Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Perfect Day?

I didn't know what time of the day I had. As I waited for the kettle to boil, I switched on the television. A loud startling snap took me by surprise. I remembered, she had told me not to plug in any two appliances at one time. Had I blown a fuse? I wrapped the cord of my long cotton robe tightly around my body and made my way down the two flights of worn stone medieval steps of the Uffizi apartment in search of the main fuse box. After much huffing and two trips up and down I managed to get the electricity back on. Marveling at this feat and realizing I had no idea how I had accomplished it. Sipping my tea I read through the information binders again. The morning was wearing on, time was ticking by. It dawned on me I was delaying.  I was afraid? I was afraid to venture out the door? My courage and determination seemed to have deserted me. How would I find my way around? Where would I go, what would I do. What made me think I could spend ten days in Florence all by myself? It was all so easy in planning, but now what? Finally I called myself to order. It was time to stop blubbering. Take a bath, get dressed and start living your dream, I chided myself.

The refreshing bath did its magic, alleviating my fears and nervousness. I was ready to take on the world. Until I encountered my next obstacle. I was unable to remove the bath stopper, resulting in frustrated tears. Heat started to slowly inch up my neck and face. Why are these simple tasks always so difficult for me? Sweat was gushing from every pore now. So much for my relaxing bath... Wrapped in an oversized bath towel I padded downstairs to get a butter knife. Maybe if I could get the knife under the seam of the stopper, it would come up. The only thing I succeeded in doing was having another hot flash. Another bath was needed. Maybe a sewing needle would do the trick. There was one in the vanity drawer. I abandoned this idea. The needle would probably break in my hand and do me damage. I didn’t want to end up in an emergency room on the first day of my Grand Adventure. I was getting nowhere. It was time to walk away from the full bathtub and in true Scarlet O’Hara fashion; I declared, I would think about it tomorrow. Well later anyway.

My first day had not started well. I had struggled with the keys. Blown the fuses and I spent half the morning peering into the fuse box, praying for divine intervention. Adding to my woes was the unpluggable bath!

I had to shake it off. Taking a deep breath, I walked out the door, slamming it firmly behind me. Things could only get better! The first morning of living my dream had been a frustrating one. It had reduced me to tears and foul language more than once. But when I walked out onto the street the glories of the city surrounded me. I needn't have worried, whatever direction I turned, I would be heading in the right direction. I spent my first day in Florence, just walking, soaking in my surroundings. I had made it. I was finally here. It was a perfect day after all.


Jan Morrison said...

I completely relate to what you are saying - it is like we have this willful part of us that knows what we don't. It decides we should go on an adventure and then the shy part hangs back. Struggle! So glad you are going through to the other side. Florence - I am riven with envy.

Old Kitty said...

Oh Ann

I tried not to, but I did laugh reading your adventures even before you walked out of your Uffizi apartment! I can just imagine you surrounded by blown fuses and an unpluggable plug!

But I love your Scarlett O'Hara attitude! As God is your witness!! and leaving all that behind to discover a wonderous world beyond. I mean we are talking Florence here afterall.

I'm now dying to find out what happened when you returned to your flat.


Take care and Happy Easter!


Talli Roland said...

Happy you got the power on, unplugged the bath and went out into the big wide world! Florence... wow!

Brigid said...

Did you check if I was in the next apartment with my psychic electric weirdness ??
Sounds like my every morning.
Lovely piece, we have such high expectations and it's always the little things that get in the way, glad you found your pioneer spirit, would love to hear more of your adventures in Florence.

Ann said...

Hi Kitty, Yes you may laugh. When I look back on it now I laugh. I seem to be prone to these type of experiences. The easiest of things turn into melodrama. I will fill you in on how I dealt with that stubborn stopper next week. That is a whole story unto itself! 

Hi Jan, Like I said it all was so easy in the planning. I felt like Lot's wife, my fear had me paralyzed. Thankfully I overcame and had a wonderful ten days in Florence.

Hi Talli, Unplugging the bath became the saga of the day. Florence was spectacular! The bath stopper well that is another story!

