Sunday, April 8, 2012


As departure for my trip gets closer - I leave in three weeks - I am thinking about the things I will miss while I'm gone.  Since I am using this blog as a diary as much as I am using it to keep in touch with friends and family, I want to just take a moment to reflect on just what I am leaving behind as I run off to find myself.  I will miss:

  • springtime in Grass Valley, when the yard comes alive with everything beautiful in the foothills.  I will miss the blooming of roses, agapantha, rosemary and lavender, salvia and the herbs in the garden
  • my family.  we don't see each other that often, but jut knowing we will be apart is tough.  Some will join me in Italy, some will not.  One son is deploying to Afghanistan again.  I try not to worry and take a modicum of comfort in the knowledge that he is experienced and vigilant.
  • the comfort in all things familiar - my quiet home, my art studio, the sound of the wind chimes, the red tailed hawks and all my creature comforts.
  • Saturday nights playing cards with my BFF's, boating with my BFF's in our little old boat, laughing with friends.
  • my silly little dog
  • watching mindless tv with my husband
HOWEVER, I look forward with incredible anticipation to the freedom and opportunity that a three month leave of absence (for which I am grateful to my employer) and my little house in Italy will provide:

  • I will practice my Italian which is rusty and very bad.  I have forgotten more than I learned I'm afraid
  • To be able to awake each day with absolutely no plans and just to experience each day as it unfolds will be a most incredible gift
  • I get to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the walled city of Lucca and to share the experience with my husband.
  • Having friends coming and going from the states, and sharing my love of Italy with them will be amazing - I hope they love it as much as I do
  • I can't wait to hand out my homemade cookies and see the reactions of strangers as I do.  Will they eat them?  Throw them out?  Think I'm crazy?  Hopefully some of them will post something to the blog and we can all read what they think
  • I get to see a few old friends who I met seven years ago during my very first trip - Anke from Germany and Gugli the friendly lifeguard.  I love him (he is a very young, married man so it's not what you might be thinking)
  • I hope my neighbors are friendly and that they will join me for a meal now and then, or a cup of espresso or a glass of wine
  • WALKING!  I will not have a car, though a bus and train are nearby.  Walking to the village each day, carrying my purchases in a tote and eating really fresh local food prepared from fresh local ingredients - exciting!
  • SKETCHING! Journaling, and carrying my camera with me everywhere to capture village life will be inspiring.  I am shipping a box of art supplies ahead to be there when I arrive, along with my handmade journals.  Thank you Lindsay for the inspiration.
  • My BFF's from school - we have all known each other since kindergarten - will join me for two weeks in June.  How special is THAT??
  • Doing NOTHING.  I'm not even sure I remember how to do nothing but I'm going to give it a serious try
So that's it.  I'm trying not to set expectations for how wonderful it might be.  Who knows - I may get there and be incredibly lonely there all by myself.  Especially with how bad my Italian is.  But I do look forward to whatever it is - good or bad - this experience might provide.