Spring came late this year to my little corner of the world but seems finally here. It tiptoed in and then retreated driven away by cold and rain. Cooler temps lingered although some warm, sunny days had slipped through as teasers. I further qualify cold as temps in the 50's and 60's. Unseasonable for here but not too bad. The geraniums on my balcony thrive as does the parsley, mint, chives, lavender and rosemary. Only the basil held out for warmer temps by refusing to grow. I empathized with it. I was ready to break out, head for the beach and take nice long run/walks. Instead, I looked out my windows at gray clouds, misty rain and a brisk breezes until this last week. So I hunkered down frequently to read and to write. Also not a bad thing. But this last week, I luxuriated as the sun stayed all day and warmed temps to the lovely 70's. Today I went for a long run by the sea, cared for the plants on my balcony, went out for a mid-day meal with friends and finished my book- anything to spend time outside. The mountains and the sea have been clear and the sky that spring bonnet blue with only wisps of clouds. So welcomed.
As for the sale of our apartment so that we can move back to the states after five years in Italy, nothing yet. The economy is difficult and called "the crisis" in the news here. Real estate is especially hard hit. We had our first house showing after lowering the price so we hope for the best. There's no time pressure other than the decision is made and I'm eager for the next step in the journey. My Honey is ready to cut back on his work a bit more and take his retirement age (plus) seriously. That and the desire to be closer to family draws us back to the states. The interim has been a time for reflecting- what I'd like to do and how I'd like to live and lots of talking with John about my answers and his. Good talks. They bring clarity.
Spring break brought many international friends to our small town for short visits and quick catch ups with folks from Sweden, England and the states. I also took a trip to Sweden with my Honey and, besides sightseeing, visited with two couples we first met here in our small town far from tourist areas of Italy. The remarkable hall above in Stockholm is where the Nobel Laureates stage their celebratory ball after the awards ceremony. This coming week I will visit another family in Manchester, England that I met here and then on to visit family in Ireland. Ireland with its familiarity of people, culture and history and the open-hearted welcome of family has become a favorite place to visit. Life in Europe is full and rich.
Meanwhile, I continue to run three times a week, read, write, visit with friends, Skype my family, work on a family ancestry project, play Words with Friends and DragonVale on my iPad (notice my new favorite iPad Mini with the Logitech keyboard) and learn all I can about poetry as well as what other elders are doing to be of service. More about that later because I'd love to have a conversation on this topic. I love my life. Seems counter-intuitive to also want to change it but there you have it.
On this day set aside to honor mothers, Happy Mother's Day. We all owe our lives to a mother's courage to bear us. In my ancestry project I've been conscious of the long line of women leading through me and my daughter to my grands. I'm proud to be part of these women. Strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!