December 1st – Christmas is Coming

My kitchen Christmas tree!
I don’t normally start Christmas this early, but 2020 is a little different. We need a distraction. This tree came with me from the US, along with very few Christmas ornaments, things I’ve collected over the last 40 years or so! I had to be ruthless when I packed to move and kept only trinkets that held treasured memories. This is a new start which will create new memories.
We spent Christmas here in 2018 with my daughter, son-in-law and their friends so I also have a tree bought in Italy, which will be decorated in the living room later this week. I feel very extravagant with two trees, but I’m retired and have time to decorate them both.
December 1st came around quickly. I blinked and the long hot days of summer turned into a golden autumn.
2020 is trickling away. It has been an awful year for the world, but I think we all learned from it. Let’s hope so. For me, it was bitter sweet. I realized my dream of moving to Italy, but I’m a long way from my daughter. I hope I can see her soon.
Here’s to Christmas, and the simple things in life.

Thanksgiving in Abruzzo

My first Thanksgiving in Abruzzo!
Although I lived in Colorado for 25 years, I’ve never truly celebrated Thanksgiving the way Americans do. I enjoyed cooking. Getting together with friends and family was lovely, but the “Holiday” never held a special meaning for me. Not like Christmas.
2020 is my first Thanksgiving in Abruzzo. We didn’t go out and buy a huge Turkey, or make pumpkin/pecan pie, so it was very low key. Social distancing due to COVID has taken over the lives of everyone.
We celebrated with a huge polenta, Italian style. I’m not going to take credit for this gourmet delight, our good friend created it. It was delicious! On Black Friday I had a dental appointment in Lanciano. I completed two “self certifications”, one for the dentist, and one allowing me to stop off at a large Supermarket. There weren’t many people shopping, because of the Red Zone rules. I shopped for things I can’t buy locally and picked up some Christmas lights along with one or two tree ornaments. It was a gorgeous day, so on the way home I took photos. I can’t wait for all of this to be over so we can travel again, itching for a road trip, but until then I’ll make the most of my beautiful surroundings.
Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all my American friends.

Abruzzo turns red!

Yesterday I enjoyed a beautiful morning walk. The views in Colledimezzo are always spectacular and change with the seasons. So lucky to live here.
Last night the decision was made for Abruzzo join the red zone. This comes in to effect tomorrow. So sad for the local bars and restaurants and any other business impacted. Their livelihood has suffered so much this year. Hopefully the numbers drop by December allowing everyone to celebrate Christmas. Patience and perseverance is what we need. The people of Abruzzo are good caring people, I know they’ll all get through this.

Christmas in Colledimezzo

Looking back at the photos and wishing we were still there. Christmas in Abruzzo is how Christmas should be. Traditional, simple and full of fun. From home-baked treats to Nativity Scenes made by local schools, Santa and his elves, excited children. It was beautiful. The Christmas lights weren’t ridiculous and choreographed, but welcoming and bright, just like the people.

Can’t wait to do it again!

Oh Christmas Tree!

IMG_1434[1]

I’m not going to pretend the last couple of days have been stress free. They have not! We landed in Rome on Sunday, exhausted after a transatlantic flight. We then drove from the west coast to the east coast (tough when you’re tired). It was with great happiness that we arrived in Colledimezzo. The house looked GREAT! Our wonderful Italian neighbors had bought food from us, left chocolates, baked, put wonderful little knick nacks in the house to make it look like home.
Then the stress started, shopping! Shopping in a different country is fun, but also difficult with a limited amount of time.
I need to BREATHE (or so my Apple watch tells me), At least my Christmas tree looks pretty!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Buon Natale

10365586_1537310613202957_4988493222600217681_o

Two weeks from now I’ll be in Colledimezzo, province of Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy. It will be the first of many Christmases, there. So very excited!

Europe at Christmas is wonderful, but Italy at Christmas is magical, traditional and full of love!

 

Oh Christmas Tree!

BigTree

Beautiful display in Italy!

Boxing Day Memories

Boxing Day Buffet 1
26th of December means two things to me. Family gatherings with cold buffet’s were our Boxing Day tradition, but first and foremost it was my mum’s Birthday! She’d have been 100 today!

IMG_0001
Here in the US, Boxing day isn’t on the calendar, but I take the day off work every year anyway, like I said it’s my mum’s birthday!

Families are a mixed bag aren’t they. Mine caused stress every year. Two brothers who didn’t get along must have caused mum endless heartache. The rift was too deep to ever fix. My brothers were always referred to as the “good brother” and the “bad brother”. The bad brother is dead now too, but he leaves behind a legacy of ruin and pain. Does anyone miss him? Who knows? I miss the brother he used to be when I was a kid, and before he turned bad.
Anyway, its boxing day, my mum’s Birthday, and I just want here to be remembered. Phoebe Ethel Newman, rest well in Heaven – we always remember you. Love You!

Buon Natale & Felice Anno Nuovo

christmas-tossicia

Here it is again! December I’m talking about of course. The crazy month where we try to be everything to everyone and end up stressed, tired and happy all at the same time. I love Christmas, always have and always will, but sometimes I have to stop and remember what it’s all about. Most people seem to forget we’re celebrating the birth of a baby who (if you believe in Christianity) changed the world! I believe. I’m not a religious maniac, and I don’t even go to church, but I do believe in Jesus Christ. OK, that’s it with religion.

I’ve spent Christmas in England, Germany and the US and I have to say, the atmosphere is so much better in Europe. Not sure why, but you don’t plan Christmas there, you FEEL it. It seeps into your heart. Carol services in ancient cathedrals, traditional, beautiful. Next Christmas I’ll be in Italy, my first Christmas in my new home. Its going to be so special with my husband, daughter and son in law. A dream come true. Until then Buon Natale.

Rugged Beauty in Northumberland

dsc04571

The colors of Northumberland change with the weather.

Previous Older Entries