Yawn, my eyes are little goopy slits but I feel compelled to talk to you. Just a second. There a gulp of tea and a quick peek at the clouds and I feel a wee bit better. I’m perched on my Air Emirates “flat bed” seat gazing around the cabin at the sleeping beauties snoring. Pretty subtle huh? Yup Jack and I are on the way back to Italy flying Business Class on the classiest airline I’ve ever been on.
Jack Huber – The Ace Airlines Shopper
Trust me – we paid less for these seats than we would this time of year for coach on anyone else. There was an e-mail alert that Jack got – he is on all kinds of travel lists – Air Emirates was offering TWO coach seats to Milan from New York for $800 ROUND TRIP!!!! Then they sent an e-mail that within a three hour window you could upgrade to Business Class for $900!!! Jack rapid fired a response. So our two tickets cost us a total of $1750. Damn, Jack is a great air shopper. The plane is lovely – Jack says his dinner of herb cured salmon was very good. He also had huge prawns, scallops, great asparagus with thin polenta – cripes I’m getting hungry. I got on the plane, asked the steward to make up the bed and promptly fell asleep. I missed the open bar. RATS. We are spending a week in Milan. This is the prologue of our new second act. A Second Act that finds us searching for new adventures. Perhaps I should explain…
Sigh, some of you may have wondered where the heck I’ve been for two plus months. Here is the ugly update – I got smacked with a bizarre something or other – lots of tests and no diagnosis – we have no idea illness made me dizzier than usual and held me couch hostage for two months. As soon as I could lift my head from the pillow, we made good on our promise to each other to list our New Jersey home and start a new and exciting second act. The house has been in my family since 1926 – my nonna fed all of us from that subsistence farm.
We made quite a few changes to the place but the soul of it belongs to nonna & nonno.
The family used the house as a safe haven in any storm. Listing it was tough – but hey it could take years to sell a 250 plus old farm house. WRONG – Seven days – 7 days. The bloody house sold for full price in 7 days. I’m thinking that Zia Caterina, Poppa and Nonna wanted me out of the house and on the road.
We frantically emptied 3 out buildings and the huge house of 3 generations worth of stuff. The work was staggering physically and emotionally. First came the estate sale company – they take 30% of the gross sale. Second I cajoled and begged family and pals to help me belly lug everything left in the house to the out buildings and set up for the “Free Sale”. People queued up in the rain to be let into the garage ten at a time, race around grabbing all the good stuff they wanted before I bellowed “Your Done – Next Group In”. Hey, you gotta make this stuff a game or be bored to death. Shit – there is still stuff left. A thirty yard dumpster and crew of three tossed the rest of my family’s possessions. That night I stayed up with my pal Grey Goose and sobbed.
Bye Bye 221 South Branch Road. You served generations of us well.
Photo by http://galleries.johnfeistphotography.com/
We closed on the house a week ago. Now what? Sell the cars of course. Might as well be car-less as well as homeless. That pretty much brings you up to date. Now that we have shed most of our belongings and bills we are back in Italy ready to open that Second Act.
I’ve got to go now. The handsome cabin steward just asked if I wanted an omelet, french toast or – who cares what it is served on china with real flatware!!! We will chat again soon.
Thank you in advance for following the Italian journey with us.