This turkey was not harmed in the writing of this post.
It’s hard to believe another year is drawing to a close. And of course, this is the time of year we are most sentimental with memories of holidays past, like when turkeys fly.
The past few days, I have to admit that I have been getting a kick out of reading about Thanksgiving disasters.
To my soldier on Veterans Day:
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 KJV
It sure has been a crazy ride, living this military life. There was no way to know what we were in for back in the day. I think about so many who have served – you, our son; my brothers, your brother. Your dad and grandfather. My uncles, your uncles. Our cousins and nephews and neighbors and friends. And by default, all of the spouses and parents and other family members who serve by supporting.
There were a lot of things so foreign to me when we started out, especially all the acronyms. I remember constantly asking, “What does this mean?” And you patiently responded more times than I can count.
I have the power…
Love is a battlefield…
So, I am standing in line at Trader Joe’s. As usual, my quick trip yielded a cart and a half of food, water and wine. I think maybe their carts are too small.
Anyways, I am making small talk with one cashier, when another one walks up and starts chatting and bagging my groceries.
The piped-in store music had Pat Benatar’s Love is a Battlefield playing, and of course, a few hours later, it is still on loop in my head.
“I always loved her voice,” said one of the cashiers. “And she’s right – love is a battlefield!”
Me, laughing, responded by saying, “In my world, it’s only a battlefield when it comes to TV remotes and thermostats.”
Rain or snow coming? Just ask my knees.
“Your middle name must be Grace,” she surmised, placing bandages on my scraped-up knees.
“No, it’s Catherine,” I replied, unwrapping the lollipop she placed in my skinned-up hands.
It took me a few decades to realize that my friend’s mother wasn’t really trying to guess my middle name.
Marriage is a journey
Marriage, like travel, is a journey. Charting your destination, off you go.
“In life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.” – Charles Schulz
On this day, almost three and half decades ago, the two of us became one. Not long after our vows were said, we loaded up my little four-cylinder Mustang and headed west to Arizona, our first move for the Army.
I had zero experience with the military, and that road trip would be the first of many. Leaving on a beautiful fall day, we said our tearful goodbyes to our parents and siblings, and we were on our way.
Our journey had begun.
A great tour at Museo della Carta in Amalfi.
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth
Paper – a trade tool most every writer has used. Sometimes we curse it, when it is blank due to writer’s block. Other times, we crumple or shred the pages we pour our souls onto, thinking the work is no good. Yet there are times we frame that paper, because it bears our byline. Either way, there can be a love/hate relationship with the paper we need and use.
The best dog ever.
When your dog dies…
“I could give you some medication for him. It would alleviate some of the pain, but…”
I knew when I hugged him that it would be for the last time. Cradled in my oldest son’s arms, I bid farewell to our family’s dog.
He had a wonderful life. He lived better than some humans, as he never wanted for a meal or a warm place to lay his head.
Apparently, I slept through what my husband said was Jack’s very labored breathing. Our dear old dog made some very odd sounds, jarring my husband awake. And since I woke at my usual time, I let Jack outside while I filled his dish with his breakfast, not knowing what had transpired through the night.
Sunrise in Positano.
“Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” – John Steinbeck, 1953
If you have ever had the opportunity to visit Positano, the words of John Steinbeck ring true. In 1953, Steinbeck wrote an article for Harper’s Bazaar, after he and his wife visited this enchanted, panoramic town. My husband and I spent four days pinching ourselves to see if we were dreaming, or if we truly were in Positano, a town built into the cliffs along Italy’s famously beautiful Amalfi Coast.
Late afternoon view of Positano.
When I sat down to write this post, I was outside typing away on my laptop. Something about the blue sky and gentle breeze reminded me of our trip to Italy.
We’ve been back for a few months now, yet my brain is still in vacation mode – or is it European-lifestyle mode?
One thing I noticed was how different life was overseas. Yes, people worked or went to school or handled the mundane daily chores. However, their attitude was so much more relaxed, for a lack of a better description.
One of the highlights of our trip was eating our way through Italy. Mama mia, the food was fantastic!
Pizza signage outside the Pompeii Ruins.
Of our two-and-a-half weeks in the Napoli area, we only had one dinner that was just so-so. The rest of the time, every morsel that came our way was delectable.
Mealtimes in Italy are a much slower-paced than here at home. Dinner is much later in the evening – around 8 p.m. In fact, some restaurants aren’t even open for seating until 7-7:30 p.m. You won’t find hours-long waiting, either. At least that was our experience. It was really nice to eat at a leisurely pace and not feel like we needed to rush through our meal because there are people in line, waiting for a table.