Children empty themselves in unexpected ways--finding creative avenues to express and release emotions and dreams. We big people must watch closely for the message being sent and the heart that is being exposed. I relearn this almost daily.
Casey makes no bones about missing Italy, friends and all that was. In fact his latest blog entry again makes this plain Here and There. At night in bed, much as it was a year ago when he would ask to return to San Diego, he asks "Can we start packing? I really want to go back."
Spoken words and overt revelations are easy to read. They can be discussed quietly and sadness softened. But, there are more subtle ways of expression, too, and some of these can bring a tear or two, knowing that there is a private grief that needs to be left alone to find private solutions. Such is the time machine.
If you look closely, you can recognize all the little odds and ends he has drawn together to make this--a clock, the globe, levers, a mobile phone for commands, a radio, the core being the mind of the computer and then it all lays on the Fiorentina banner--symbolic? I think so.
He has introduced this glorious machine to some of his friends, and, being 9 year olds, they are easily entranced with make-believe and join Casey in making it real. It becomes an outlet for him and by sharing it with friends here, he begins to blend the parts of his life. The process is fascinating to observe and maybe learn from.
Ken and I are doing much the same thing--in different ways. We are reconnecting with people --something we needed time to do. We are resuming a life that was put on hold for a year but we are being selective about what we resurrect. We have become very aware of the consumer driven society of the US; the millions of things to make life easier but in reality make it crowded and sterile. The road to an easier life, we have learned, is in many ways the absence of things--not the proliferation. We are still overwhelmed by our house and belongings--more than we need and now more that we want.
We are different people--not necessarily better--just different. And this is a problem because there are 10 lane freeways here, big box stores galore, blazing neon on every structure, fast food establishments 3 to a block, strip malls and the revered Walmart. We can not change these things and so we must adapt--to all but Walmart.
We find that the skies we loved so much in Tuscany are here, too. The colors are different but the beauty still reflects the creator.
Friends are true and waited for us. Saturday we joined with many of them for food, laughter and reflections on the greatness of our God's magnificent universe. Thursday I am "doing" lunch with two good friends who add strength to my life. One of them babysat my plants all year, turning each of them into a virtual jungle. Had I stayed here I know they would have been long dead.
Casey and Ken are at the movies now and Ken can enjoy it along with Casey as English is his cup of tea--although, Casey would prefer Italian.
We have Thai and Chinese and Mexican and Peruvian and Vietnamese and Moroccan and more to choose from when we go out at night--although, strangely, our love continues to be Italian. As with our travels, we may occasionally branch out but always return to Italy and pasta.
Our pool is cool and refreshing and we play with Casey. He rides his bike in the park across the street and practices his karate.
Tonight we are having tacos--with chedder cheese and fresh tortillas--a treat delayed for a year.
So, as with Casey, we are learning to reenter a life that has always been ours but look forward to the next time in our other life--using our time machine--a United 747.
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.