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Storm Postscript

28 Jan

With thanks to the Beatles, and in particular George Harrison, for the lyrics that seem so appropriate – though a bit out of order here…

Here Comes The Sun*

“Little darling, I feel that ice is slowing melting” …
(yesterday morning)

©blogginginitaly.com

“Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been clear”
(last evening, with the moon)

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Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces…
(this morning)

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Here comes the sun do, do, do
Here comes the sun 
And I say it’s all right
(Today!)

©blogginginitaly.com

Are you singing along?
As George would probably say, “…it’s all right!

Ciao,
Judy

Thanks to George Harrison, songwriter, for the inspiration.
*Here Comes The Sun lyrics © Harrisongs Ltd.

 

Day 1: After the Storm

26 Jan

At 11:15 last night, the view looked like this. Clear roads, howling winds, and large rolling waves.

©blogginginitaly.com

With little traffic, the salt trucks were moving quickly.

©blogginginitaly.com

Then the morning came, and truth be told, I was a bit disappointed when I peered out our west-facing bedroom window. The snow was negligible after all the hype. But when I entered the east-facing living area, well, it was quite a different story. The lake was like an ocean, with 8-15 feet rollers. There was even an “iceberg” forming at the curve!

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Needless to say, it was mesmerizing, even in total monotone.

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And then there’s always the “adventurous” type…

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It’s been fascinating watching the “iceberg” grow as the waves splashed upon it all day.

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The forecast is for continued snow through the night. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but I’ll let you know. And for those of you who live a bit further from the lake, I did hear you had a bunch of shoveling to do. Stay warm and safe. As you already know, the snow is quite heavy!

Ciao,
Judy

 

Anticipating the Storm

25 Jan

Although we are about one month into winter, we have yet to experience much snowfall, but that is about to change. Even if one avoids reading the warnings, the lake has set up a notification system all of it own.

Here is a visual progression of the last few days:

Saturday, January 23, 4:25:08 PM, patches of ice forming along the break wall

Sunday, January 24, 7:45:07 AM, patches merging as they shift northward toward North Ave beach curve

©blogginginitaly.com

Sunday, January 24, 7:45:41 am Weather Warning

©The Weather Channel

Sunday, January 24, 9:12:39 AM, ice nearly gone, and some enjoying a “birds-eye” view!

©blogginginitaly.com

Saturday, January 24, 1:58:12 PM, fascinating ice shapes emerging along the shoreline

©blogginginitaly.com

Saturday, January 24, 5:35:12 PM, another warning

©Chicago Tribune

Monday, January 25, 9:43:21 AM, a new, long thin ice pattern stretching  east and curving northward

©blogginginitaly.com

Monday, January 25, 11:47:52 AM, becoming large patches of ice everywhere

©blogginginitaly.com

A bit of history:  On February 2, 2011, 20 inches of snow fell in Chicago, trapping hundreds of people on Lake Shore Drive for hours.  (My pictures the day after.)

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As a result, “turn around areas”  were added to the Drive. This morning, those cement barricades were temporarily replaced with movable  barriers, in anticipation of the storm

©blogginginitaly.com

Monday, January 25, 11:57:37 am, another warning

©Chicago Tribune

 And so we watch- and wait. Till tomorrow…

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

 

 

 

Salute e Cent’anni!

1 Jan

Last evening, the final of 2020, the moonlit view over the lake was spectacular. But this year,  although there were no fireworks, there was something particularly unique that caught my eye – a large 100 illuminated on the face of The Drake, a storied Chicago hotel. I quickly learned that The Drake was founded in 1920, hence its 100 year celebration. 

©blogginginitaly.com

Quickly I found myself thinking of Italy.

When Italians celebrate many of life’s happy occasions – a birthday, a wedding, an anniversary, etc., they often raise their glasses in a celebratory toast and proclaim: Cent’anni!  (May you live 100 years!)

Sometimes you hear them say Salute e Cent’Anni! (to your health and 100 years!)

Given  2020, I’ll choose the second toast as my wish for you in 2021:

Salute e Cent’Anni!  

To your health and 100 years!

Wishing you a very Happy and HEALTHY New Year!

