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I just realized that four years ago today I was retiring from the Foreign Service after 33 yrs of service to Canada, serving in 8 different posts over 22 years abroad.

I was re-reading the post I wrote in Ottawa on that day and how I came to that conclusion to retire by end of year in 2012. This is the motto I have been following since, which led to our move to PEI.

To invent the life you want to have rather than the life someone says you must have. It takes time.

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Old Charlottetown seen from the roof of the Holman Hotel, I can see our house.  

In March 2012 I decided to return to Rome to consult with friends, I walked a lot in Rome  something I truly enjoy doing, the City is built like a theatre set and anywhere you look there is always something to attract your eyes.

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Via Sistina at the top of the Spanish Steps

Looking down this street Via Sistina that morning in March I was just waiting around for Nancy de C. to visit the Convent at Trinita dei Monti, top of the Spanish stairs. So I was just looking down the street, Via Sistina, I took this photo at 9:55 am, if you look all the way you can see at the other end the steeple of the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The street changes names twice before you arrive at the other end, to Via Quattro Fontane and then to Via Agostino DePretis. It was busy that morning like all morning in Rome are and I do not know why, but a calm little voice told me, you know retiring would not be such a bad thing after all, you had a wonderful career. Rome and it’s sunlight can inspire.
That is when I decided that I would retire by year end. I came back to Ottawa, told Will of my decision. He arranged a very nice party with friends at our home on the 29 December 2012 and had our florist Minou make the most beautiful flower arrangement for that day.

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How many times Will and I lived by that Chinese saying, our home has been the world and now four years later here we are in Charlottetown.

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