My husband is transported by music: a half-hour of vintage salsa refreshes his outlook like little else. Although he doesn't need to analyze the "why" to benefit from the practice, I looked into it. The reason that listening to music makes us feel good dopamine, the same pleasure chemical that encourages us to eat, sleep and…
ixty-six years ago today in Winona, my parents were married. Fify-five years ago in Dallas, President Kennedy was killed, just months after my sister and I had shaken his hand at the Ambassador's Residence in Rome. We were in Washington, DC, on the final weekday of Dad's transition from Press Attaché in Rome to Public Affairs Officer in Bogotá.
I spent two years in New York City, Victoria. Then came the second summer, in 1952, when I was home in Winona on vacation. The young man who was to become your grandfather and I met again after having been apart for those two years .. and the rest, as they say, in another history.
“So, you’re cheating,” Mom said, sitting back against her chair. She looked at me, tapping her fingers on the chair arms for what seemed like a very long time. Then, she folded her arms in front of her chest. I waited for the other shoe to drop.
The nomadic life of my youth taught me four things: 1) be at home where you are; 2) let go when it's time; 3) settle in fast; and 4) forget there's anywhere else to be. This cycle puts you right back at 1) being at home where you are.
In 2016, I had one day to show my husband the Eternal City. Should we wander the city on our own or hit the highlights on a tour? I chose NOT to be the one to hurry us along, leaving the nagging (and the guiding) to the professionals. It was a wonderful day!
The question was posed casually to my mother by a woman not quite retirement age on Cape Cod, where Mom and Dad had retired to in the 1980s: "What did you do while you were overseas?" Here is her answer, which she wrote out instead of saying, leaving the record for me to discover some 40 years later....
I wished that Mom could have been with my husband and me during our visit to Amsterdam (too late to see tulips in bloom, but found some in a vase) and Paris in May, and especially when we visited Claude Monet's home and gardens .
When I was nine, I thought I’d become an archeologist when I grew up. We lived in Rome, and so the evidence that such a job existed was all around me. One of my friends had her birthday party in the Forum.
Behavior matters,especially when you're in a Foreign Service family in the Italy of the 1960s.