Saturday, January 26, 2008


When you’re a pessimist, the gray dark days of January can make for some pretty sad moods, but seeing the sun for the last few days has certainly helped to brighten my spirits.

I like to deal with problems by talking about them, probably ad nauseum to those around me. I also like to write things down and to make lists as a way to organize my thoughts, thus this series of “Coming To Terms”, dealing with my thoughts, fears and excitement about selling our house in Italy and moving back to the states. I thought that my next blog would be about how my pessimistic personality versus Art’s optimistic personality has affected this process, or how my being a miser, versus Art’s being, well, let’s just say NOT a miser, has helped or hindered the process, but then I received an email from our friend Jane.

Jane asked me if our recent trip to the states had reminded me of some things I missed and would be glad to have once we were back in the U.S. Because I was sick during 90% of our visit, I really didn’t get out much, but still I thought making a list of positive things about our move would be good for the soul.

First of all I have to warn those who live in Italy, or who have lived in Italy that yes, many of the things on this list will come off as superficial. Some things might be only half truths, like saying that more fruits and vegetables are available year-round in the states, when the reality is that the seasonality of the fruits and vegetables here in Italy is what makes them taste so wonderful, but again, this is supposed to be a list of things I can look forward to in the United States, so just bear with me.

Good Things About Living in the United States

• Being closer to kids and grandkids
• Being closer to friends, to people who understand our way of life and share common memories
• Being able to communicate easily, whether it be at the grocery store or to settle a dispute over the telephone
• Being able to read the newspaper every morning, and to buy magazines
• Being able to travel more, whether by car or by plane, for short mini-vacations throughout the year
• Ethnic foods….Mexican, Chinese, and more!
• Being able to shop whenever I want, with no worry about the stores being closed for three hours during the middle of the day
• (Fountain) Diet Cokes with lots of ice!
• Broccoli available in the summer for pasta salad
• Less expensive meats
• Sales! New ones every week!
• Cheddar Cheese and Hellmann’s mayonnaise
• Less expensive clothing and shoes
• Less expensive gasoline
• Having a dryer large enough to hold the entire contents of the washer….and having the clothes dry in less than one hour…and wrinkle-free to boot!
• Having a variety of first-run movies in English
• Central heating with a forced air furnace
• Warm wall to wall carpeting in the winter
• A cushy vinyl floor in the kitchen
• An oven large enough to hold…
• A large turkey
• A variety of breads, including rye
• College basketball and Major League Baseball
• Weather channel with weather radar, and knowing what the weather will be like the next day
• American bacon and sausage

And yes, I could make a list this long (or longer!) about the things I’ll miss from Italy, but the whole idea of this series is to help me get ready for the move, and to help ease the transition! If you have any other things to add to my list, feel free! In the meantime, I hope the sunny skies continue to lighten my mood. Now….where is the person who’s going to buy our house so that I can start experiencing all these wonderful things I’ve written about?


At 1/27/2008 05:11:00 AM , Blogger erin said...

this is a good list...and a good thing to do to find things to look forward to. I'm sure it will be a big transition back. It's nice to have 2 homes in your heart (but you can either be happy to have 2 homes in the world, or always sad to not be at one). I have to double check myself a lot to choose the first :)

At 1/27/2008 11:19:00 AM , Anonymous Valerie said...

How about non-syrupy iced tea? ;) Coming to terms is a very important thing...good for you! I hope we'll see you before you leave, though.

At 1/27/2008 11:35:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...


Valerie, I brought decaf tea bags with me to Italy so I always have a pitcher of sweet (decaf) tea in my my 1 gallon plastic jug...another thing not easily found in Italy!!

At 1/27/2008 11:56:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barb - I had sent you an e-mail on your home for sale but never heard back from you? I had some questions also about living in Italy. Appreciate it if you'd reply back. Thanks.


At 1/27/2008 01:07:00 PM , Blogger Barbara said...

Sarah I answered your original email on Tues, 1/ that the one you're referring to? I do see a new email today, but so far haven't yet answered that one. Please let me know if you received my first response.

At 1/27/2008 04:20:00 PM , Blogger KZ said...

Well, Barb...I'm glad I was helpful in getting the wheels turning! I have to go back to your list, but I think you missed "big refrigerator." That is one of the things I really missed in Italy. Of course, bigger means things get lost and sprout unspeakable things sometimes. Your list is a good one. You'll miss a lot of Italy but there are good things here, too. BTW-we would buy your house in a heartbeat if we were to move back.

Oh, I am writing on Casey's site so that's why his picture. He's cuter anyway.. Jane

At 1/28/2008 11:55:00 AM , Blogger Dr Satori said...

I have seen quite a few North Americans come and go from Italy during my time here. It will be very difficult explaining it all to those who haven't tried. I just wanted to ditto some of the things I miss (or used to miss here):

• Ethnic foods - ditto
• worry about the stores being closed - ditto
• Less expensive meats - ditto
• Sales! New ones every week! - ditto
• Cheddar Cheese - ditto
• A large turkey - ditto
• A variety of breads, including rye - ditto

All the best to you both.

At 1/29/2008 02:27:00 PM , Blogger said...

Barb, I've been there and know exactly how you feel. Just think, you have an experience that not many people can say they have. My list was much like yours... I also had Doritoes and pumpkin pie! We found the BIG turkey one year but couldn't get it in the oven. Good luck! - joe


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