Ever since #45 was elected, or mango unchained (Thank you Trevor Noah!) as we like to say, I have been on a mission to leave the country. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?! My husband and I are on the down side of middle age and ever since the last recession, gainful employ has eluded us. (Not for lack of trying, mind you.) We can no longer afford to live in the Mile-High City (Denver, Colorado) that we have called home for the past 25 years. We have been hanging on by our fingernails and the generous support of family and friends for years. It seems that once we hit 50, nobody wants us. Add to this that advancing age has caused me to loathe the extreme bi polar temperatures in Denver and I have been trying to figure out where we could go to have a better quality of life for several years now.
I traveled a lot throughout western Europe in my youth, but my husband Joe had never been out of the country. In 28 years of marriage we had never had a vacation together. Chalk it up to something else always taking precedence, work, trips to see family and the like. So, given our advancing age and general dissatisfaction with our lives I decided it was high time we got the hell out of Dodge, so to speak.
It is high on my bucket list to relocate to Europe and after a year of research I decided that Portugal was the best possible choice. When friends asked, why Portugal? My answer was, food, wine and weather. Also, the cost of living is much lower and to make residence there is a lot easier than most European countries. So, I decided, we need to plan a trip. Again, sounds so simple, until you start to consider the cost of a trip like this from BFE USA. How shall we pay for this, I asked myself? With our good looks?! Oh, yeah, those left the building a long time ago! As my Dad used to say, I wish I was born rich instead of good looking!
I was a professional harpist in L.A. for ten years and have played professionally off and on since then. However, in the past several years, I have done maybe, two or three gigs total. As much as I loved my gold 23 Lyon & Healy concert harp, it was really just collecting dust in our house. After much agonizing and waffling and false starts, I walked into the wine shop where I work and announced, to no one in particular, “I’m selling my harp”. Now, selling a gold concert harp is no small endeavor. Replacement value is in the neighborhood of $53,000. Market value for mine was about $20,000. This could take some time. But here is the crazy thing: one of my co-workers knew a customer of the store who might be interested, one Eddie Ceredig, a Welsh jazz guitar player who is a successful gigging musician and has always wanted a harp like mine. Victor asked me to text him the info on the harp, which I did, and he sent it on to Eddie. Long story short, the deal was done in a matter of a couple of days and concluded shortly thereafter. This is a testament to the power of intention, I’ll say. It was nothing short of a small miracle that I sold my harp so easily and I took it as a green light from the universe to start packing my bags and planning our little trip.