Forget Election Concerns for a bit and let's talk about what worries Euro Travel Coach…..

The  Tarleton State University Jazz Ensemble  under the direction of Greg Ball in  Florence, Italy

The Tarleton State University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Greg Ball in Florence, Italy

A wise traveler never despises his own country.
— Carlo Goldoni

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m sort of a worrier.  I don’t want to be that way and I think I’m better than I used to be (right, Greg?), but it’s just part of my nature.  With that in mind, I have several fairly reasonable apprehensions as we venture into the nomadic lifestyle next year.

I’ve always had a healthy concern for money and stability.  When Greg and I got married 30 years ago, I knew I loved him a lot – but I was sort of worried about marrying a musician because – well…. you know…. musicians aren’t known for having a regular job with benefits.  That was obviously before Greg figured out that he loved being an educator.  It’s turned out all right!  I’m still worried about the (lack of) money in our new lifestyle, but that is by far not my biggest concern.

I am really worried about selling our house and the overwhelming task of somehow getting rid of most of our stuff and moving the rest.   After 24 years of living in the same house, this is going to be an enormous job.  I really don’t want to give or throw everything away…I’d like to get some money for some of it (see prior concern)…. but still, even this is also not at the top of my worry list.

Truth be told, we have thoroughly enjoyed being close enough to go see our son, David, in productions at The University of Oklahoma.  He is an Acting major and graduates in May.  He will likely go to Chicago or New York this summer and start auditioning.  We are so excited for him.  He is really good and LOVES what he does.  When he gets a gig, I really want to be able to see him perform!!  Living in Italy is not exactly going to make that easy.  But this is also not my #1 concern.

Greg asked me if I was going to get sick of him, being around him so much.  I told him…I didn’t think so.  I guess the jury is out on that one.

It may be hard to lose my identity.  I’ve been teaching at Tarleton for 14 years and I like being able to say that I teach International Business.  I guess I can still say that if I’m teaching it online…

I do worry about leaving my community and my church family.  If one of us were to get sick here at home, I know that we have a wonderful, loving support group to help us get through the tough times.  Moving away means that safety net will not be there.  This is a pretty healthy worry…. but also not the biggest one.

So what is it?  What’s my #1 concern as we plan to leave Texas, our home since 1985?  I’m worried that Greg will miss standing in front of his band so much that it hurts.  He’s pretty resilient and he says he’s really going to miss it – but that it’s OK…. he’s ready.  He loves his band, his students, the music, the life.  He truly loves it.  But he’s been in this one place, doing this one fantastic thing, for half his life, and it’s time for a new adventure!  It’s going to be so hard this spring when he says goodbye to his band.  There’s going to be an alumni concert on April 29.  The response has been absolutely incredible – so many of his prior students are coming back to Stephenville for this concert.  It will be amazing!!  My biggest worry is that sometime next year, Greg will really start to miss standing in front of his band, doing what he has loved to do for so many years.  When that moment comes, I’ll be sure to have a fabulous bottle of Barolo waiting for him and we will think back on our time here, and be grateful to all those who made it so special.



Greg with his band members from Stephenville, TX in the Mercato Nuovo in Florence

Greg with his band members from Stephenville, TX in the Mercato Nuovo in Florence

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