Life isn’t quite the same after my husband and I returned from ten years in Italy.
Some things are so easy and others…well, we miss the adventures, the food and the beautiful scenery. And we miss our friends but because many of them were expats themselves, they, too, have moved back to their home countries. Here’s a quick summary of our time in the land of la dolce vita:
Pasta! Vino! Hill Towns! The Memoir is a story about my husband and I who said “NO!” to middle age boredom when we made a dash from a small-town in Oregon to cosmopolitan Rome when I went to work for the United Nations. In between actually working there were Italian weddings to attend, music to be heard, a close-up with the Pope, travel with the wine club and country weekends in Umbria where the Etruscans still seemed to be lurking about. A brush with the Italian medical system, an auto accident with the military police, a fall in the subway, interactions with an excitable landlord and helping pick grapes at harvest time all became part of our daily adventures. And of course there were many new friends like the countess with her butt-reducing machine and the count who served as a model for statues of naked horsemen.
Unexpectedly taking up early retirement, my husband met strange vegetables in his valiant efforts to learn to cook Italian-style. When not struggling in the kitchen he played golf on a course where the rough featured snakes and unexploded bombs and his fellow golfers brought their mistresses for lunch. He crewed on a sailboat that came close to disaster on the way to Greece.
As Kirkus Reviews said :
“You don’t need Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck to enjoy this delightful Roman holiday…Armchair-travel books are rarely as good as this one.”
Since our reluctant return to reality, hubby had put all his cooking skills to good use and is well-known for his ragu and spaghetti alla carbonara. I keep busy writing and being active in the local arts community. I’m one of the founders of EPIC Group Writers and now the president. We have grown from a weekly writing class into a 501(c)(3) non-profit with nearly a hundred members who enjoy our writing groups, workshops, contests, open mics, socials, and opportunities for publicizing their work. We can’t wait for the pandemic to pass so we can meet personally again.
When I’m not EPIC-ing, I help put on Edmond’s annual writing conference – this year will be the 35th annual Write on the Sound and the first on-line. I’m also active in Edmonds Center for the Arts and other arts related events like present EPIC’s poets at Edmonds Arts Festival.
And, I travel and I write! I love blogging about my travels. Over the years I’ve had the good fortune to visit over one hundred countries. And I love to post photos on Instagram: (@worksjudith). Some of my short stories have been published in literary journals and I’ve just sent the draft of a novel to my editor. The story is set in Rome and a small island in Puget Sound and involves a bad marriage, lost love, murder, family fractures. Oh my!