Archive | December, 2016

In My Words

31 Dec

I’ve often wondered, with this age of technology, where will my online stories and photos end up? Oh, not next year, or even 10 years from now, but off in the future when a grandchild might be interested. I was lucky that my grandfather, Alex, took time to write letters, and even more fortunate that his wife and daughter took care to keep them.

Over many years since childhood, I failed to complete many of the journals and scrapbooks that I had purchased. I, like so many, still have a large bin of photos in storage, and many, many stories that rely on memory.

But that changed with my blog. Without actually understanding what I was launching in 2011, I embarked on a “journaling journey” that would forever capture my thoughts, adventures and photos, and really change my life. It began as a personal journal, for family members and a few friends, to follow Len’s and my first “three-week alone” trip to Cortona.

I never could have imagined all that I would gain from my writing –  unknown family history, unknown relatives, reacquaintance with long-lost friends, incredible new friendships, unexpected invitations, and so on, as well as the joy of being able to “revisit” each and every event or place that touched our lives in the last six years. In addition, I never could have imagined how many others would come along for the adventure. Since 2011, 0ver 25,000 people from more than 100 countries have visited blogginginitaly!

For Christmas, I surprised Len with hard copy books of our adventures, one per year. Each has a custom front and back cover, a dedication page, and the blogs from that entire year. We need only  flip open a page at random to relive a wonderful experience, photos included!

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com Front covers 2011-2015

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com Back covers 2011 -2015

And now I know that as long as there’s a bookshelf, my stories will have a home, regardless of how technology might change in the future.

Thanks to all who have joined us on our journey. I’ve loved your comments and the opportunity to share our adventures with you. And yes, there’s more in store for 2017, including planting the next garden. Can we grow an even larger tomato in 2017????

Happy New Year, may it be filled with good health, and may we each, in some way, contribute to a kinder, gentler, more tolerant and more peaceful world.

Happy New Year! Tanti Auguri di Buon Anno!
Ciao,
Judy

 

Merry Christmas!

25 Dec

Wishing family and friends, far and near, a very

Merry Christmas,

Buon Natale,

and Happy Hanukkah!

May you be surrounded by those you love.

 

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

In Memory of…

4 Dec

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Yesterday was Aunt Marion’s 90th birthday and she was throwing a party. How lucky to approach 90, still active and in full command. She had shopped the day after Thanksgiving and found just what she wanted to wear – a red wool jacket and black pants.

What birthday gift would I give Aunt Marion? The answer came easily. In October, 2013, I began writing a series of posts that traced a European trip my grandfather, Alex, her father, took in 1938. I titled the series Through His Words: Reflections From and About My Grandfather. From Alex’s letters, postcards, etc., that Aunt Marion had saved, I was able to document every step of his incredible journey. 76 years, 10 months and 10 days after Alex returned to his birthplace, so too did Len and I, being the first and only, we think, descendants to step foot in the town of Pietrabbondante, Italy.

With each post, Aunt Marion would call me or I her. How I loved those conversations. Along with several members of my extended family, I learned much about a man I hardly knew, and even Aunt Marion learned a great deal more about her father. Who could have guessed that a blog could bring so much joy?

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com Sharing info with Aunt Marion, my sibs & some cousins.

“I just wish I could print these all out,” she had said to me on more than one occasion.

As her 90th birthday approached , I found blog2print.com, a company that could make a book of my blogs. With guidance from a very helpful customer service, I created the front and back covers, wrote the dedication, and selected the contents. It was the perfect gift.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com Dedication Page

©Blogginginitaly.com Dedication Page

Of particular note is the dedication to Aunt Marion: …my guiding light, collaborator and friend, who guarded “the bag” that made this all possible. The bag, of course, contained my grandfather’s letters and so much more that she had kept all these years.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

On Saturday, instead of celebrating her 90th birthday, we celebrated her wonderful life. Sadly and very unexpectedly, she left us just 5 days short of her 90th birthday.

I will miss her and our talks. But like the other strong Italian women in our family who proceeded her – my grandmothers, my mother and my aunts, I will remember her always and the traditions she passed on.

If only I could have given her the book.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Sleep well, Aunt Marion. Love you.
Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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