Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gosh, how do I even begin to describe seven weeks in the US after a 3+ year absence except that I returned to Italy revived by familial nurturing and the love of old friends. Ray and I had spent one week in Manhattan, then off to Bordentown for a bit before spending the next three weeks in scenic Montana. Ten days back in New Jersey prepared us for the heat and humidity we returned to in Bologna. We didn't have much time here before Andrea's students arrived last week, and I returned to work at the International School.

I can post photos which would best describe the time we had, though I have to admit that Facebook became a main source of communication in the US though I haven't spent much time on there from here. So if you haven't already seen some photos on my facepage, here is a sampling:

It was nice to be have dinner and stay over night in the lovely, rustic home of Marsha and Greg in Lebanon (except for the french wine, their counter top could be anywhere in Italy!) and also have dinner with good friends hosted by Susan in Princeton (above). Ray enjoyed the American food and I indulged myself the first week then went healthy the last six, though the 15 pounds I lost are slowly creeping back.

While I was away, Andrea served as translator for American poet Jack Hirschman, who came to Lugo to present his book. An old social activist, he wasn't on the good side of any anti-communists here, but the evening pulled through pretty well. (Their expressions are puzzling, eh?)

In the meanwhile, Ray really misses the 14 hours a day of the grass of suburbia and the trees of Montana, so we are back again at looking at homes outside of Bologna. Here is my latest flavor of the month in real estate - we may put our apartment up for sale soon. We will decide in the coming days.

Thank you thank you thank you for all the attention - the time you spent on making my visit special: the tube of my new, favorite lipstick on the bedside table, the Ipod Touch, the meals, the diners and American coffee, rehashing of memories, the crabcakes and wine, the campfires and American breakfasts. For playing with Ray and for meeting me in New York. Buying me the big, fat sequel written in English and Pop Tarts, the rides to and from airports and everywhere else, the surprise photo album stashed into my carry-on and a grand dose of American music. For not asking me to "say something in Italian." The drive through the mountains of Montana and the mountains of love and the great big good-bye hugs. You can't begin to know how much it all means to me.