Happy Birthday to Me!

22 May

Once upon a time, 69 years ago to be exact, this little girl came into the world. With that smile on her face, and a twinkle in her eyes, she was ready for adventure.

©blogginginitaly.com

20 years later, her parents gave her the opportunity of a lifetime – to spend her junior year abroad at Loyola Chicago John Felice Rome Center. As a Christmas gift, her Mother mailed her a scrapbook of her life, including the photo and words above.

That little girl became this young woman who experienced a year of unforgettable memories, experiences, and friendships.

Roma 1971-72 ©blogginginitaly.com

And during that year, her love for Italy was planted deep within her heart (though obviously not the fear of driving a motorized bike through Roma)!

Roma 1971-72  ©blogginginitaly.com

Before the school year ended, she even celebrated her 21st birthday in Rome, something that in the early 70’s would seem more like a dream than reality. How lucky I am that she is me.

5/22/1972 21st Birthday ©blogginginitaly.com

I never could have imagined then that celebrating my birthday in Italy would become a wonderful tradition. I have Len to thank for that. And although today we are dearly missing our Cortona life, our incredible friendships keep us strongly connected.

So my birthday gift to me is seeing the many familiar faces here. Till we return, thanks for the love, thanks for the friendship, and thanks for these memories.

Birthday 2011 ©blogginginitaly.com

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Ciambra Monreale 2016 ©blogginginitaly.com

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What were we laughing about???
(Clearly something off-color!)

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While all of these photos are not birthday or anniversary celebrations, on one birthday eve, these musicians delighted me with a spontaneous performance in Piazza Repubblica.

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Our 30th Anniversary 2017 ©blogginginitaly.com

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Taormina 2018 ©blogginginitaly.com

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Packing up for the season. 2019 ©blogginginitaly.com

Anniversary#32  2019 ©blogginginitaly.com

Anniversary#32 2019 ©blogginginitaly.com

Our last night Cortona, 2019. Who knew???  2019 ©blogginginitaly.com

We are living in the most unusual of circumstances, yet we are very fortunate. We are all well, and those in our extended family who have jobs are working harder than ever.

Personally, we have connected with many people we have not seen in years. Strange circumstances do offer some unique opportunities.

And that takes me back to my year in Roma. Just this week, many of us gathered for a zoom call. Familiar names and faces of Campers, as we had named ourselves, from our magical year in Rome. There were people on the call I hadn’t seen in 47 years, but the time we spent together in Italy binds us forever.

2020©blogginginitaly.com

I’m forever grateful for all that Italy has given to Len and me. We’ve had incredible opportunities to discover our ancestral roots, explore Italy and Italian life with family and friends, and make new and lasting friendships. That little girl has had many reasons to keep smiling throughout her life.

©blogginginitlay.com

There’s so many ways to celebrate, and as you can see, this year I spent many happy hours going through years of photos.  Each one represents a special memory – hence my birthday gift to me. (Apologies for the quantity and for anyone I am missing.)

So,
Happy Birthday to me,
Tanti Auguri a me, 

2020©blogginginitaly.com

and a grateful toast to each of you
for making me smile.

2020 ©blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

53 Responses to “Happy Birthday to Me!”

  1. Fernanda May 22, 2020 at 12:16 AM #

    Tantissimissimi Auguri cara Amica.
    Con il mio cuore sono li vicino a Te.
    Un grande abbraccio.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary Mattucci May 22, 2020 at 12:52 AM #

    Beautiful post, Birthday Girl! Much Love & Happiness to You in this new year ~
    Love, Mary Terese XX

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jeanfromcalifornia May 22, 2020 at 2:08 AM #

    Migosh I can’t believe it! You were actually born with that big light-up-the-room smile!
    Happy Birthday Cortona girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly May 22, 2020 at 8:52 AM #

      Can’t deny it😂! thanks and will respond to your email later. 🍷

      Like

  4. karenincalabria May 22, 2020 at 3:26 AM #

    Beautiful blogpost – tanti auguri!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter Daniel May 22, 2020 at 4:18 AM #

    Happy birthday. Very sad we are not catching up in Cortona this year as planned. Will toast you with a vino in Melbourne bb

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly May 22, 2020 at 8:54 AM #

      And to think of all the planning that went into your return 😢, but yes, a big toast in Melbourne and one back at you. 🤗

      Like

  6. Sue Sanders May 22, 2020 at 5:33 AM #

    Happiest of birthdays my dear friend. What was Len’s line? something like ‘a smile as broad as a grille on a ’59 Cadillac’😎😘❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lyniece Salvatore May 22, 2020 at 5:38 AM #

    Happy Birthday, Judy. Wonderful memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Michael Capraro May 22, 2020 at 6:29 AM #

    Happy Birthday cuzz, how wonderful it is to see you surrounded by so many family and friends,how priceless those memories are. Judy, I hope this is your best year ever, hope to see you guys soon. God bless you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly May 22, 2020 at 9:02 AM #

      Thanks Michael, it was fun seeing you and Deb back when we could hug!!

      Like

  9. carol bohmer May 22, 2020 at 7:09 AM #

    My dear Judy A very happy happy….and many more of them.

    You share a birthday with my younger brother, whom I just called in London.

