Thursday, February 15, 2007

Living with my Parents

Living with my parents again is tough! On them too, I am sure. There are elements of it that are really special, because this is a unique time. I am happy to have a place to stay, and am happy to be spending some time with them before I go. I am hopeful that my Mother will visit me in Florence, and wish my Father would also, but I doubt that he will.

Having gone through the process of "purging" my possessions, I find myself at the opposite extreme and totally "anti-clutter". It will be interesting to see how this develops over the year. Either I will continue to embrace it as a life style, or will be dying to "acquire" things again.
Anyway, my parents have lived in their current home for only 12 years, but moved EVERYTHING they had from their home of 35 years into this one, and continue to acquire more stuff. My Dad goes to yard/garage sales and buys other peoples stuff and brings it home. As a result, my parents have a 3 bedroom house, and really no room for me. They have 2 "guest" rooms with beds, chest, dresser, etc, but there is no drawer space, no closet space, and no space on the surfaces of anything to put my things. As a result, I am living out of suitcases, in more clutter than I can sometimes bear.

My parents are active, so have lots of things to do during the day, but I never have any time alone, which as you all know is important to me. The closest thing to time along I have found is spending several hours a day at Panera Bread taking advantage of their free wifi.

Here are some of the things that are challenging about living with my parents:

1. My Dad fries country ham or bacon every morning filling the house with the smell of pig.
2. They have a small ankle biter dog who smells like a goat, and barks and begs.
3. They watch Wheel of Fortune every night, and Deal or No Deal too. Both at loud volumes.
4. It is cold in the house. They have a gas fireplace with a blower, but my Mom won't let Dad turn it on because it makes her hot.
5. Their computer is a dial up with a 56 baud modem. I can't use the phone when I am on the computer, it takes days for the screen to change. I gave up on it and stay at Panera.
6. They do not have a garbage disposal! It's like a 3rd world country!
7. They have a dishwasher, but don't use it.
8. They keep cookies in their house.
9. My mother reads me the newspaper. Mostly the obituaries, when I am trying to watch something besides Wheel of Fortune
10. There is no room on the bathroom counter for my toothbrush.

Looking at this list, I can see how set in my ways I have become. Really it is the small things that will put you over the edge.

Bottomline, I am grateful to have a place to stay, and happy to be spending some time with my folks before I go.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined." Henry David Thoreau

Even with all the planning that I did, I was somewhat unprepared for the physical and emotional drain the preparations to move took. I am not complaining. I already tried that. Oddly, no one who knows me, or what I am doing was sympathetic! Their response was pretty much "O poor pitiful thing! All of this work to move to Italy!" Of course, I can't explain the mental and emotional trauma of examining EVERY single thing that you possess and making an assessment of whether to keep it and put it in storage, throw it away, or sell it. I guess sympathy is not what I was looking for, I was just trying to explain part of my "learnings" and unanticipated consequences, should someone I know attempt this in the future. Many thanks to my friends and family members who helped out! I could not have done it without you! Thanks to Paul and Kelly for taking 2 cats, and my piano and assisting with packing, Steve, Carla, Landon, and MacKayla for assistance in packing, selling some things, bringing champagne! and calling Ralph to assist with getting rids of odds and ends! Thanks to Ralph also! Thanks to Will for driving a truck with me and 2 cats to Florida to stay with Nick. Thanks to Nick for taking on Skittles and Edgar! Thanks to Mom and Dad for a place to stay and all your support, and assistance with packing and the move, and a home for my grandfather clock. Thanks to Gail for giving some of my nicest possessions a beautiful home. Thanks to Connie, Michele, and Erika for a fantastic birthday party weekend in NYC. Thanks to Amy, Betty and Cheryl for another great weekend in NYC!

One big learning.....everyone you know, and even some people you will be come acquainted with during the process wants to help and to be a part of making your dreams come true. It's fabulous!

All of my things are house, all of my possessions (except for what is contained in a 10 x 10 storage unit), my cats have been given away, and I am living with my parents during the week, and traveling on the weekends. Spending as much time as possible with friends before I go. The reason for the extra time here was because I was unsure about the visa process, selling my house, packing up etc. As it turns out, I have about 4 extra weeks, which I am enjoying.....even though I feel slightly displaced, and anxious to be in Italy.

The first 2 weekends of this month I spent in NYC, and this weekend, I am visiting Will in San Francisco. Here are some photos from NYC....more to come.....