Image by indigo papillon from Pixabay

Every morning it’s like the first scene in Avatar. My eyes fly open and I am wondering what universe lies around me. (For sure it is not Pandora).

Today the anxiety alarm woke me at 5 am. I washed my hair and realized that the hair dryer was already packed. No time to nudge it out so on with the day, hair come what come may.

In an apartment building you can’t start banging around boxes in the early hours. I opted to screw together Giada’s cage, since that is a quiet task. Seeing it complete again, I wondered how…

Debby Downer didn’t have to move.

by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

The day started out with my realizing there were books and files tucked away behind unfilled cartons that I hadn’t noticed. Since today, Thursday, is the only day of the week that the only charitable organization in town accepting books (and clothes) will take them. I scrambled to toss the files (don’t look! Lot’s wife!) into the garbage and set the books in cartons to bring down to the car and thence to the church in the afternoon.

The other day I had sifted through conflicting opinions about the tampone (COVID test) needed for entry into the US. Having established…

Moving come what come may

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

The good news is that we have lost some — not all but some — of our former emotional attachment to our stuff. With a week to go before moving, with our apartment no longer keeping any vestige of its former beauty and grace, with our lives reduced to hack our way through boxes and bubble wrap left and right, we have become so sick of living in what a friend calls the manicomio (mental institution) that reduction has become the Holy Grail of redemption.

It’s a little like a vet in a clinic, who has to deal every so…

by C.Flisi

When chocolate chip cookies taste like ashes in your mouth, you know the situation is beyond the pale.

I baked my last batch of Italian-origin cookies this morning before 7 am. Flour, sugar, eggs, nuts, and chocolate chips had to be used up, so why not put them together in a good way? A friend of mine was stopping by around noon, and fresh cookies make a house smell hospitable, even a house that has become a labyrinth of boxes.

My friend’s personal presence helped calm me down. Since she is an excellent cook, I gave her jars and bottles…

by C.Flisi

Things started out well today for a change. Our shipper showed up exactly on time, early in fact. One guy, soft-spoken, well-trained, wiry and efficient. He put his numbers on the boxes to correspond with the numbers I had assigned so they can be easily tracked. Everything coincided perfectly except for one box number that couldn’t be found. I knew exactly what was in that box and remembered that it had been problematic. …

by C.Flisi

It’s my dog’s 17th birthday today. Usually we celebrate with friends (hers and ours), a cake (never chocolate), a delicious bone to chew, and a nice walk, weather permitting. Today is different. Can’t invite friends to a house without chairs and we only have two chairs by now. All else is sold or wrapped for storage. A cake is difficult since we are running down our provisions and have no more eggs or flour. I have a bone, but Giada’s teeth are not up to that level of chewing anymore, and I don’t want to risk a broken tooth and…

by C.Flisi

We need more cartons, clean ones in which we can actually store stuff for an extended period (meaning more than five minutes, given the state of the “cartons” left for us yesterday). I found a company that sells shipping materials and is open on Saturday mornings and isn’t TOO far away. The price is cheaper than what the shipping or storage companies would charge, so it’s all good. My husband went off to fetch 20 cartons in two sizes, due unde (double strength), not great for books but acceptable for clothes and most household items.

Meanwhile, I was trying to…

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

The patient is dying. The evidence is clear all around. Rags to clean the wounds are scattered everywhere, but no stopping the flow. No point in thinking about saving the life of this apartment; all I can do now is ease it into a relatively painless death. So this morning when my eyes flew open at 5 am, I decided that the only way to alleviate its agony would be to hire an agenzia di sgombero (removal company). You have to pay them to remove your stuff, which they then might transport to the city dump, but might also recycle…

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The bank called again. They are reluctant to transfer some of my holdings to a bank abroad because my name in Italy is not the same as my name in my foreign bank. They want me to come in again, to sign more documents, just to enable me to have access to my own assets. This is not the first time, or the 50th, that a bank or public office has had problems with the fact that I use my married name for legal documents in other countries, while here I must use my maiden name. Only Italy, of all…

14 days withering the depths of infinite anxiety

by C.Flisi

Today’s first — and much-procrastinated — project was tackling my four-drawer filing cabinet, a clunky grey metal box that used to be a staple of offices all over the US. (European filing cabinets are more attractive).

I have culled it several times over the years but now decisions have to be more refined: which of my essential documents (for example, birth and marriage certificates) should go into my carry-on bag, because they are a sine qua non. Which should be carried in my suitcase — occupying space that might otherwise be used for two months’ worth of clothes — because…


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