    I hope you manage to make it a special birthday despite the lockdown. Hugs Carol

    On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 1:02 AM Blogging In Italy wrote:

    > blogginginitaly posted: “Once upon a time, 69 years ago to be exact, this > little girl came into the world. With that smile on her face, and a twinkle > in her eyes, she was ready for adventure. 20 years later, her parents gave > her the opportunity of a lifetime – to spend her” >

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Shelli Isen May 22, 2020 at 8:07 AM #

    Very Happy Birthday. Eventhough you cannot celebrate in Cortona, Bill and I hope you have the happiest day possible. Celebrate with something outrageous! Your bright happy smile does light up everyone around. Keep it up! Here’s a toast to next year being as bright as you are. XO

    Like

  11. Maureen Lawler May 22, 2020 at 8:10 AM #

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Judy!!! What an incredible birthday tradition! The next time you are able to return to Italy will be a very special one. Hope you have a cozy day today full of lots of birthday wishes…xx

    Love that baby picture showing your terrific smile ready to take on the world!

    Fondly, Maureen

    On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 12:02 AM Blogging In Italy wrote:

    > blogginginitaly posted: “Once upon a time, 69 years ago to be exact, this > little girl came into the world. With that smile on her face, and a twinkle > in her eyes, she was ready for adventure. 20 years later, her parents gave > her the opportunity of a lifetime – to spend her” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly May 22, 2020 at 8:59 AM #

      Maureen, thanks for the comments and so glad Italia reconnected us as well, via the blog! Hope we can get together this summer! 🤗

      Like

  12. Royce Larsen May 22, 2020 at 8:39 AM #

    Congratulations on your Annual Looks like you have chosen great places and great people to celebrate! May you have many more

    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Deborah Capraro May 22, 2020 at 9:20 AM #

    Happy birthday Judy. Mike and I send you blessings and hugs for your special day. You are right about being thankful we are all well. Celebrate with your family and we’ll look forward to seeing you and Len soon.

    Love,
    Cousin Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Deb Feo May 22, 2020 at 9:47 AM #

    Dear Judy – how Tom and I miss you and Len! What a wonderful photo montage. I love your baby pictures – you still have that contagious smile and love of life. We hope you, Len, and Benita continue to stay safe and healthy during this very very strange time. I’m sending you big hugs and kisses for your birthday! May we meet in Italy again very soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly May 22, 2020 at 10:31 AM #

      Thanks Deb, it’s been way to long!! We need to catch up👍🍷🇮🇹

      Like

  15. Hilary Martinez May 22, 2020 at 9:48 AM #

    Happy Birthday Judy!
    What memorable photos. Can’t believe that the photo of us you posted was 6 years ago.
    All the best to you and Len. May the trips continue as soon as it is safe!
    Fondly,
    Gustavo and Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Carlo Rossi May 22, 2020 at 12:17 PM #

    a beautiful connection with many memories of family and friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Magda Csaszar May 22, 2020 at 1:50 PM #

      Happy happy Birthday Judy. We enjoyed your Birthday Party here in Austin, at your beautiful home. Is it possible that it was your 50th et? How times fly. Many lovely memories
      with you and Len while we were lucky to have you as our neighbors.

      Love, Magda

      Liked by 1 person

      • blogginginitaly May 22, 2020 at 2:27 PM #

        Magda, yes that wonderful party was my 50th! It was one of the best ever for me, and so glad you and Albert were there to share it with us. Actually, we were the lucky ones to have you as our neighbors! Lots of love, Judy

        Like

  17. Sandra Spiraa May 22, 2020 at 1:10 PM #

    Happy birthday to you 🎵happy birthday to you 🎵happy birthday dear Judy🎵Happy birthday to you 🎵

    Hugs and 🎂❤️🎂❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra Spires May 22, 2020 at 1:12 PM #

      iPhone auto corrected my last name. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly May 22, 2020 at 2:28 PM #

      Sandy, thank you for the sign, I closed my eyes and imagined you were singing it to me!

      Like

  18. Ellen May 22, 2020 at 2:01 PM #

    What a great, great life you’ve been having. Here’s to many more birthdays.
    Cheers

    Like

  19. jponcher May 22, 2020 at 6:40 PM #

    Tanti Auguri! 😘🎂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Carrol May 22, 2020 at 8:28 PM #

    Happy Birthday so glad to be a part of your entourage, you have made our life fuller just having you and Len in it. Hope it won’t be too long until we (you) are sipping wine together (me with my tonic water) in the streets of our second home, Cortona with all of our wonderfully friends

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly May 22, 2020 at 8:41 PM #

      Thanks, Carrol, we’re so ready 🍷🤗. Loved Jennifer’s hug!!

      Like

    • blogginginitaly May 22, 2020 at 8:43 PM #

      Thank you Carol, and we are ready to go! 🍷Also, loved Jennifer’s hug!! 🤗

      Like

  21. Sandy Holswade May 22, 2020 at 10:33 PM #

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDY!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. ksodonoghue@aol.com May 23, 2020 at 9:04 AM #

    Happy Birthday, Judy!  You have really made the most of the 69 years.  I love reading your blog….Kathy Sheehan ODonoghue

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly May 23, 2020 at 9:43 AM #

      Thanks, Kathy, and I always like hearing from you! Hope all is well.

      Like

  23. Judith Loredo May 26, 2020 at 3:20 PM #

    Happy Belated Happy Birthday to a very special lady! May God grant you many many more!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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