I live in the Pacific Northwest region. I am a technophile, early adopter, geek. I’m also Italian, and proud of it. I’m a wife, mother of three, grandmother of 4, and proud of that too. I love my job, my family, my friends, and the Lord, not necessarily in that order. In fact, the order could change on any given day, depending upon my mood, who’s mad at me, how busy I am, and whether or not I’ve spent any time with the Lord that day. I am a devoted Christian, but too often I let life get in the way of spending time with Christ through prayer and reading the Bible. I know my days are infinitely better when I make that time, and yet I neglect it more often than I care to admit. As with any relationship, you have to spend time together if you want it to be a strong and healthy one. I know that in my head, and my heart, so why do I struggle so to put it into action? It’s like dieting or working out – I know what I need to do, but I don’t always do it, and I definitely reap what I sow. I’m working on all of that as part of my continual self-improvement program.
I enjoy writing, but am not an especially gifted or talented writer. Of course, you know that if you read this blog. I love photography, but again, I am not am especially gifted or talented photographer, though my youngest son really is. I am a California girl, which that will never change, regardless of where I live or how old I am. I yearn to travel, especially to Scotland, France, and Italy. I was able fulfill some of that longing with a trip to Scotland and England in May 2006 for 18 days, and a trip to London and Paris in May 2008. We were to go to Rome for a week after 8 days in Paris, but we had to cut our trip short. I would have met my Italian cousins for the first time. I was so disappointed, but I know I will get there eventually. We long to return to Scotland. We truly fell in love with that magical country, it’s spectacular scenery, and it’s wonderful people. Paris was more than I ever imagined it could be. We barely scraped the surface of things to see there. I can’t wait to go back. Contrary to the stereotype, we found the French to be friendly, helpful and so interesting. I can’t wait to add Italy to the list of places I’ve visited and to which I long to return.
I have three amazing siblings. I am the eldest of the four. The next in line is my sister in Wisconsin. She is the most wonderful, giving, loving person I know. She has been married to the same man for 37 years. They have five kids and live on 80 acres. Growing up, she was the “Susie Homemaker” of the family. Her room was always spotless. Her home still is. She was in Future Farmers of America in high school, trained dogs, raised a sheep, and judged cow udders. She knows how to grow anything. Her kids are all terrific, bright, talented people. Her oldest daughter is beautiful, and currently resides in California. Her two boys are avid hunters, coming home every year to hunt with their dad. They both love the Lord with all their hearts. They are both married and have children. Her next youngest daughter was adopted from India as a toddler. She is a delightful, sweet, loving girl who has never had a mean thought in her life. She fell out of a second story window when she was little, and escaped unscathed. She told her mom that the angels carried her down – and no one doubts her. Her youngest daughter was adopted from an abusive home as a teen. She is a beautiful girl – both inside and out. She is in college and has a gaggle of friends. She is such a fantastic sister, daughter, and niece and we’re so happy she’s in the family. Of the four of us kids, this sister has traveled the farthest from home. She lived in Alaska for 10 years, and now in Wisconsin for the past almost 24 years. She’s too far away, and I miss her a lot. She is going to school to be a nurse, is a permanent makeup artist, and keeps way too busy.
My brother is the only boy of the four of us. Growing up, he was a constant nuisance, always getting into our things, always breaking things. He drove us girls crazy. We had signs on our bedroom doors that said, “Keep Out! This means you, Brother!” Now, the three of us adore him, most of the time. He and I are a lot alike in that we are both technology geeks, and know-it-alls. We can be intimidating to those around us, though we don’t mean to be. Where we differ most is in the fact that he is very funny and witty, and I am most definitely not. For a punk little brother, he turned out pretty well. He and his beautiful wife have 8 kids between them – three from his first marriage, four from her first marriage, and one between them. They keep very busy!
The baby of the family is my little sister, 5 1/2 years my junior. She’s gorgeous. She resides in southwestern Utah. She has two kids. Her oldest, a son, was born the day after my youngest son was born. He’s a bright, talented, handsome young man. He lives in the same town as his mom and works as a very successful server at a swanky restaurant there. Her daughter is stunningly beautiful, and sweet as can be. I don’t think she knows just how pretty she is. She is married to a great guy she met in college. They are both amazing Christians and are doing great things. My sister is the most talented hairdresser and permanent makeup artist ever. She’s bright, athletic, and loving. She is married to a great guy who has a knack for getting restaurants back on track. He is also an amazing chef, or so I’m told. I have yet to meet him or taste his cooking – but that will change in November. I know my sister’s heart is in Moab, UT, where she lived for a time. The red rocks call to her. Fortunately, where she lives now has lots of red rocks. I understand how she feels; we visited her in Moab, and I felt them tug on my heart. There is something about that place – the warmth of the rocks, the contrasting greenery growing on them, the curving smoothness of the worn sandstone baked by the sun…. something. I felt at home there. It soothed my soul. It is a special place. She is a great mom, and a great sister. Growing up, she took a lot of abuse from the three of us in the form of us ditching her when we played, telling her she was a flake, typical kid things. We loved her, but she was younger, and having her tag along was a pain. Kids have no idea how hurtful their teasing can be. We had no clue what we were doing to her. It took her a long time to realize she wasn’t really a pain, that we all love her to death, and she most definitely is not a flake. I’ll forever feel awful about the things we said to her. She is the sweetest, kindest, most loving sister, and thankfully, she forgave me long ago.
The four of us are close, despite our physical separation. We have a bond that was forged through our difficult childhood. We moved every year for the first 11 years of my life. As a result, we had no lifelong “best friends”. We were each other’s best friends. With three of us just one year apart, and our little sister just two years younger than our brother, there was always someone to play with. My sister and I played house and Barbies. My brother and I played detective or Supergirl – I was the detective, he was my sidekick, or I was Supergirl, and he was my helper. He and our Wisconsin sister got into mischief together, while I was busy being the goody-two-shoes of the bunch, in my room reading. We all played army together, put on skits in the summer for our parents, fought over whose turn it was to do the dishes, clean the calamari for the spaghetti (a disgusting job), or make the milk (we only had powdered milk). We bickered, we argued, but we loved each other fiercely, and we stuck up for each other when necessary. We still do. After I went off to college, and our Wisconsin sister moved to Oregon to live with our dad, our brother and little sister were the only two at home for a time. He looked after her, like big brothers are supposed to do. When our mother died, we were scattered across the west – and it’s been that way ever since. But we’ve always stayed close emotionally, if not physically. I couldn’t ask for better siblings. I love them to death, and miss them every single day of my life.
I’ll add more eventually – more about my kids and grandkids, my job, myself. For now, this is plenty.