For lo, the winter is past . . .

The rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth.
The time of the singing of birds is come.

– Ecclesiastes

Tuesday we fly home. To Italy.

It’s hard to describe how it happened. In one way, I suppose it’s not surprising at all. It’s the third year in a row we’ve gone to Italy just as spring is beginning. But this has been one of those years you never want to repeat. No doubt before long I will look back on it and feel grateful for all I’ve learned. But for now, I’m just overpoweringly glad to be nearing the end of it, and delighted to find Italy waiting for us there.

You might be wondering how it happened, and on the spur of the moment again. But that’s how it always happens. Of course we’ve been thinking about Italy always. I just couldn’t bring myself to even picture packing everything up and leaving our happy Fallbrook house with the big backyard and the goats and chickens. Then we came home from a day at the beach to find our house full from top to bottom with thick white smoke. I’d left a pan on the stove on high. We spent the next few nights with our kind friends the Garretts while we steam-cleaned, washed walls, and wondered what we were going to do. Would we be able to get enough of the smoke out for asthma-prone Axa and me to ever sleep there again? It all came out perfectly in the end, and the house got an excellent thorough cleaning. However, for better or for worse, by the time the smoke was gone we had decided that rather than moving all the furniture back in, we might as well just pack it up and move to Italy. For us, it seems, moving to Italy is a conclusion that follows from just about any premise.

Our dear friends Carla and Giorgio in Northern Italy, who took us in last time and helped us get citizenship, have a full house right now. So we’re trying something different: we’ve rented an apartment in the historic center of Florence. We fly into Turin Wednesday morning. We’ve rented a car at the airport, and we’ll spend the day driving down the coast to Tuscany. We’re excited about that, since we’ve seen a lot of beautiful Piedmont, but not too much of the rest of Italy.

We’re still shaking our heads that it’s actually happening. I guess we were so depressed after this year we thought nothing exciting would ever happen to us again.

The children remember Italy very fondly, and are excited to go back, at least after Axa got over her disappointment at not being able to take “at least one chicken” on the airplane to Italy.

I’ve done my best international packing job ever, complete with a detailed inventory of every suitcase. After the initial shock, we decided that the new baggage limits are actually a blessing in disguise for us. We really aren’t capable of hauling around eight seventy-pound suitcases along with numerous carry-ons, two gigantic britax car seats, and two exhausted children. We took the bags over to Grandpa Bringhurst’s office to weigh them on his medically calibrated scale. All four weighed in at less than fifty pounds, the new weight limit. And this time I’m packing up my kefir grains to take with us. We’re hoping the immigration authorities in Germany don’t notice we have no return tickets, since we haven’t had time yet to actually procure Italian passports.

If you have a webcam, we love to keep in touch via skype and google video chat. In fact, we keep in better touch when we’re out of the country than not.

Life is beautiful!

One thought on “For lo, the winter is past . . .

  • March 21, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    That sounds a lot like how we decided to move to Hawaii. Very exciting and liberating, don't you think.


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