As we race toward our rapidly approaching departure date for Italy (which is now just 38 days away) we are trying to spent extra time with family and friends to say our good-byes. As much as their work and college schedules will allow, we have had lunches and dinners with the local adult children, Sarah, Nick, Casey, Adam, and Adam’s girlfriend Liz. We’ve spent time with friends Kelly, Kathy, Cindy, (another) Kelly, and Echo and Dan. We realize that in the very near future visiting won’t be so convenient and intercontinental flights back to the States will not be frequent.
We enjoyed Thanksgiving with Tracy’s Aunt Debbie and Uncle Gerry in San Martin, (outside Gilroy) California. Nineteen people, two Chihuahuas, two Pit Bulls, and one very large and tasty turkey. Along with Tracy’s mom, sister, brother-in-law, aunt, uncle, nieces, and nephews we got to spend time with daughter Danielle, her husband Joe, and granddaughters Lorelei and Lily. We also visited with son Dirk, his boyfriend Trey, and their “fur baby” Milo the chihuahua. There was a great traditional Thanksgiving feast, great conversation, and all around fun.
After the Thanksgiving celebration, Tracy headed to Long Beach with her mom, sister, aunt, to meet two Northern California cousins, and one more sister for a farewell “Girls’ Cruise” to Catalina Island and Ensenada on Carnival Cruise Line. It was a chance for Tracy to spend some final one-on-one time with her family.
I drove back to Reno, with Kiara the microdog in the passenger seat (“Dog is my co-pilot”), to finish out teaching my final semester and to take care of some additional departure details. I cancelled our post office box which has been my primary mailing address for the last twenty years. I also gave final notice to our apartment manager to advise her that we will be vacating our apartment New Years Eve. Our remaining car is listed “for sale” on Craig’s List and we are waiting for an agreeable offer. Those are a couple more small steps toward cutting loose our remaining ties in the US.
I’m somewhat apprehensive as we continue to cut our domestic links since our visas from the Italian Consulate still haven’t arrived, but we are being bold and proceeding on faith since people request and are granted visas all the time and we believe the documents’ arrival is just a matter of time and patience.