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

 

Merry Christmas! And a special Happy Birthday!

25 Dec

Wow, it has been seven months since my last post, but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to convey holiday greetings.

For many, 2020 has certainly been a year to remember, or perhaps, a year to forget. For us, it’s been a pretty wild ride since March including one emergency appendectomy; one cataract surgery each; several cancelled trips to Italy and a trip to Ireland; the purchase and remodel of our wonderful new condo; and finally, the sale of our lovely townhouse which held wonderful family memories of the last 15 years. Like so many, we used social media to stay connected with family and friends and happily reconnected with some friends for the first time in a long time. Through it all, we diligently wore our masks and managed to remain healthy! 

The cancellation of our March trip to Italy set in motion a rather quick decision to move – from 42 internal stairs to a one floor condo in an elevator building. Our choice was all about the view, and happily we chose well. Who would have guessed we’d be spending so much time inside looking out? From early morning sunrises, to waves crashing over the break-wall, or moon lit ripples on Lake Michigan, Mother Nature has certainly kept us entertained.

Morning sunrises:

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A summer view:

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Chicago Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

©blogginginitaly.com

Fall Colors:

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A November walk along Chicago’s 18.5-mile Lakefront path.

©blogginginitaly.com

Stormy days:

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Moonlit nights:

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Historic Sights: Lindbergh Beacon on the Palmolive Building; Hancock Building glowing in red, white and blue; Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier

©blogginginitaly.com

And who needs a Christmas tree spotlight when the moon readily obliges!

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Whatever lies beneath my tree, my very best ever present arrived 28 years ago on Christmas day! Wishing a most HAPPY BIRTHDAY (albeit a bit strange this year) to our beautiful, (inside and out), and very talented daughter Benita!

©blogginginitaly.com (taken with her friends a few years back)

Wishing all a very
Merry Christmas, Buon Natale,  Happy Holiday
and a little bit of sunshine to brighten your day.

©blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

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

2012 ©blogginginitaly.com

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Ciambra Monreale 2016 ©blogginginitaly.com

2016 ©blogginginitaly.com

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

2016 ©blogginginitaly.com

2017 ©blogginginitaly.com

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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

2018 ©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

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day 2020! Buona Festa della Mamma!

10 May

This post is a repeat of my annual sentiments with a few added photos. In this time of Covid-19,  since most new photos consist of Zoom Squares, and hugs are virtual, it’s especially fun seeing these former gatherings! 

Mother’s Day is a special time to remember
how fortunate I am to be part of a long line of strong,
intelligent and loving Italian women, who are missed everyday.

Maude©Blogginginitaly.com

Paternal Grandmother Maude ©blogginginitaly.com

Serafina©Blogginginitaly.com

Maternal Grandmother Serafina ©blogginginitaly.com

 

Benita©Blogginginitaly.com

My Mother Benita (at my wedding) ©blogginginitaly.com

My parents wedding 1947 ©blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

(L-R visiting Paris) Aunt Marilyn, Mom, Aunt Florence ©blogginginitaly.com

Aunt Marion ©blogginginitlay.com

It is also a day to celebrate
my incredible sisters, nieces and cousins, (pictured and not),
who are not only amazing Mothers,

but also determined women who incorporate
the traditions learned from our ancestors as they create new ones.

Sisters ©blogginginitlay.com

Celebrating our parents 50th at Trevi Fountain, 1997 ©blogginginitlay.com

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To all of them, 
and to the dear friends/wonderful Mothers
I have met throughout my life’s journey,
I wish you all a beautiful day filled with love,
virtual family hugs
and relaxation.

And to my daughter, Benita, 

©blogginginitaly.com

and my mother, Benita, 

©blogginginitlay.com

my forever gratitude for making Mother’s Day so special for me. 

Happy Mother’s Day!
Buona Festa della Mamma!

Ciao,
Judy

Easter Processions in Italy

12 Apr

While Covid-19 has disrupted lives around the world, it is particularly difficult for many during this religious time of year, including Italians, who have had to forego centuries of Easter traditions. From small villages to large cities, processions featuring lifelike (and extremely heavy) “ floats” depicting scenes from the Passion are carried out by the locals.

