This Week in the USA


Most of you have seen my blog yesterday about an Afternoon in Salento, a tiny hill town I discovered while standing on another hillside while exploring nearby on my first visit to Italy after purchasing Villa D’Amore.

I just want to take a few minutes to update you regarding why there was a “no blog” space of almost a month before yesterday and why there will be another week to possibly two week long space before the next blog in this series. I am relocating from the Philadelphia, PA – Wilmington, DE suburbs to New Port Richey, Florida (Tampa, FL metro area). Just like Villa D’Amore and Italy, I didn’t see this coming. . .

About two years ago, I did a major downsizing from a 3,800 sq. ft. home to my current condo. I thought I would live in my current condo forever and so I spent $30K making it what I wanted from a design perspective. As you will learn in blogs yet to come (my blog is for the most part a chronological story), this downsizing was heavily influenced by my experiences in Italy. Now, I am doing another form of preparation for spending much more time in Italy combined with family reasons.

I have 5 daughters and 15 grandchildren!! My three oldest daughters are my first sweet husband, Gail Oxley’s daughters. (Gail passed on to Heaven on June 1, 2008 after a long illness with ALS). At my insistence, they came to live with us within 6 months of our marriage. They were 4, 7 and 8 years old and I was just 21! It’s not that Gail didn’t want to have them live with us, but he certainly was not going to push them on me, especially considering our young marriage and my age. Our two youngest daughters then came along, for a total of 5 daughters in our household ages newborn to 16, at the time of the youngest’s birth. During 2015, I had a couple of surprises – the two daughters with the 8 youngest grandchildren (from oldest adopted and oldest biological) were both presented with wonderful opportunities to relocate, resulting in a better lifestyle and job opportunities for their families. I was so happy for them!

First, Jeanan and Kevin decided to leave their longtime area of Alexandria, VA (Metro Washington, DC) for New Port Richey, Florida. Kevin’s mom and dad lived near there and while visiting, they fell in love with the area and saw what their money could buy real-estate-wise and so, they built a house. Their jobs were independent of location, so better cost of living for them, not to mention better climate to raise their twin daughters (the Princess Twins) who just turned two and they would be closer to their son, Trevor as he attends Florida State University. (Please note: the Princess Twins DO NOT control my mind.)


Next, Lauren and her husband lived in Newtown, CT (Fairfield County) and Mike, who is a restaurant management executive, was presented with an incredible opportunity to move to the Gulf Shores, Alabama area to run The Hangout, Gulf Shores and The Gulf, Orange Beach, AL. (Check these out on the internet). They moved to the wonderful town of Fairhope, Alabama. So, off went our 5 youngest grandsons.

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While I was truly happy for both of my daughters and their families, my mind began twisting into a pretzel as I tried to imagine how I would live near Philadelphia, visit Alabama and Florida often enough so my small grandchildren would know me AND still have time for Italy. After much mind-twisting thought, I decided to sell my PA condo and buy two smaller condos – one in Florida and one in Alabama.

Well, my friends, my Florida home is ready and it’s freezing up here in Philly, so this week, I’m “getting out of Dodge”. See you all on the other side!!!

Goodbye, Philadelphia!

Hello, New Port Richey!

A presto dalla Florida (see you soon from Florida),

Giò (Jo)

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