Transitioning from Here to There

I know that our plan is a bit complicated and confusing, so I want to use this post to give a status update. I thought about using my Microsoft Project plan, but decided against it… Here’s a small piece of it:

Fully linked MS Project Plan!

Perhaps a better approach is to summarize what we’ve done to support our transition from Virginia to Italy and what is next.

Here’s what we’ve completed:

  • Mickey, Roni, and fishy moved to Ohio. Mickey is settled into her new home, living with Vicki and Vicki’s mother. Roni is busy guarding the backyard and Vicki’s tiny dog. Fishy is just waiting to be fed again. We shipped three pods of stuff, clothes, and furniture to Mickey in Ohio.
  • Moved wine to Florida. After much consideration, we purchased a 622 bottle wine cellar for Derek’s house. It will keep our wine at the right temperature and humidity level and looks nice too! But we had about 1000 bottles, so here’s what we did to get to ~600 since April 1st:
    • Drank 119 bottles. Don’t judge! And we shared with friends  😉
    • Gave away 94 bottles. Sorry if you didn’t get any!
    • Marked 150 bottles as missing or presumed drunk.
    • Sold 150 bottles. Maybe Jim bought just a few too many 2010 Brunello’s…
    • Threw away 6 bottles because they were spoiled.

Why did we move ~600 bottles to Florida? We plan to let them age for the next decade or so – and they will get better and better!

  • Downsized. This was probably the biggest job of all. We went from a 4000 square foot house and a 2000 square foot basement to a single 6’x7’x8’ pod. We saved sentimental items (photographs, mementos from earlier days, family heirlooms, etc. and a few other items that we just didn’t want to let go. Everything else was sold, donated, recycled, or thrown away. Today we gave our trash guys tickets to a movie as a well-deserved thank you for taking lots and lots of extra trash for many weeks.
  • Sold our house. We fixed it up first; resurfaced the driveway and a new roof were biggest projects. We spruced it up; painted most rooms inside “Agreeable Gray”, power washed the exterior, painted the front door 3 times, and lots more. Then we staged the house; lots of the furniture and decorations were removed; all of the junk was cleared away; and every pillow was placed properly. Jim said that it no longer felt like our house…  but we attracted a lot of buyers – and sold the house for a good price after 3 weeks with closing on October 31st. Happy Halloween!

And here’s what’s next:

  • 2-week trip to Italy. We are heading to Italy on October 31st. We’ll have 3 fun days in Florence, including a really neat wine dinner at Antinori’s Caninetta. Then we’ll head to Lucca for 11 days. Our goals include setting up a bank account, leasing an apartment and starting on the visa paperwork. We’ll spend the last evening in Rome and hope to meet up with Angelo (a good friend from Pazzo Pomodoro’s).
  • JoAn will head to Florida. A few days after we return from Italy, I will pack my Mini Cooper with as much as it will hold and drive to Lorton, Virginia to get onto the AutoTrain. I’ll arrive the next morning in Florida and will head to Derek’s house in Fort White. This will become Derek and JoAn’s house for the next few months…
  • Jim will remain in Virginia. Jim will continue working until January when he will retire. He’s staying at the Residence Inn that is a few minutes from his work. Although he will be cooking in his miniature kitchen, I’m sure that he’d appreciate a real homecooked meal from any friends. In January, Jim will head to Florida and Derek’s house will become the only Ferguson Family residence.
  • Visa application. We will apply for an Italian Elective Residence Visa, which will allow us to remain for longer than 90 days. We need to apply for it at the Miami consulate in person.  And like most things in Italy, there is a lot of bureaucracy and paperwork. It can take several months to get the visa.  We have Italian lawyers that are going to help us with the visa process.
  • Move to Italy. Once the items above are completed, we’ll be off to Italy and saying “Arriverderci” to our family and friends.

Here are a few pictures of our Virginia home from the real estate listing:

Next post should include pictures of our Italian apartment and continued stories of this adventure…

14 thoughts on “Transitioning from Here to There

  1. Fantastic! Great work and wonderful adventures ahead. Enjoy your two-week trip and perhaps we will see you in FL before you make the “biggest” move!

  2. Let us know if we can do anything on this (Lucca!!) end?? Do you know people here? Also, I’m sure you know that ‘Comics’ ends nov 3. It’s pretty intense. The centro goes from 10K people to 100K. 😳 Let us know if you need us for anything. We look forward to meeting you soon!! 😳. Shari (and Jedd)

    • We know a few people in Lucca, and look forward to meeting you and Jedd. We’ll arrive in Lucca on November 4th and expect to see Lucca at it’s worse… I’m sure that the town will be still looking a bit rough from the Comics.

  3. Love the detail! You were always so disciplined! We did the auto train when we moved to and from Florida. It was a wonderful experience. Highly recommend springing for a sleeper car that allows you to arrive well rested. Don

    • Thanks Don. I did the Auto Train one other time and agree that the sleeper car is well worth it. 🙂 Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

  4. So happy for your new adventure! Your move reminds me of my downsizing from Colorado to Florida. All the work and feelings of letting go of so many belongings. It is strange to look at the small POD at the end! Wish I lived closer for the wine downsizing! Stay in touch. Hope to see you before your launch to Italy.

  5. JoAn, I just saw a book review that immediately made me think of you. There is a novel called The Walls of Lucca. I went to Amazon to check it out. An American wrote about an Italian man who comes back from WWII looking for work out of his disillusionment from the war. It heads into territory of Mussolini and Italy’s and Lucca’s history during that time. The reviews were pretty good. Objections were made about the spirituality involved wholile others loved that. Marianne Williamson’s book that is quasi-Christian, was the spiritual basis this book was written on.

    There is a love story, too. I just thought that you might enjoy this book as you are living in Lucca!

    Tim and I have moved 4 blocks away in order to let Abby buy our old house. We are in a newer house, only 119 years old. God has been clearly in this. New neighbors and opportunities to share our lives and enjoy theirs!

    Tim and Ian Moore golfed last week. They are excited about becoming new grandparents! I fear we might lose them to WV but I completely understand if we do.

    McLean Pres started back to meeting again on our 40th anniversary. Only about 5% of our congregation is able to gather with social distancing but how great it is to go from Livestream, which we were doing for the past several years anyway, to choose between the two. We have been every other week due to Tim’s schedule and allowing others to get to go. The staff have so loved the congregation in doing this. I’ve never felt safer. Our Women’s Bible Study restarts this coming week. I learned how to host Zoom meetings in April in order to keep us going. We took the month of August off. Everything, well, almost everything, is kicking off virtually.

    We look forward to being able to travel again. We had been planning to go to the Italian beaches on the west coast with our friends in Bologna soon. Whenever we make those plans again, we’ll try to figure out a way to get to Lucca to see both of you and your beloved town. Be on the lookout for guest houses or hotels where we might be able to stay during our visit then.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog posts! Take care!

    Karen Field

    On Sat, Oct 26, 2019 at 10:11 AM My Next Adventure wrote:

    > > > > > > > JLF posted: ” > > > > > I know that our plan is a bit complicated and confusing, so > I want to use this post to give a status update. I thought about using my > Microsoft > Project plan, but decided against it… Here’s a small piece of it: > > > > Fully linked MS Project Plan! > > > > Pe” > > > >

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