A Breath of Fresh Air

It comes as no surprise to me that working outdoors fulfills a much happier place in my heart than sitting in a cubicle all day. However, its not any easier of a task. While I worked hard at WSDOT, I think most of it was more mentally straining than anything else. Here, the physical labor is really intense. At least to someone who is used to sitting at a desk most of the day. It feels amazing to be moving about and working outside. The views are simply breathtaking.

Office #2: The garden

Office #1: The vineyard

I basically have two new offices now: One is in the vineyards, the second is the garden back at the bed and breakfast. Surprisingly enough I really enjoy working in the garden. I’ve been spending much of my time thinking about my friends back home and how much they would really appreciate this place. I’ve also been thinking about what I really want out of this new chapter in my life. What do I hope to accomplish? How will I accomplish it? I decided the only tangible goal I could come up with was to learn Italian and figure out how to get a real job here. Or something.

I’m not sure how to describe what has been going through my head, but in the simplest terms: I am really happy. I feel that I have never been so content with the unknown before. I’m not sure if maybe Jim’s spirit is helping me through this or maybe I’m just growing up. Whatever it is, I am perfectly content with embracing everything with open arms and an open heart. Everything I’ve been experiencing has been incredible. Being someone who has always been a planner and needing something to do and look forward to, I feel that I am learning how to do the opposite. I’ve basically just been taking everyday an hour at a time. The weather has been shifting dramatically here so it’s hard to predict what we want to do. One minute your sweating in the sun, and within 10 minutes its pouring rain with thunderstorms. And I’m loving every minute of it.

Corrado and Valeria are such amazing examples of living life the way I have only dreamed of. They remind me of my friends Jamie and Kevin back home. A couple who are living examples of not settling, finding the right people to share your life with, and being able to positively affect each life they encounter. They are what I dream my life to be. Corrado and Valeria’s family is quite possibly the best looking family I’ve ever encountered. The children with their beautiful eyes and hair and spunky quirky personalities. Their simple every day lives are filled with so much love and happiness it seems unreal. For example today, Corrado took Giacomo and Guila out into the woods to gather some wild asparagus. Apparently, it’s only available in the area between mid April and the first week of May. They pop up after the spring rains and everyone in the area races to gather them up. Corrado says he knows all the secret places, so they were able to gather some for lunch. Corrado quickly prepared the asparagus with some butter and garlic, tossed it with some egg linguine pasta and topped it off with some parmesean. That with homemade wine made for a lovely lunch combo. Bon appetito!

Gulia enjoying her pasta

I am humbled each day I spend with this family and I look forward to each new experience that comes my way. I really can’t find the right words to express my happiness, but maybe you would understand after rolling down a long grassy hill. The other day Hilary and I were working out in the garden and during one of my breaks, I ran over to the long grassy hills and simply rolled down the hill. I giggled like a kid the whole way down and when I stopped I just laid there staring at the sky. Sunken into the tall green grass, I couldn’t help but smile at myself. When was the last time you rolled down a grassy hill?

I’m excited for the vegetable patch we’re making. I’ll finally get to raise some veggies of my own! Supposedly we’re getting a pig here in the future…although Corrado is waiting for the “right one”. I’m not sure how I feel about having the pig knowing that we are raising it to be slaughtered…proscuitto might be ruined for me. But then again, I am eager to learn how to do all these things, since I love food so much. Giovanni and I are going to learn how to make honey soon, so I am really excited for that.

I am extremely thankful for what I am experiencing and know that none of this would be possible without the support of so many of my loved ones back home. So thank you for being my inspiration.

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