Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's a small, small world...

So, we're getting even closer to our big move to Italy. By the 16th of next month (in just 30 days) this house will be packed up, our belonging on their way to Italy. We will do our final walk through on the 16th. Bubba will finish his last day of school on the 16th. Hard to believe that in 30 days we'll be done with the stuff I am currently stressing out about.

We get to Italy just a few days before Christmas. In fact, I am just hoping that the jet-lag wears off by then. I know it kinda stinks that the kids won't get a ''normal'' Christmas.We'll be in a new country, in a hotel, tired and everything will still feel a bit off. But I'm doing all the preparations that I can to assure that Santa will be visiting us at the hotel. (Hey, blame the airlines they are allowing us a crazy amount of baggage since we are on military orders). I've decided to take one suitcase and use it to safely transport our gifts to Italy. I really can't trust to mail them ahead of time, mail isn't always reliable. I can't send them with our household goods because it will take, quite possibly months for those to get there. So, in baggage it is. And if the airline loses the bag, heaven help them because I will lose it.

So Christmas, obviously it's more than just gifts. For us, it's all about family. I mean hello, last year we opened presents via Skype so my parents could be there too.
So for me, that was the hardest part about having Christmas is Italy. Will it be gorgeous? I'm sure. They have an amazing Christmas festival and market. But I know me and I know I'll get homesick. So imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago I discover that I have a 2nd (3rd??) cousin on my dad's side that....are you ready for this? Lives in Italy. Not just Italy, but the same town we're moving to! Her husband is stationed at the same base that B will be working out. And lucky for us, she is not some 60 year old cousin but she's also in her twenties. With a daughter who is just two months older than Sissy. How freaking cool is that??

How did I find out? My dad was at our family reunion at the end of September when he was talking to family about us moving to Italy when come to find out, my dad's cousins daughter lives there too. He explained everything to me, even mentioned that he knew we had met as kids (though I don't remember...there were always a ton of kids at the reunions). So naturally I did what anybody does nowadays, I messaged her on Facebook. Nothing like a ''I know this sounds odd but I guess we're related'' email, right? Well come to find out the news spreads fast because she knew exactly what I was talking about. So we've ''friended'' each other and talked a bit here and there. This weekend we were talking and she invited us over for Christmas dinner. How truly amazing is that?? It really is a very small world in the grand scheme of things! And in the midst of all this chaos of moving, it's nice to know that I do know someone over there already!

I really really have to give Facebook credit; while we may bitch about the constant changes and joke about being addicted, it truly is a blessing. I've been able to connect with a cousin I didn't even know I had, I joined a private Facebook group for spouses on post who are just amazing. They answer any question, offer to help in any way possible. They give you the ''inside'' story on how long it'll take your stuff to arrive, good areas to live, the bus schedule, the activities going on around post. Which doctors are good, which ones to avoid. What hours the PX and commissary are open..it's just truly amazing the support that they give each other. I think that is one of the things I am looking the most forward too; because there aren't a ton of Americans over there, the ones that are really go above and beyond to help each other out. Everyone has been there. Every knows what in-processing is like, how hard it is to wait months for your car and belongings to arrive. What it's like to live in a hotel for weeks. To be overwhelmed with culture shock. And how lonely it can feel. I love the fact that even though I'm still stateside, I'm already making friends. It makes all the stress and anxiety over moving, worth it in the end.

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