Car Perugia

American-Tuscan-German-African Car Deal

Although our one year stay in Montanare was a dozen years ago, certain physical reminders take me right back . Today, as I leave my native-soil garage, this yellow For Sale sign places me in a dark parking lot outside Perugia, awaiting the arrival of a mystery man named Pedro. As an American, trying to sell someone else’s car I’d been driving for a year, at nearly any sum a …

A Tavola!

Looking back, our very best memories in Montanare always include at least one table under the giant olive tree. Rosy, Amy, Luisa, Piero, Francesca, and many more have created some of the best food we’ve ever put to our lips at this table. Rarely is it a single table. It usually begins with two rectangular wood tops and at least two round metal tables on either end. Piero would never …

Giorno Ringrazimento-Thanksgiving

Giorno Ringraziamento-Thanksgiving

It would take me nearly a day to acknowledge the dozens of special family and friends in our midst. Although there isn’t a formal holiday on the Italian calendario, I’ve unilaterally decided that May 8th is Thanksgiving Day in Italy. One of my important friendships was born on that date. On that fateful Sunday, I was learning to become a Montanarese-Contadino, Italian farmer. Ca’ D Maestro owner Piero was demonstrating …

Amedeo and Larry

Bridge Across the World

Amedeo and Larry In the fifteen years we’ve been friends, Amedeo and I have benefitted from advancements in new technologies. The idea that I could use the World Wide Web from my Seattle living room, drinking my second cup of coffee watching Ame and Rosy prepare dinner in their kitchen nine time zones away would have seemed like a fantasy when we first met. These multi-media tools build a bridge …

Sharing Hope and Treasure

Our white nine-passenger Fiat van left Montanare with each seat occupied. Five adults and four kids, off to make good on a promise born last September at our dining room table in Redmond, WA, USA. At 3:35AM on August 24th, 2016 a major earthquake shook the village of Amatrice. Even though we’d never been to this 800-year-old hill town three hours south of Montanare, Jill and I are very familiar …

Drowning in Gratitude

The June calendar is making me realize not only how lucky I am but just how many really special people I call friends, both near and far.

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 …

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 …

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 …

amatrice_earthquake

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, …