Friday, January 10, 2014

Cabin Feverish: not so much

Snow. 
Snow.
Snow. 
That's the word these days in Indy. A "polar vortex" swirled around Naptown, leaving the city under a white blanket that brought record setting cold. 

Leaving the house was illegal for a day. When it wasn't a crime anymore, the mayor warned against it. And then the sliding semis in our front yard suggested we aught not to venture.

After days at home, the story usually leads to cabin fever. But I haven't felt it yet... (God bless the internet and a job that I can do online for a rare but perfectly-timed stretch.) We're lucky that the power stayed on and the wine never dried up and that we bought cat food ahead of the storm. So all those practical concerns addressed, I kinda wish I could hole up in this cabin a bit longer.

Ah, but then there's the dream of italia in the spring...and the garden to put in (and eat from)...and...

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

To Paris and Back

We are just now home from Paris. 4 days there was not enough, and Antonello and I spent time with our nieces and met up with my dad too. We saw Manet at the Musee d'Orsay, we visited Montematre and walked in the footsteps of Picasso and his pals, we gazed up at the Eiffel Tower while drinking vin chaud, we spoke (very) broken French. We ate pastries every morning (well, almost), and we had dinner and coffee (and more pastries) among family each night. We counted the stars. It was the perfect getaway.





Monday, December 30, 2013

Resolving

It's definitely the time of year... With fresh Christmas memories still tickling our daily routine, we're starting to think of what we hope for in the new year. "Let's make a list!" Bowden exclaimed. (Jackie will know how happy that statement makes me. Lists!!!)

During trips this weekend to the Matisse exhibit at the IMA and a walk in the warmer-than-usual Eagle Creek Park (they said it was over 50F on Saturday!), we started talking about items for the 2014 list. So far, we've got... (in no particular order)

1. New waffle iron: ours gave out this weekend
2. Get more exercise: we're starting with a six week intro-to-yoga class
3. Visit Roma: Bowden's never been ed io non vedo l'ora!

Yup, we're starting with some pretty specific targets, even if they might seem to conflict (more waffles may kind of negate more exercise, but both sound fun). And the prospect of Italia in 2014...well, it's going to be a very good year. ☺️👏🇮🇹

- Corrie


Monday, December 23, 2013

Dreaming of a white Christmas

Bowden and I have been working our way through the holiday classic films over the December weekends nights. Most take more than a few evening to get through even though we could recite the endings by heart. ("How far did you see in Miracle on 34th St before falling asleep?" "Ahhhh, I think the scene where he speaks Dutch to that girl...")

Despite earlier snow falls in Indy, today is Christmas Eve Eve Eve, and Bing's not the only one dreaming of a white Christmas. Family from far and near are gathering, and, for the far southern ones especially, it'd be grand to have a good squall though we'd settle for flurries.

The forecast isn't bringing tidings of comfort and joy. We may have a gray (though not blue) Christmas in Indy this year.

UPDATE: Now it's Christmas Eve day and we're up with a dusting of snow! Ah, the benefits of being behind on blogging? Solo un scherzo! Merry Christmas Eve!

- Corrie

The Stars Are Brightly Shining


street lights in Macerata


The family has all arrived. It has been a good day that has lasted well until the evening, sitting around the table with my husband's family and my own, breaking the language barrier as my 4-year-old nephew performs little magic tricks with building blocks while making the whole family laugh aloud. At the rental house where my family is staying, the owners draped the indoor walls with Christmas lights, and just outside the front door, two olive trees are laced with the brightest white lights as well, and they have been twinkling all evening, into the foggiest Christmas night. Welcome to Christmas in Italy, they seem to say. Let us light the road for you.

Goodnight.

-Jackie

Saturday, December 21, 2013

If on a winter's night a traveler

It's been a long day of cleaning house, preparing presents, last minute shopping, and finally, my dad arrived at our house, a weary drive down from Bologna to Macerata, just in time for dinner. My brother and his family made it safely to Rome as well, and we are all now very much in Italy, at last! Sitting in my living room with the tree all lit up, drinking tea and coffee, we spoke to my brother on speaker phone, listened to stories of his wanderings through Rome, the kids tired after endless walking through the eternal city. And despite the fact that it will be another couple of days before they arrive here in Le Marche, for a moment we were all together, gathered around a telephone line, an entire family somewhat joined in one room, laughing, as only family does, over what little Sam did or how William behaved or Miriam's surprise at learning that "ciao" means both hello AND goodbye. It's good to know that we are all here, tucked away, maybe, each in a corner of the country, but all here in Italy just the same.

Goodnight, finally. It's late, and we've been busy. Tomorrow, up early for Urbino.

-Jackie

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Thursday Before Christmas

I have been busily finishing up my lessons before Christmas, and today, once I got home after a particularly long day of lessons, it hit me. This week is almost over. My dad gets here on Saturday. My brother and his family on Monday. And then there's Christmas, of course, just a few days after. How it has all crept up on me, I don't know, but somehow Christmas is right around the bend.

And yet family has been on my mind all day. Reading Corrie's blog post about family and Italy and good food, good company, and good cheer (yes, that was a wonderful Christmas together, bella!) and then later discussing gift ideas for my niece with my brother-in-law. Then, this evening, during one of my private lessons, I found myself proudly showing off family photos, talking about what we'll all be doing the next week, aglow with thoughts of this first Christmas together in years.

But even throughout all of those moments, I don't think I realized. It's just days away. I can't wait to be part of this, to participate with family in celebrating together, for some the first Christmas in Italy, for others of us, a tradition that finally brings both my family and my husband's family together. I can just see us all, gathered around a dinner table, talking and communicating and gesturing and laughing. The more I see it, the more clearly it all develops, the more excited I get. Yes, there are still gifts to be bought. There are still errands to be run and last minute this and thats. Somehow all of those little things will come together though. They always do.

-Jackie

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hungry for Christmas

Talk of Christmas dinner is the center plate these days. Sasha, Mom, and I are hatching a plan for the family's holiday meal, but even working days are focused on the roast beast for the feast, feast, feast, feast!

Very fortunately (job security!), lots of whos down in IndiaWhopolis come to the market where I work to pick up whatever version of sugarplums has been dancing in their heads. It's fun to help the folks who know exactly what they want, but it's even more fun to help inspire the cooks who aren't quite sure yet.

One gent called with questions about our Cotechino, an Italian winter sausage seasoned with Parmigiano Reggiano and nutmeg. Just like that, I was back on the boot, stirring a big pot of lentils and nestling thick, steaming wedges of the sausage on top. He didn't know it, but this customer's questions were whisking me away from a fuzzy-headed drift among turkeys, hams, chestnuts and onto a crystal clear tour of Natale in Italia. 

Many holidays ago, while I was in grad school, Jackie and Antonello invited me to spend Christmas with them in Macerata. Not everything was exactly familiar -- gladiator lights, "carols," quality family time -- but it was so merry and festive and lovely. Even though we feasted on delicious holiday treats, I'm absolutely certain it was the company that made the moment (this coming from a gal who's hungry all the time). Such good memories, Bella Jack -- tante grazie!

So, I'm so happy for Jackie and her stateside family who'll get to experience Natale insieme a Macerata this year! There are sure to be some old traditions and new adventures meeting under the tree (er, arbole?) and it's bellissimo that they'll get to celebrate together. 

Buon Viaggio, Goyettes! Safe travels (and try the cotechino for me). :-)

- Corrie