Each year, the city of Cortona sponsors the Procession of Good Friday, beginning at 9 PM from the Church of Santo Spirito. It winds its way up, around and through the steep streets of the town and ends in Piazza Repubblica, with ceremonial prayers. These photos are from the 2017 procession.

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The Misteri di Trapani (Mysteries of Trapani) is a day-long Passion procession featuring twenty floats of lifelike sculptures of individual scenes of the events of the Passion. The Misteri are amongst the oldest continuously running religious events in Europe, having been played every Good Friday since before the Easter of 1612, and running for 16-24+ continuous hours. They are the longest religious festival in Italy.

The small balcony from our room at the Badia Nuova hotel offered a perfect view of the 2016 procession.

©blogginginitlay.com

In the days before the procession, people were busy attending to final touches of the platforms.

©blogginginitlay.com

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If you study the configuration of the men’s arms, you can begin to imagine the weight of the platforms.

©blogginginitlay.com

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Here are two short videos I took that represents the tone and mood of the procession. The swaying is part of the pageantry, and the clapper you hear is what is used to stop and start the movement of the platforms, which happens about every 30 to 50 feet.

Hoping that next year, these traditions resume as expected, along with so many others around the world. In the meantime,

Buona Pasqua, Happy Easter,

Stay Safe, and Be Well!

Ciao,
Judy

Original 2016 post with videos is linked below

https://blogginginitaly.com/2016/03/27/misteri-trapani/

 

Cortona: Familiar Faces and Places

6 Apr

Clearly, we love our time in Cortona. The ancient town is beautiful and historic, however, it is the wonderful local people and the incredible friendships we have made that keep us, and so many others, returning year after year.

Here are several photos, in no particular order, and taken over the years, of some of the locals or their establishments. My  apologies to those for whom I don’t have photos.


©blogginginitaly.com

As mentioned, these are just a few of the hard working people and places that keep Cortona functioning. There are countless others, so many more I now realize I need to photograph.

Like millions of people around the world today, their hopes, dreams and livelihoods are on hold. Hopefully in the not SO distant future, their doors, and ours, will be open once again.

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging ABOUT Italy: Cortona

30 Mar

In 2011, blogginginitaly.com was born. Never could I have imagined then just how significant a two letter preposition in the middle of the title would become. The word, of course, is “in”, and denotes all of the posts and nearly 20,000 photos I have taken while documenting our adventures while in Italy.

Spring poppies ©Blogginginitaly.com

Today, March 30, 2020, we were to board our flight for our 14th extended Italian adventure. And although we are disconnected physically, we are in constant contact with our Italian friends. I’m actually texting some as I write! We also read Italian news and monitor the ups and downs as if we were there.

©Blogginginitaly.com

So, although I can’t write while in Italy, I can still write about Italy. Perhaps more importantly, I can share photos from our many adventures to remind us all, at such a difficult time throughout the world, to stay connected and hold on to our dreams, whatever they may be.

This first post (of what I plan to be many) is dedicated to our Italian home, the town of Cortona. Because we have been fortunate to experience Cortona in all seasons, I have many pictures of Cortona that are virtually people free. I hope you enjoy the views. You can also click on any photo to enlarge.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Cortona – ©Blogginginitaly.com

Parterre Cortona ©Blogginginitaly.com

Via Santucci view ©Blogginginitaly.com

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Rooftops Cortona ©Blogginginitaly.com

Chiesa di San Francesco, Cortona, ©Blogginginitaly.com

War Memorial ©Blogginginitaly.com

Parterre Cortona ©Blogginginitaly.com

Santa Margherita ©Blogginginitaly.com

Santa Maria Novella ©Blogginginitaly.com

Municipio Cortona ©Blogginginitaly.com

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Le Celle ©Blogginginitaly.com

As the sun casts a warm welcome on this beautiful ancient town, it will once again, hopefully soon. At that time, we, like so many others, will return for our next adventure.

July, 2011, Trip #1 to Cortona ©blogginginitaly.com

Till then, more posts to follow.

Ciao,
Judy

 

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