Home is Always Waiting With Open Arms

Home is definitely not just a place. It’s a feeling of belonging and security. It is a lifeline to the people and space you hold dear. It is trust and expectations.

But there can also be pain and loss. Still, home helps you face your fears and have room to grow. It’s always a shelter even in the worst of life’s storms.

It can be two places. Three. It is where the pieces of your heart live.

I have a home at my mom and dad’s. I have the home I make with Jerry—wherever that may be. That home has open doors to welcome my daughters and other family.

I have a home in America that I miss everyday. When I’m feeling homesick, I remind myself that she will be there when I return.

That’s it. Home is always waiting with open arms for you to return.

Blooms Require Water

Everybody always tells us military spouses to bloom where we are planted.  Not always so easy, but something I’ve actually tried to accomplish.  More success at some locations than others, but not half bad at the end of the day.


These plants and flowers are thriving in a tiny, unlikely space with less than optimal growth potential.  Pretty inspiring if you think about it.

So the ideas of planter boxes, flower beds, mixed blooming pots and cut flowers really speak to my heart.  It is as if those small blooms, wildly colored blooms and riotously growing plants are my friends, my neighbors, me.  They are showing out even when conditions are austere.

But all plants require water.  In the heat of summer, most require daily water.  Remember this as I tell the story.

Our parking is paid hourly 8 am to 8 pm.  So in the morning, it’s important to go down and pay the meter if Jerry isn’t taking the van to work.  He reminded me at 7:45 am this morning that he was biking to work. Great.  Thanks for that notice.

IMG_3338I throw my hair in a pony and put on a Margaritaville ball cap from our trip to Jamaica.  Never did make it to the shower and I’m still sporting that pony and cap as we head out to dinner. So Americano.

I digress.

Realizing I don’t have any Euro coins, I decide to walk to the cafe to buy a cornetto so I can bust up a 20€ bill. They give me “the look” for using a big bill for a 3€ total.  Whatever.  That’s also another blog story.  Grudgingly, they gave me the coin I needed and I started walking around the block to the van.

Remember that scene from Flashdance? (Do I need to insert a rating warning?)  The one where Alex has water dumped on her in the big dance finale?  At least she knew when she pulled the chain that the water was coming down.

However, I was unprepared for the water that dumped down on my head.  Turns out those pretty planter boxes that I love to photograph require daily watering.  And the sweet Italian nonnas don’t care who is walking below when they perform said watering.

Let’s just say that I really didn’t need a shower after that. But maybe it will help me bloom where I am planted. At least for today I received my watering.

Sorry.  No pictorial proof.  I was too busy hoofing it to pay the meter.


Actual scene of the crime.  Just past where this also unsuspecting man is walking. Beware the nonna!  Full disclosure.  Photo taken hours later.


My Secret Garden

“…be still with me in bella Italia. This is the essence of dolce vita.”

So there I was coming down the interior stairwell in a large apartment building. As I stepped onto the 2nd floor landing, I heard beautiful music wafting in from an open stained glass door in the foyer. I was confused why there was a door and assumed it was a balcony. Curious about the music, I stepped around to look out and saw this enchanting secret garden.

It is hard to define perfection. At 4 p.m. there was a heavy, indolent feel to the hot sun as it refused to give up its grasp on the longest day of the year. Yet, the shade of the old olive tree and vines cooled the space by several degrees. I could hear crickets and birds dueling for notice above the piano serenade next door. The grass needed tending, but offered a casual backdrop for the empty pots, and broken lawnmower.

I heard the gnome say, “Don’t think about the grass and weeds. Unfold the chair and sit in the shade with me. Count the hydrangea blooms. Watch the butterflies and bees. Savor the solstice and be still with me in bella Italia. This is the essence of dolce vita.”

It moved me to tears. 

#day13 #1017daysinitaly