A Fantasy

By:  Wendy Rhein

I have a confession. I have a fantasy that is occupying more and more of my time. It is tantalizing to distraction and I’m fantasizing about making the fantasy reality.

Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Come with me.

I dream of a vineyard with a few out buildings and a 15th century stone house that leans slightly to the left.

There is an old wood slat barn down the pebbled path, perfect for a cow or two, some sheep and goats. Maybe even a pig. The rolling land has a vineyard on one side and an olive grove on the other. And in the middle is me, shoulders back, confident, the natural wave in my hair flowing (all of the grey is gone too, by the way), with a basket of dirt-clinging vegetables resting on one hip and a baby on the other. I’m happy. I’m relaxed. My kids are running barefoot through the olive grove. There are no car alarms going off, no toy-stealing and no one slamming doors down the hall.


Can’t you feel your blood pressure dropping just LOOKING at this?

In my waking/tied to the desk hours, I sometimes close my eyes and go to this happy place but increasingly I’m frustrated when I open my eyes after the phone/email/blackberry/cell phone pings. It isn’t refreshing anymore. I wonder what it would take to make the dream a reality. Could I really uproot my family and move to a pastoral village? That’s easy: absolutely. No problem. Sell our belongings, pack some bags, promise my elder son that he’ll make new friends and off we’d go. Sounds a little cold I suppose but the prospect of that kind of adventure and way of life sends me over the edge of compassion for my kids and into “mama says now” mode. But the rest of the fantasy, that’s the hard part. Finding the right property. Discovering how to make money in this new environment. The logistics of living as an ex-pat. Schools. Language.

Damn I hate when reality gets in my way. But it has to be possible. I know scores of people who have made the literal leap over the Pond for a different way of life.

This could be in the cards for us and I’ve gone as far as discussing it with my mother. She’d pack tomorrow if I let her. Her request is that I promise to not relocate us to Africa, and that since she would fully expect to die wherever we go so she would like that place to have decent medical care so she can get the good drugs in the end. Fair enough.

So, if anyone is looking for a permanent caretaker for their European second home, or you know someone who needs some help on a vineyard or a small B&B, give me a call. You’ll be amazed at how fast I can pack.


  1. says

    Wendy, isn’t it fun to dream. No worries, no cares and no work. I know two people who have a vineyard and an olive and avocado farm and it is much more work than it appears so in your fantasy also envision lots of money :). I always thought I could do what you are dreaming about but then reality set in and I never did move. I traveled instead and it proved to satisfy the gypsy in me. I love the city life too much in the end to place myself (even in older age) in a place that is so tranquil that I think I would go stir crazy. But then again dreams can become reality so keep thinking it and you can manifest it maybe somewhere close to where you are now.

  2. Wendy says

    Oh no, Madge, I’d walk away from city life in an instant. I got excited the other day that the guy at the bagel store greeted me by name and thought, “is this as close to village life as I’m going to get?”

  3. Paige says

    How do you feel about pastoral life in Putnam County, GA? We’d love to have you guys! We’ve got some rolling hills and it’s pretty quiet except for the monster trucks and the occasional gun shots during deer season…I’ll even get David to buy a cow and a couple of goats you can milk! :)

  4. says

    do they speak another language there? If my mom could live at the cabin I’m sure she’d say yes in a minute. I for one would be happy with the rolling hills, the big trees and the neighborhood stop n’shop with the live bait and BBQ.

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