Life Lessons

“Cannolis!” Michael exclaimed, seeing them stacked behind the glass. “Eh,” I said. “What do you mean, ‘eh’? You love cannolis.” “But those are pre-filled,” I explained “So?” “So who knows how long ago they filled them. The shells are probably soggy by now.” And so it was that I taught Michael one of the most…

Modern Family

“Do you want to stop for any bakery stuff?” Dad asked me. He was driving me to JFK to catch my flight back to Spain. It was 4:20pm. We’d only left the house twenty minutes ago. “Nah, I’m good, but if you want to stop. . . “ “No, I don’t need anything,” he said….

Printing the Internet

“Have you seen those insurance commercials where the doctor talks about how he can’t stop you from becoming your parents?” my friend Lois asked me. I googled them. And realized I had seen them. Because I’ve spent the last two weeks at my parents house and they actually still watch television with commercials. Two nights…

Fallas Festival 2022 (Part 1)

Michael and I had never heard of the Fallas festival. I now know that if I ever found a book called “Top 100 festivals around the world,” Fallas would probably be in the Top 10. But Michael and I don’t care much for crowds. We’re not ones to travel for a festival that attracts hordes…

Best Moments of 2021

I am aware that for many people 2021 is not a year they’ll remember fondly. So I am all the more grateful to have so many happy moments to share with you—many related to the fact that 2021 was the year Michael and I finally made our dream of living abroad come true. So, without…

A Taste of America

“What foods do you miss?” one of my students asked me. It gave me great pause . . . I couldn’t think of anything. “Well, I miss the chocolate balls I used to make, but that’s because we don’t have a food processor, not because I don’t have the ingredients,” I said. But I kept…

Operator

“I lived in the US for 20 years,” our Argentinian friend Kitty told us in perfect English, “but still, I never felt comfortable when I had to talk on the phone.” Well, I won’t make “talking on the phone” a short-term goal for my Spanish learning anytime soon, I thought. Little did I know, life…

A Evening In The Life of a Hospitalera

After twenty uninterrupted minutes reading my book, I looked around the empty room. The pilgrims who’d arrived earlier in the afternoon had finished their laundry and showers and were either resting upstairs or in town eating or grocery shopping. I peeked out the window. No backpack laden pilgrims were traipsing up the hill toward our…

Limitless Generosity (Part 2)

In 2012, over the course of my 37 days on the Camino de Santiago, generosity knew no bounds. This network of thousand-year-old pilgrimage trails is walked by hundreds of thousands of people each year and, in reality, is a moving community of people helping people. Unable to find my way out of a large city…

Limitless Generosity (Part 1)

Bob and I met in 2011 during a Scottish cooking class at the John C. Campbell Folk School. I never intended to take a course in Scottish cooking–and, in fact, had no idea what kinds of things one would even make in a Scottish cooking class–but that is a story for another day. Weeks later,…