While traveling here, there and everywhere during the first half of 2002, we also managed to make it through being snowed in, the “second wave” of foreigners buying up local property, Africa’s scirocco coating everything in red dust, another interior renovation, plus lots more. Here are excerpts from monthly letters to family. As always, you …

Early in 2001, we were both accepted as participants in July’s Iowa Summer Writing Festival, Russell for workshops on memoir, me for the novel. We were honored to be invited to march in Amelia’s August Corteo, feeling we were now really Amerini. September brought 9/11; October, a Zack attack; November, the challenges of olive harvest …

The first half of 2001 found us starting the new millennium with lots of outdoor projects — a fence, a pond and terraced flower gardens. In between, we managed to continue writing while fighting off serious respiratory infections, entertaining guests and touring Sicily with old friends. Here are excerpts from letters to family and friends. …

The previous post chronicled our year-long effort to renovate the south side of our old farmhouse. But that wasn’t all that happened in 2000. When we weren’t working with the artisans making our renovation dream come true, we were dealing with the bureaucracy, I was participating in a writer’s workshop at UCLA, R was crafting …

The best laid plans… We’d hoped to start renovations on the south side of our Italian house in the autumn of 1999, but various trials accumulated until it was too late in the year for such a project. (See post #44 for details.) Our design got approved by the authorities, but the actual work didn’t …

The last months of 1999 challenged us with more of everything — more guests, more renovation planning, more of Russell working overseas while I managed the home front. When we bought our Italian house, we decided not to do all the renovations at once. Live it in for a while, we were advised, and that …

After my Dad’s passing during the 1998 holiday season, I stayed in the States longer than I’d anticipated due to unforeseen events. When I returned to Italy in 1999, the first half of the year was filled with the joys of homecoming plus more unexpected challenges. Here are excerpts from family letters. [As always, you …

The year 1998 brought expected and unexpected challenges. The renovations of our old farmhouse continued. Guests arrived almost every month, and my Dad returned for his third visit. He was ever an enthusiastic traveller, from his days in post-war Japan, through countless Elder Hostel trips to time spent with us in faraway places. If there …

The final months of our first year in Italy were filled with travel, loss and near-loss, visits from friends and the pleasures of Christmas in our own home. [As always, you can click on photos to enlarge them.] August 28 Earlier in the month, we spent a delightful couple of days in Ravenna on the …

The town of Amelia, our town, was called Ameria in ancient days, said to be named for its Umbrian founder, King Ameroe. All this is lost in the sands of time, yet the citizens of Amelia are still termed Amerini. Here are excerpts from letters to family about our first summer in our new home. …