We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A trip to the US - more ....

My blogging has been WAYYYY off.. so many things to get back to dealing with once I returned from the US. BUT-- I can't let the story remain unfinished. So, I have to get back to it, and get current on stuff going on here every day.

The first few days back in Baltimore were excruciating, but slowly I managed to get through the first week. During that time there was NO good news about the status of my car from the Maza dealer. I can look back on it now and laugh, however at the time I just felt like the black cloud was surrounding me, and each day's info from Mazda just got worse and worse. First they thought it was the immobilizer chip in the key fob. They even sent a technician to the house to pick up the spare key so they could replace the chip in both. That didn't resolve the problem. Next they thought it was the ECM or PCM or something like that.. the main computer chip in the car, so they replaced that. Problem still not resolved. Six days after arriving at the dealer, the technicians were still scratching their heads, making calls to some other main Miata specialists. To make things even more comical, Mazda was willing to give me a loaner car, but I didn't have a US drivers license on me. Getting a replacement license for the one that was stolen in Florence along with my wallet was one of the first things I needed to do in the US. Since my car died on day 1, I hadn't been able to get to the Maryland MVA to get a replacement. So.. no loaner car either.

I also had three antique dealers come to the house to look at an assortment of items I needed to sell. All of them told me that the market is so bad, they aren't buying big ticket items, or very much of anything for that matter. I had pieces I'd purchased from dealers in Ellicottt City that now I couldn't even sell back! I knew the market was bad. In fact, from the moment I got back into the US I was hearing stories of people being laid off from nearly everyone I bumped into.

Signing a contract with an Estate sale dealer and the international shipper didn't get completed until nearly the end of week 2, later than I had wanted. And, the estate sale woman originally planned to be very aggressive and schedule the sale for the following week, then changed the date to the next weekend as she felt more time to advertise would be best. I had time, but I was pushing to get everything done and go back to Italy sooner, if possible. This change in schedule wasn't going to allow for that.

It turns out that I needed all the time I had. There was so much stuff to go through. Bags and bags and bags of stuff went out to Salvation army. My sister Denise came up from Delaware with a truck to take away yard furniture and garden tools. Unfortunately the weather was ghastly, there was horrible ice storm and my driveway and yard were covered with inches of solid ice. We couldn't get the truck up the driveway even, so we slid everything down it to the street! Thank god we could maintain a sense of humor in all this, and get a bit creative. We used one of the backyard chaise lounges for a sled, loaded it up with stuff and pushed it down the driveway. Well, more like slid it down, and held on for dear life trying to "steer it". By the end of the day we had created a new Olympic winter sport.. the two man chaise lounge slide, and the Rumanian judge was giving us 9.5's. Denise's weekend visit boosted my spirits, I hated to see Sunday come and watch her drive away.

By the end of week 2 I still had no car, but had made huge progress. Both of my children had arrived for a brief visit to collect some family stuff they wanted, each one taking a car load with them. My oldest Shannon also took with her a large stack of my husband's paintings to store for him, which we were not going to be able to store in Italy at this time. Dear friends and work colleagues kept me in good company for dinners, which I sorely needed at the end of some very long days of cleaning out closets, shelves and drawers. I was working myself through the house room by room sorting, donating, or designating to be sold.

Big plans for week 3 included getting my car back (hopefully) and the international movers coming to pack and move stuff out. Such exciting stuff!

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