Five years ago today, my husband Mike arrived at Marco Polo airport with 4 suitcases and our corgi Leopold ,about to embark on one heck of a ride - our new life in Venice, Italy.
Mike may have drawn the short straw, getting the task of coming over from Baltimore first to settle into our furnished rented apartment in Santa Croce. His list of "To-Do"s during the 10 days before I arrived with our other dog Sam was full of some pretty tough chores: get the apartment registered at the comune with the new landlords, apply for his Permesso di Soggiorno, and basically scope out the lay of the land in an area of Venice we were unfamiliar with.
By the time I arrived, Mike knew where the closest grocery stores were, where to buy dog food (a critical item), had met the shopkeepers in Campo Santa Margherita, and had even bought a candleabra for the dining room table. And he had tackled all those nasty bureaucratic items to boot.
He took on the move without one complaint, ever. He willingly gave up his career, his family, his friends, his car, everything he knew in life to move to Venice. Thankfully the wizard granted him courage and bravery, and Mike has demonstrated those every day of the last 5 years. He already had heart.
Over these 5 years Mike has had 3 exhibitions of his art, 2 here in Venice and one in San Remo. He's had 2 commissioned paintings and continues to sell both his oils and his photographs. His first novel is sold on Amazon, the second is in the process of seeking a publisher, and his third is currently in the works on his desk. No, he hasn't been sitting idle!
Yesterday one of my friends sent me a message saying " Sounds like retirement is going well." This isn't quite retirement. I'd say it's a "re-inventing". We not only moved to a new country, we started a new business. We're learning the language, immersing ourselves in the culture, making new friends, exploring every nook and cranny in Venice, and traveling to new places around the world.
We're happy. Really, really happy. Most days we walk around with grins as big as a cheshire cat, pinching ourselves in disbelief that we're here, even after 5 years. We traded in the roller coaster ride we were on for 2 vaporetto passes and the good life in this city- this incredible, grand, glorious city.
Happy Anniversary, Mike! Here's to another 5, plus 5, plus 5.......