Hi Brigid, My friends marvel at how the simplest things become major drama in my world. This talent of mine is the entertainment for them. I have been told more entertaining than most sit-coms.

Niki said...

Wow how brave you are to travel on your own. I envy women who have the courage to do it. It must be wonderful. :o)

Al said...

I hate those moments when everything seems to be happening at once.
But what a compensation Florence. How envious you make me feel.

Little Sister said...

I juat love this blog

Pat Tillett said...

Hi there,
I clicked on your blog at Talli Roland's site.
I like what I see and will tag along, if you don't mind.

Barbara Scully said...

Ann - this is a great story. And it really captures how it is often the small things that really get us. Walking around Florence is a doddle compared to working out the eccentricities of an Italian Apartment.

I totally admire you for this adventure.. I think it is often when we travel alone, throwing ourselves out of our comfort zone that we really learn who we are!

What happened to the bath ?
And we need more installments of the Florentine adventure? Have you another planned in Europe this year?

Niamh said...

Aww, you poor thing! What a start to the day! But I bet you appreciated the rest even more once you escaped from the bath and the electricity! So funny!
( Have you seen this site - maybe you could write something for them?)

Susannah said...

Really enjoyed your story Ann and am looking forward to more! :-)

Ann said...

Hi Niki, I don't know about desire to see Florence on my own terms spurred me on. I did have an attack of major doubt that first morning.

Hi Al, my life is filled with those moments. I am an amusement to all who know me. Keystone Cops are only trotting after me!

Well hello little sister, thrilled you are following me and double thrilled you like my blog.

Hi Pat and a very warm Welcome. Delighted you stopped by. It is wonderful that you have decided to tag along.

Hi Barbara, the bath saga does go on. It is fodder for another post. And it is true, once I walked out the door, walking around Florence was the easiest thing I did that day!!!

No trips this year. Heading to Glendalough for a workshop.

Hi Niamh, Thank you for that link. I will check it out. Glad you enjoyed my story. These things are usually pretty entertaining when you have put a bit of space between yourself and said incidents.

Hi Susannah, Glad you enjoyed my story.

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

I think we should all get t-shirts made with this saying:

Take a bath, get dressed and start living your dream

Theresa Milstein said...

Oh, I was with you for the whole thing. What happens the next day? And the next?

You were writing about most of my days. If I run more than one of the: dishwasher, disposal, or coffee maker at the same time, I always blow a fuse.

How many times have I reddened when I've been too short, too weak - such a girl about things. If I'm cooking and the smoke detector goes off, I can't reach it even on my tippy-toes atop a barstool.

Rebecca, I want that t-shirt!

Ann said...

I think you are right Rebecca!I Love the t-shirt idea. I might get one made and give it as a prize if I ever reach 100 Followers!!!

Hi Theresa, some of us are just blessed, don't you know. How boring life could be for those around us if we didn't have these little trials.

Ann said...

Oh Theresa, you are now my 44th follower! I am so excited. Welcome!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I had to chuckle -- fear of exactly those kinds of snafus led me to stay with an elderly relative the first few days when I took my Grand Adventure solo trip to Norway (at the age of 56). I got a bit braver after a while and took off on my own on the train to spend a few days visiting museums, shopping and exploring.

Ann Carbine Best said...

I like your post. Very vivid. Well done. I'm glad I found you. I found you on Karen Gowen's blog, Coming Down the Mountain. I'm new to blogging, but not to writing. Been writing since I was in first grade. Finally, after all these MANY years I'm getting a novel published. I too have four grown children, but daughter number two was head-injured in a car crash and is now confined to a wheelchair. As a widow, I'm her full-time caregiver, but live close enough to my other children and grandchildren to see them often. Your life sounds intriguing. I'll follow you. Would like to know you better. Check out Karen Gowen's blog, and mine. Karen's running a contest. All you need to do is become a follower on my site. Until later . . .

shantiwallah said...

I'm glad you finally got out of there! It's easy to let stuff like this take over, but you managed to get yourself out and remind yourself what you were really there for. Good on you!