Sunday, February 15, 2015

Buon San Valentino

or Happy Valentine's Day, Italian style. Thank you Katia!

My evening started with my English class, where we discussed "pick up" as in going to the airport to pick someone up and then "pick up" as in the truck, and then "pick up" as in something that happens in a bar. An interesting way to start the evening.

The Stoic One and I have been to many black tie dinners over the years. Some on Valentine's Day, some at charity evens, some for New Year's. I can't imagine a black tie event being held in Umbertide. Instead we went to our local bar and joined others in our community of all ages, to listen to violin music and eat little snacks. We had a drink and chatted with our friends. So relaxing, intimate and genuine.

With our friends Joseph and Paul we discussed how our life here is different than our life in California. It is so hard to explain or quantify but we decided that it was more interesting here, more diverse, more inclusive. I said living in Italy is like being in an Indie movie while living in California was like living in a blockbuster movie. We agreed that it was a good metaphor for our life here. My sister Sarah is always telling me she wants to see only "mainstream" movies. I, on the other hand, have always preferred the quirkly, independent ones. I guess we are both in the right place, for the time being at least.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I am so happy. The Stoic One and I are filling out our calendar with people who will be visiting this year. May is now filled, most of September and all of October. The first group of friends coming will be searching for their Italian roots in the area south of Rome. It should be another Italian adventure. It makes me happy to be the guide for people I know and love.

The Stoic One, Nancy and Luther and I are beginning Italian lessons next week in Citta' di Castello. Luther and I are paired together and Nancy and the S.O are paired. The approach is mainly conversational. The school also runs a Montessori class to teach English to preschoolers. Taking Italian always makes me happy.

I am continuing with my group of women on Saturday night teaching English. We have so much fun together, laughing at the craziness of language. Their energy is like having a litter of playful puppies in the house. Laughter makes me happy.

The rain has stopped. We think we will have sun for a week...this makes me...right, happy. The Tevere is back to its acquamarine color from the murky, muddy color of last week.

There is a small, local restaurtant outside of town that we often go to. It has no sign, no menu and the cost is very reasonable. They know us now, and we eat what they recommend. They have a beautiful fireplace that they keep going. It looks like our fireplace, which we have also been using quite a bit. Unlike in California, burning wood in Umbria is totally legal. The air here is very clear.

All is well with us in Umbria. We are living our dream and enjoying our life together. Sometimes winter is the season of content.