Labor and Delivery

July 24, 2012

While standing in line to board our long international flight, I overheard Adam saying to another guy, "this move has gone really smoothly"and I couldn't help it. I groaned, rolled my eyes, and wondered what planet he was dwelling on because I would not have used those words to describe our international move.

In the week leading up to our departure, our credit card number was stolen and our account was frozen until our return to the States. Not great timing for something like that to happen. The car we were borrowing had some issues which meant multiple trips to the repair shop. I stupidly decided to mow the grass in the near dark and hit a rock. Three weeks later and I am still healing from that injury. The night before we were scheduled to have our final housing inspection, water started pouring down from the second floor into the entry way. Just days before leaving Sicily, we discovered that the reason the moving company which had all of our storage items wasn't returning our phone calls, was because they had changed hands and were no longer in charge of our items. It took a lot of frustrating phone calls to sort that out. 

Those were just some of the things that happened in the weeks leading up to our actual departure. None of it was life threatening. None of it was earth shattering. But none of of it was fun or comfortable. It was around that point in the process of moving that I suddenly had a sharp pang of recognition. Moving is like childbirth. 

There is preparation, anticipation, excitement, research, fear, exhaustion, uncertainty, and joy. There are stages and labor pains. And there is amnesia. I somehow convince myself that moving every three years is a normal and tolerable thing to do until I am in the midst of it and I abruptly remember just how overwhelming and draining the whole darn process can be. 

We have been back in the States now for almost three weeks and we are past the stage of active labor. We have survived the jet lag, we have moved into a house, we have received most of our belongings, we have vehicles, and we have library cards. Similar to new parents we are now in that blurry, fumbling stage of learning our way around this new territory. Delighting in all of the diverse restaurant offerings, adjusting to the insane amount of air conditioning found in public spaces, and deliriously sick of unpacking boxes, we fall into bed each night thoroughly worn out. But the good news is that we are here and we are getting a bit more settled each day. 

A new stage, a new place, a new adventure.


July 5, 2012

Memorable adventures, wonderful friends, stunning sunsets, intense flavors, too many potholes, gorgeous beaches, active volcanoes :: three amazing years in Sicily, which have flown by way too quickly. We are sad to bid farewell to such a special place, but also eager to see what experiences are waiting for us in Washington, D.C. 

Arrivederci for now! 

Summer Reading

July 3, 2012

Lipari, Sicily, June 2012

What's on your list? 

Right now Camille is in love with all of Arnold Lobel's books. Anyone have suggestions for similar reading material for a newly independent reader? So many of the more modern series are pretty flat or boring. Not that Frog and Toad are the most lively of characters, but they do have some mildly entertaining quirks and escapades. I think we need to pull out some of our favorite Cynthia Rylant reads for her. I remember having similar struggles with finding books at this stage of reading with Noah, but it is certainly exciting to see Camille's astonishment and thrill at being able to "read it all in my head!". Noah is back to studying his well-loved Science Rocks  and Kid Concoction books for summer experiment ideas. I am savoring Anthill with all of its Southern flavor, swampy adventures, and crawling critters. We just finished doing a family read aloud of Edward Tulane and are now starting The Mysterious Benedict Society. 

Here are a few things on the reading list for this summer, but would love to add to it, so please share your lists, too!

Adult Reading List
Founding Gardeners
Washington DC with Kids
Bringing Up Bebe 
How To Be An American Housewife
It Looked Different On The Model

Kid List
The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee 
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
Madeline At The White House 
The LEGO Idea Book
This is Washington, DC

Sicilian Truck Fantasy

July 2, 2012

Stromboli, Sicily 2012

We are down to our final days in Sicily. I find myself snatching items off of grocery shelves to stick into final packages home. I can't seem to stop myself from making lists of things to do one last time, friends to see one more time, and even tastes I want to savor one last time.  I  am also having to resign myself to the fact that there are still quite a number of things that we never got around to experiencing and we will just have to save for return trips in the future including my little Sicilian truck dream.

Cefalu, Sicily 2012

Ever since I heard the first signature buzz of the three wheeled trucks appropriately named "Ape" (Italian for bee), I was swept off my feet. Yes, that's right. Completely wooed, charmed, and captivated by these tiny little vehicles. I have countless photos of them....old ones with decorative paintings and fancy iron embellishments,  simple ones filled with produce and saintly images, plain practical ones. I love them all. 

Palermo, Sicily 2010

The fantasy started to take shape when I found out that we would be moving to the DC area. I started thinking wouldn't it be fun to bring an Ape truck back with us?  Now that may not seem like the most logical or practical item to bring with one on a move to a large city, but stick with me. Here's what I imagined happening...once or twice a week, I'd load up my little Ape with buckets full of freshly cut zinnias and sunflowers, pots of fresh herbs, bundles of photo cards and I'd putter down to the nearest farmers market to share some of my favorite bits and pieces of Sicily. Perhaps not the best use of my Master's Degree and perhaps not the easiest method for selling items at a farmer's market. But admit it, wouldn't you smile if you saw a little Sicilian Ape truck bursting with flowers in the middle of Washington, DC? 

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