One Year…

Yesterday was my anniversary.  A year ago, Cinder and I were just arriving here in Montepulciano on a fog-filled chilly morning.  I was excited and nervous about the new life I’d chosen.  Looking back, I can honestly say that I made the right choice.  I love my new home.   I love the people, the town, the olive oil, the wine, being surrounded by nature, the pace, the intimacy.  And my Italian has definitely improved.

That being said, it hasn’t been an easy year.  The work issue has overshadowed what otherwise would have been a fairly smooth transition.  There were of course the language issues, the fish out of water feeling and struggles for connecting with people, but these things were easier to overcome than the empty job prospects.  I’ve learned a lot this year about an Italy that I had never really seen on vacation trips.  Little things like in Tuscany they say good evening “buona sera” as early as two o’clock, to more important lessons about living in a small town and the hazards of everyone knowing everything about your life.  (As much as I enjoyed my first romance with an Italian, I’ve learned that “separated” is still married.)  Most of the good, the bad and the ugly has gone into the book I’ve been writing about surviving my first year here–the reality of what it means to follow your dream.  I’ve tried to find the humorous side of even the most difficult things I’ve encountered.  I’m almost done with the first draft of the book, and have been writing a lot these last few weeks.  This is the reason I haven’t been so good about keeping up on the posts, as more than one of you has pointed out to me.  I’m glad that people are still enjoying to read about my life here and I’ll try to keep the posts coming with a little more frequency.

I hope in the coming weeks to be able to report that I have a job, and I’ll admit the amount of near misses are dizzying.   The fact that I was ready to wash dishes and shovel manure should tell you I’m pretty much game for anything.  With the latter, I even got so far as a starting date before being hampered again by paperwork.  I’m now awaiting the director of the Tourist office’s call.  We’ve spoken, they need help and maybe just maybe this will be the job for me.  Of course when he told me he’d call me right back it was yesterday, but I just figured he’s on Italian time and I’m not giving up hope!

Spring is late this year, but finally it's here

I know I shouldn't pick favorites when babysitting five, but how can I resist this?

Marinella's cat Teo is one of Cinder's many admirers

Trying to capture the church bells as they ring

12 thoughts on “One Year…

  1. CIao Jennifer

    Auguri on the anniversary of your first year in Italia!

    I have been reading your blog occasionally and I think you have much to celebrate!

    I have begun working as a Tour Guide in NY and among other things, I have been conducting tours of NY for Italians, so even though I could not afford my yearly journey there this year, I’ve made some connection with lots of wonderful people from all parts of the country.

    We were not exactly greeting each other warmly in the street in NY in the months before you left here, so although I don’t count myself as part of your close circle of friends, I will say I have really enjoyed reading of your progress nonetheless. Best of luck with your book! And congratulations- May your future be bright!

  2. Ciao Laurel,

    Thanks for the good wishes. I too send my regards to you and New York. That sounds like a great job! I think of you often in your little garden. I know we didn’t run into each other much at the end of my time in New York, but I always enjoyed our chats about Italy and watching you tend to the flowers in your care. Abbracci, Jen

  3. Hi Jenn:

    I am so proud of you!!! You are amazing! I miss you bunches, but extremely happy for you and admire your determination to follow your dreams. Many hugs to you and Cinder.

    Much love your friend,

  4. Hi Jennifer!

    I found your blog and liked reading it very much. My dream is also to move to Tuscany. But, I have an 11 year old daughter and that means I can’t just go…It has to be a well thought plan…Meanwhile I wait and dream and work on the recognition of my Italian citizenship. I’ll keep visiting your blog. You can have a look at mine and read a little about my story. The blog is very much in the beginning yet, though 🙂
    Kind regards, Rose

  5. Ciao Rose,

    Thanks so much for reading along with my adventure. I’m glad you have a love of Tuscany too! As you’ve probably noticed, my preparation was more by the seat of my pants and I’m now paying the price a bit. Living hand to mouth. However, I do have good friends, a quiet and peaceful life and tons of birds in the morning. I know you asked on your site how to achieve this and I think you’re doing the right thing. Having the citizenship first will allow you work (providing the economy picks up!) and not experience that stress. I have friends here who are Americans and their five kids are all in school and have had no little problems with adjustment. They are learning Italian and making friends. The oldest is ten and the Italian is a little more slow going for him. If you are really making a plan to move, I’d start the Italian lessons now for your daughter! Good luck and keep me posted on your progress! Jenny

  6. Hi Jenny!

    I am so happy you answered! I was waiting to be notified by email of your reply and since it did not happen, I checked on your comments sections today and found your sweet answer!
    Are you working already? I am looking forward to more news from you on your blog. Try to write more often and add pictures!!!
    Warm hug from Rose in Norway 🙂

  7. Good to have your update, I was beginning to worry
    about you and Cinder… I too am following a dream
    although this one is buying a place in Venice, well
    there really is no dress rehersal, let’s get on with
    it!..good luck with the job bet it comes soon,
    happy days, Louisa x

  8. Hi, Louisa,

    Nice to hear from you! Buying a place in Venice sounds fabulous. I hope it is wonderful! And thanks for the good wishes on the job front…I need them! 🙂

    Abbracci, Jenny

  9. Hey, any new news? As always, thanks for sharing things and including your photos. I enjoy reading about Italy and hearing how things are going for you. I can’t believe one year has gone by, so, so fast. I’m pretty sure I’m heading to Italy next year with my youngest. I have no itinerary yet but if I make it to Tuscany, I’d love to visit you. Keep your blog going. XOXO

  10. ciao Susan,

    Great to hear from you! I think of you guys all the time. And you’d better include Tuscany on your itinerary. I would love to see you guys!!!


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