much of the year freely traveling throughout Europe--Croatia, Greece and Turkey (again), several Central/Eastern European countries which we missed before, the whole of Italy. These were the dreams for our retirement.

But--God has given us the gift of our grandson who is a joy and who needs us and so we adapt and find pleasure in what we can do and know that his hugs and kisses make up for the lost travel opportunities. We think of what his little life would be without us and know that God's plan is always good. And so our duffels are full of legos and transformers and bionacles and all those things that little boys love.

If we are lucky, his new life will be so rich that these toys become a secondary means of filling time. Hopefully he and Camilla will spend their time exploring the hills, sharing dreams and just giggling and having fun together--brother and sister for a year.

Yes--our decision is a good one and we are excited and anxious to begin the adventure--fears, be gone!

The life of a Southern California Boy


Judith in Umbria said...

Those are baddies, but they are not yours to do. Just hire the men and let them do it.
Don't worry.
You know what, this isn't a life disruption, this is like cultivating/hoeing the soil in the garden, and makes things grow, like a life.

Kathleen said...

I am thoroughly enjoying your blog! I am planning on moving to Firenze in May.......and it's just me, my dog and cat..............that's much more difficult than a grandson!

I want to tell you what a great job and life you have given him. I intend to start my blog as I get closer.......right now I'm busy trying to find the right apartment; a one bedroom, but with ADSL, in the Santa Croce district that will allow pets.....so far I have found two, but it's so hard to coordinate the Schenghen Visa, the apartment and the travel arrangements.........glad to know I'm not the only one who went a little crazy!