I am somewhat behind due to internet access. Just been spending time with the family and enjoying life at a leisurely pace. The feasting is over and I’ve taken in a belt notch. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m going to keep doing it. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we have also been eating at a leisurely pace? Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I’m not eating lots of fattening, processed food?
The day after Christmas the festivities started around 1:00 p.m. and ended around 5:00 p.m. We had essentially the same food as the day before, including a meat dish with carrots and peas that was fantastic that I forgot to mention. As always there was a ton of sweets, too. I think I’m truly seeing sugarplums dancing in my head.
I forgot to mention the gifts that I got from everyone. My aunt’s one brother and his family gave me a Christmas-themed candy jar; the family of the other brother gave me a high-end umbrella. Her niece gave me a pair of woolen socks with the treads that keep one from sliding on the floor and will keep me warm in Paris on New Year’s. My cousin Maurizio and his family gave me a book for my writing along with an actual feather pen that I found to be exquisite and so apropos. My aunt and uncle gave me a beautiful scarf.
As I mentioned, I’ve visited Italy for three different Christmases and I have to admit that I love the way everyone celebrates. There is no over-the-top spending; everyone is content with simple gifts. There were no 60 inch, flat panel televisions, no MacBook Pros, no appliances. The focus is on the family and I love that. I wonder what would happen to the American economy if we did the same thing?
Today my cousin Sergio arrived with his little family from Turin. They also had a gift for me—a cap and a scarf. And I had gifts for them—the same as I gave the others. I also had two sticker books for Sergio’s young daughter, Lavinia.
I’m kind of glad things have wound down. I guess I’m getting old, but too much celebrating wears a person out. How many people out there my age feel the same? And now I’m going to Paris for New Year’s? Somebody slap me.
I have not had much luck pursuing the Italy move what with the holidays and all. I think I mentioned earlier that I’ve been able to get a bit of info on cost of living, but that’s about it. But, it’s okay. I’m planning on coming back in June and I should have more information by then.
But you know, I’m having serious doubts about moving to Italy. I’m missing home terribly. I’m missing my routine. I’m missing Oregon. I’m missing my friends. I’m wondering if I really want to move to Italy. Have I idolized my family and lionized Italy to an unsustainable level? Have I romanticized the family concept—a concept that used to be central in my life but no longer exists? I have it here in Italy and I enjoy it but I also know myself. I’m a creature of habit. Would I find it too much work and sacrifice to move here and literally carve out a new life at fifty-five?
If I were to move here, reality would kick in. I know I would be lonely. I know I would miss everything familiar. It would be a struggle to fit in, to communicate, to participate. I would have to find friends. Is there an expatriate community here? I don’t know. Would I find a protestant church where I’d understand the sermons? I don’t know. Would I make friends? Would I possibly meet a special someone?
Sometimes life at home gets unbearably lonely. Living in Italy would exacerbate that. I’m having difficulty communicating because of the heavy dialect. So many familiar words aren’t familiar because they are cut off which renders me incapable of understanding. The local inflections are lost on me. How long would it be to learn to communicate? Would I learn?
As is usual, I’m once again over-analyzing. I still have more research to do. No answers are required immediately. If I’m going to pursue this, I need to be methodical; I can’t just jump into it. So I’ll do my best not to obsess and instead enjoy the trip to Turin and on to Paris.
Blog entries will probably not be a day-to-day synopsis for the rest of the trip.