Anticipation

Mid-May is my season of Tuscan Fever. It’s not a common abnormality but I get it every year. It’s an illness I’ve learned to celebrate. On the other side of the earth, a couple dozen Tuscans have come down with the same ailment. Our social media message boxes seem to acknowledge our collective seasonal anticipation. Three important things sit on my mind a few times each day for the coming …

Ten Years in Tuscany Dinner Menu

Secret Cucina

We could easily create a popular cookbook from all the recipes Ame and Rosy have taught us in Montanare. Be it Crostini, penne al fumo, or tiramisu alla Rosy, each one allows us an immediate return to the rectangular, dark wood trestle table at Ca’ di Maestro. Stateside friends, the beneficiaries of this cooking, ask us for the recipes nearly every time we share them. So far, I’ve been able to dodge these requests …

Home

Yesterday, while wandering the Sunday morning streets of Port Townsend, a Victorian seaside village two hours west of Seattle, Jill, Daniela and I entered the screen door of a café for weekend breakfast. This quaint, well maintained, turn-of-the-century brownstone was the perfect spot to plan our day as tourists. As I carefully balanced my three shot Americano back to the weathered antique table, I made note of a rectangular sign …

Speaking of Italy

Trying to narrow down all that I love about Italy into an 18 minute talk is like me eating only one scoop of Rosy’s intoxicating tiramisu. Do I talk about the depth of these dozens of special friendships. Or would the listener love to experience every detail of a five course extravaganza we devoured al fresco? Perhaps they’d like to walk the cobblestone street of a 2000-year-old Tuscan village that …

Natale – Christmas

Over the past decade, in addition to the spiritual enrichment experienced on December 25th, I also hold special anticipation for a particular Christmas phone call. I remember when I was in the 6th Grade and a futuristic thought included being able to see the people you’d be talking to on the phone. Today, this face to face across the internet is how our global friendships stay intact. I’m still a little giddy when experiencing a …

180 Days of Magic

Photo by Young Reflections Photography Some 30 years ago, as I weighed a new set of options in life, my mom, Jean, made a statement that has stayed with me always. Although dementia is stealing her mind as we speak, much of what I’ve accomplished, especially in the past six months, I owe to her. She’s the first to admit our family is made of unique fabric. Coming from a …

Montanare – ON AIR!

In the studio at the Northwest Italian Radio Show (KKND) with publisher Ethan Yarbrough Sharing stories from Miracles in Montanare: Ten Years in Tuscany on the Northwest Italian Radio Show feels a bit like I’m reading the book to the world. As Publisher, Ethan, and I described vignette after vignette, co-hosts David Madrid and Tony La Stella (both with Italian heritage) became enthusiastic fans. They get it. They know there …

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To the Aid of Others

Sunday, our house was louder than normal with an eclectic roundup of friends from about every corner of our social circle. What brought us together was a call to do something meaningful for a set of villagers we’ll most likely never meet. Although it’s fallen from the news cycle, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake nearly destroyed the entire historical center of Amatrice, the origin of Bucatini Amatriciana, the spicy pasta dish, …

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Amatrice: a Spicy, Special Spot

Photo: Le Celle, Italy. Photographed by Larry Snyder. Some of you may not know it, but I get up really early. When my phone alarm rings at 3:30AM three days a weeks, it means I’m going to join three fellow Starbucks Partners at Civica Office Commons at 5AM sharp. My hours preparing espressos and connecting with community keep Italy alive in my mind, the skill sets I have learned to apply at …

Launch Plus 90 Days!

Young Reflections Photography Once I told publisher, Ethan, and book designer, Sonja, that I had a date for the book launch, the drive to the finish line required a bit more gas pedal. A book release without books would be rather anti-climactic. Phone calls to confirm details from months past became a priority. The twenty-nine details about how the book would be printed, bound, and packaged all became unintended obsessions. …