How are you handling the isolation? We are drawing, listening to music. Trying to not read too much news (not working.) Today was the first warm day in so very long and we had a picnic outside, right in the sunbeams. Did you see this? Some much needed levity in this crazy situation. Thank you, Rita Wilson. Italy is where most of my thoughts are these days. It’s just too much. My beloved Italy, the whole world is holding you in its heart. My husband is so many thousands of mi
So many things, moments, snapshots I want to pack in my suitcase, burrow deep in my pockets, drill into memory, which seems to become a hazy mist the older I get, and try as I might reach for it, the present pushes me forward with such vehemence that any clinging behind only tends to sever me into pieces. Perhaps this is life with children. There is nothing but now, nothing but this minute, until the day collides hard with your pillow and you fall into something deeper than s
I keep thinking of Hilary Mantel, winner of the Booker Prize, twice. The New Yorker did a wonderful article on her in which she referenced an old belief that one must return to one’s own country within 10 years of leaving or risk never fitting in again (she lived abroad for 9 years before returning to England). We’ve been out five years now but I already feel that old adage wrapping me up in string. I feel a part of Rome; I am becoming etched in its stone. Perhaps it is in my
It’s hot. Really hot. 98 (37) in the shade hot. Pure skin to liquid in the sun hot. It’s been this way for weeks, will be this way for weeks. On either end of the weather graph that I stare at endlessly the number refuses to move, as if they’ve fallen there with glue on their ends, forever fastening us to burn. I am from Florida. We moved here from Uganda. And I have never seen anything like it. No rain, no breeze, each day bleeding into the next with such exact precision tha
As my sojourn in the states comes to an end and Italy looms closer every day, I find myself reflecting on all I will miss and the things I most certainly won’t. _____ Things I will miss: The diversity. Brunch. Endless hot showers in wintertime. Heated cafés and restaurants in wintertime. Considerate drivers (at least here in LA). Enormous playgrounds in which to watch your child run free and have a ball. Progressive education options. Jon Stewart. Opening night movies. Barnes
I love how Italians eat lunch. The middle of the day is not just a stop to refuel, to grab something on the go, to get to the next point, it is literally in the Italian language a “pause.” You must pause, stop completely, rest.
It was the same in Uganda. Day after day I would marvel at the locals around me, no matter what their job: government official, housekeeper, garbage man; when it was lunch time it was lunch time. Everything stopped. Meals were lingered over in restaur
I am in love. Italy is now mine. It took a dark, edgy city to pull me in, and sink me. Naples is deep. It’s dirty. It’s sexy. It’s everything you think of when you think of Pacino, Deniro, men in dark suits whispering in corners. Sure, there is the Corso lined with expensive boutiques and monuments of stunning beauty, all perched upon hills that fall into an endless sea, but like an alley cat I staked the streets I was warned not to go. I leaned into the whispers and studied
Here’s what you get when you mix yoga and wine country: yesterday in class, here on my yoga retreat tucked into a Tuscan hill, after an all afternoon wine tasting, as we all bent and twisted in our vinyasa flow, the teacher said, “Okay, we are going to do some variations. For those of you who are drunk, just keep doing the flow.” I may never leave. Morning coffee spot Ebbio retreat center Bedroom view Dove’s nest in bathroom window country life Tuscany Cherries So good! Baby
Summer is here. Storms hang in corners; windows are now perpetually open, as mosquitoes rest on my pillow waiting for me to sleep so that they can have their feast. I thought we’d left bed nets behind in Uganda, but this past week we found ourselves hanging them above and around our bed in Rome, so that once again night holds us in webs. Construction is also in flower, and every corner and every window barrages the world around it with hammering and drilling, which pound and
Just a 45 minute drive from Rome, you can climb up into the sky. Below you are cherry trees, olive trees, and apple trees, that you can stop and pick from along the way. As we drove back to the city, smog and noise welcoming us at the gate, it took all we had to not turn around and go back. We live in cities for work, for opportunity, connection, but I am starting to think it’s not worth losing the stars. I asked my husband last night if the next stop can be right under them.
For Mother’s Day weekend we drove to the country to see this: We stayed on an organic farm, in an old stone house: which is this: where they gave us this menu for lunch: Now in most places (or at least places I have been) you would order one from each section, making a full meal. I tried in vain to do just that, but after some very funny Italian and finally switching to English, I was made to understand that no, there would be no ordering. This is what we will be eating, what
I was wondering today, as I drank my fourth cup of espresso and felt my heart pounding in my toes, how the Italians do it. Espresso, vino, molta pasta tutto giorno! And then I realized the progression, the procession, that is a must to live the Italian way. Shunning pasta in favor of grilled salmon, I inadvertently stepped out of the line and thus stand struggling on the sidelines. For this is how, I think, it must go: You wake and have an espresso (or 5) with your sweet cr
Strange Easter. We had decided to spend it up north in an old monastery outside of Orvieto. Being an ex-pat, the holidays are more challenging. There isn’t a well-worn back yard for games and hunts, nor a comfy old den with closets full of decorations that only need a dusting and reason. No family to stop by with cakes and laughter or friends to visit with beer in hand. It’s just us three, trying to carve out our own traditions so that our child has some known footprints to f
Feeling the need to get out of the smoke and noise filled city, we decided to head to Orte yesterday for a little medieval town exploring. I am not sure why we are constantly running to catch a train (3 year-old) or why we can’t ever stop to ask directions to help us in the ungodly maze of tracks (husband), but after a incredible sprint (and my exercise for the month) we fell into the train car just as the doors were closing. It was a quick ride and soon we were back on a pla
Italians love their sweets. For breakfast it’s always, always dolce. You cannot find a plain croissant in Rome. Most are stuffed with jam or custard, and if you ask for a plain one it’s been glazed with sugar, because why would you eat it otherwise? And for treats throughout the day? Well, of course, more dolce. At my daughter’s school we’ve been battling this part of the culture. I sucked it up as long as I could, biting my lip and tongue as I watched them giving her cocoa p