Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Those who know me will agree that I'm impatient, and I'll readily admit it. Now that our house is for sale and we've made the decision to return to the states, I have to admit that I'm having a hard time. I feel stuck in between two worlds, and it's not that I don't enjoy our life here in Italy, but now that we've decided, I'd like to start planning, because in addition to being impatient, I'm also a planner.

Planning a trip has always been as much fun as the trip itself. I love leafing through guidebooks, searching the internet, asking questions, and often discovering places that I never would have known about without a good deal of research. I love trying to maximize my time, to figure out what to do on Sundays, or on days when most of the museums are closed. I like figuring out what route makes the most sense...sometimes you want the most scenic route and other times it makes sense to take the overnight train. I do try to have several options when traveling, knowing that unexpected surprises, some good, some bad, often require last minute adjustments.

So, now that we've made the decision to return to the states, we had to decide where. After much discussion and thought, we've decided to return to Louisville for many reasons. Of course if money were no object I'd live in the Big Apple, but that's not quite in our budget. Louisville has always had a reasonable cost of living, which works to our favor now that we're retired. Of course Art still wants to work at Churchill Downs from time to time, as much for the social aspect as for the money.

Living in Louisville will also allow us to relax a little, in that we won't have to learn our way around, find the shortcuts, or know which store is best. After five years of having to learn our way around Umbria, the mostly straight roads will also be a pleasant change from the windy, windy roads here in Italy.

So what's the problem, you might be asking. Well for me, there's just not much planning or preparing I can do right now. I don't really have a place to store boxes, so I can't start packing stuff. At least if I were packing I'd feel as if I was doing something productive. I also can't plan much for our move, or for our travel plans after the house is sold.

We thought that once the house was sold we'd take some time...4 weeks, 6 weeks, maybe even longer, to do some of the traveling we haven't been able to do. Since we now have a car we planned to drive north, visiting the Piemonte region, stopping in Switzerland, a country we both love, maybe even getting to Belgium for some waffles, beer and french fries with mayo! Unfortunately, our itinerary will be determined to some degree by the time of year. If we're going to be traveling in January, perhaps we'd go south towards Puglia and on to Sicily instead of going north. Depending on the time of year maybe we'd drive to Ancona and take the ferry over to Croatia. If I tried to plan for every contingency I'd be up to my ears in print-outs and brochures, so I really need to wait until things are a little more settled.

We also thought it would be a cool idea to cruise back to the states, but ships from Rome to the states aren't as common as ships between England and the U.S., and are limited to the times when the ships are repositioning. If this works out, great, but again, it's a matter of timing.

Art still looks at the real estate listings in Louisville, and even the used car ads, but honestly that just drives me crazy! Yes, we have a general idea of the areas we'd like to live in and what type of car we'd like, but until we're actually there, cash in hand, it doesn't really do much good to see what's available today.

So yes, I am trying to enjoy my time in Italy....if you've been reading the blog recently you'll know that we have been having lots of fun, but still, the next phase of our life is just around the corner and I'd like to be planning for it, dreaming about it, making some decisions, but I can't do anything...and it's driving me crazy!!!

With the slow housing market we know we could be here for a while, and that's fine. Although we don't have tons of money it's not as if we have to sell quickly, so we'll just wait for the right buyer. The fact that I love Italy, Umbria and especially San Venanzo makes it soooo frustrating that we haven't yet found the person who will recognize our house and our town for the gems they are! For me, the impatient planner, these are trying times!

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At 7/24/2008 04:35:00 AM , Anonymous Judith in Umbria said...

Maybe yoga will help? Whatever time it takes, it will be less bearable if you chafe at the delay, more bearable if you do what must be done and then get on with living. Puglia is near, cheap and wonderful. Just do it. Abruzzo is on the way and is also wonderful and cheap. Just do that, too. At least when you gas up the car you are moving two people instead of one!


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