Smile through the Bumps!

It looks pretty idyllic doesn’t it? It is, even on a bad day, but life has still it’s little bumps!
My broken wrist, even though it’s healing, is really taking it’s toll. The cast is heavy and tiring to carry around all of the time. I’m limited what I can wear because even buttons are a challenge. Shoe laces, forget about it! On the bright side I’m learning to do a lot more with one hand. However fastening a bra does not come into that category!!! Nor does driving. How I miss exploring new places…and shopping.

I can still walk and enjoy these amazing views. In a little over two weeks my cast will be off and I’ll throw myself into the Christmas spirit and prepare for my daughter’s visit. Oh, and three wonderful days in Rome.

I’ll leave a little poem to cheer you up!

Smile: A Poem by Spike Milligan
Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!

Reflections

We invited friends to our home for lunch yesterday.
I set the table ahead of time with glasses, bowls and napkins, then stood back to see how it looked.
It was a table that invited lively conversation. It was a table set for five friends to sit and enjoy good food and wine.
I reflected on how my life has changed this year.
I no longer have crystal glasses, with matching decanters, or fine plates and bowls. I left those in the US for my my daughter to enjoy. She’s young and will appreciate them for many years to come.
My glasses don’t match, nor do my pans.
The wine is no longer $30 a bottle, but seven euros for a five liter box from the local Cantina, and much more enjoyable.
Yesterday was the first time I’d invited one of our Italian friends to eat with us, and I was terrified. We’ve enjoyed meals in his kitchen on several occasions and he is an excellent cook. Of course he brought one of his culinary masterpieces, which made our little soiree even more enjoyable. I sighed with relief when he complimented my risotto!
“You’re a good cook.” He said. I was thrilled.
Here in Abruzzo, it doesn’t matter what your glasses look like, or whether or not your plates match. What does matter is the people who sit around your table and share your food. People come first and foremost here, and thats the way it should be.
I still miss my daughter, she should have been here with us for Christmas…next year!

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!

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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

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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!

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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!

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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!

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