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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Malls Still Scare Me

We’ve been back in sunny San Diego, the vacation capital of Southern California, for a few weeks now. It is lovely here and contrary to what I remembered while in serene and beautiful Greve in Chianti, we do have blue skies—just not the angel beds that seemed to be always present there.
Blue Skies in San Diego
Angel Beds in Greve

Ken spends hours each day working in the yard—pruning, planting, rearranging fountains, climbing shaky ladders while trimming palm tree branches, tending to the fruit trees and puttering. In Italy he read books and books and books—now he seems to have put that aside for a while—exchanging mental workouts for more laborious physical labor. He sleeps well—but, then, sleep wasn’t a problem in Greve, either.

I spend inordinate amounts of time not getting much done—or at least that’s the way it seems. Focusing is difficult, being productive escapes me. My brain shuts down at the thought of “mall time” even though I’ll be clotheless pretty soon and then won’t be able to go out at all.

What I have done is spend too much time on computer stuff which now involves unsuccessfully trying to figure out why my main computer is so slow that I clean out desk drawers while waiting for a document file to load. At this point I have taken off many programs, downsized by 90% the start up programs, run virus, spyware and registry checks, transferred most of 10,000 photos to an external drive and deleted and restalled programs which I thought might have been corrupted. And—I can now report—none of this has helped. Maybe tomorrow a flash of insight will fill me and the problem will be solved—or maybe one of the earthquakes we are having will shake it up.

When not compulsively attacking the “darn machine,” there are 4000+ photos from the last year to tackle. Fortunately, they are nicely organized, labeled and tagged so my job now is deciding which to order.

Of course, as each picture glows on the screen—looking very beautiful and triggering memories, the selection process goes sl-sl-slowly. I sometimes think I should just put the project aside but—the compulsive person that I am overrules—gotta get the scrapebook/album done for Casey’s memories.

Shutterfly, the on-line company I use, prints comments on the back of each photo so each picture must be documented. When Casey grows up he will be able to flip a picture to see why it was important or to learn something about himself. “You really liked swimming with Camilla.” “You wanted to go to the Uffizi to see this Madonna by Giotti.” "Tommi was your best friend."

Then there is-----still trying to find a tutor for him. I can tell that he is already losing some of his language; locating a karate program so that he can continue the shokotan style he had in Greve; finding a guitar teacher because he wants to learn how to play the guitar--contrary to my wanting him to play the piano; supervising homework; helping with his blog and having his friends over for play and swimming. All this makes a pretty full life, after all, for nonna here.

In Italy Casey went to school from 8:30 to 4:30 which gave us time to do things but here school is from 7:45 until 2:10 and so the day is short--no more of the late lunches while sipping glasses of Chianti, we enjoyed so much. Of course, no little trattorias around each corner here either--lots of Burger Kings and Roberto's Taco Shops. Is that an even exchange?

So-till now, I've stayed pretty close to home with the daily forage to the market--a remnant of last year. I am sure though, that the day is coming when THE mall will beckon and I will go. Maybe.


Judith in Umbria said...

Poor you! I never did take to malls. I loved our downtown shopping street and always sought out boutiques on little side streets in every city I shopped in. None of those?

Then I guess it is online shopping for Jane! (How come you didn't stock up here before returning? Too many belly-baring styles?)

Or go to Paris.

Jane said...

Judith--your sympathy for my dilemma is quite thin, I must say. The truth is I am with you about small, side street stores where in the past I have found all my favorite things. Problem being they are not so abundant in SD proper. Plus to go means to stop being lazy.

Jerry said...

Jane - malls are so souless I can understand your wish to avoid them! When I shop I like to look at unique and different things. i like to chat with the people who are in the shops. I like to take my time. Sadly, these things are lacking in most malls I go into! Good luck.

Palma said...


I think you need to come with me shopping! Let's plan a weekend! I don't like big malls either and never go to ours. But malls do NOT = shopping!

Jane said...

Sounds really good to me.I need a girlfriend to advise and help. Plus, it would be too much fun. Let's do it!

Anonymous said...

I also have an aversion to malls. I hear that Savannan is wonderful shopping and hope to pick up some spring things there. 'Want to go shopping there?
Nancy L

Jane said...

Nancy--that sounds like a good idea! Let's do it.