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My Big Fat Italian-American Easter

I’ve always considered Easter as a quintessentially Italian holiday.  Most likely because it was one of the only holidays hosted at our house, organized primarily by my exaggeratedly Italian-American father. He did it like his parents did, which meant tablecloths, family, and enough fresh food to feed a small army. Our Easters were like no one else’s… Read more »

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Midwest vs. Italy: We’re not in Kansas anymore…

It’s easy to think that life between Italy and the United States isn’t so different. Both are first world countries, both are Western, relatively well off and relatively educated. With the safety net of Italian family abroad, it’s easy to think that an American expat would fall right into the swing of things and pick up the Italian… Read more »

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Winter in Northern Italy, a New Narrative

Annals of literature associate winter with hardship, depression and even fear. It’s a time to stock up, grit our teeth and hold out against the difficult season. It’s our melancholy spirit, muted like laughter against the snow. We see winter as something to be tolerated until that first burst of spring. (I’ve already written about my love of spring, it’s no secret.) Winter is an… Read more »

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No Vacation, or Why Americans Don’t Travel

Italians get one hundred billion paid vacation days per year. That’s not counting national holidays (which of course include those of the Catholic Church as well) nor the entire month of August, which Italians get off for a month-long “it’s too hot to work” party. At least, this is how American media outlets make it… Read more »

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My Christmas Back Home, in Numbers

Sometimes trips are such a whirlwind, it seems impossible to describe it in words. Like a hazy dream or a night spent with too many drinks, you only can recall bits and pieces, a scene here, a scene there. Like my parents visit to Italy, there’s almost too much to recount but the numbers don’t… Read more »

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Photo Essay: The Grand Ole Opry

Nashville, Tennessee is often called Music City and The Home of Country Music – but when did it start? How did it get its reputation? From the Grand Ole Opry. Though folk music and, thus, country music is an intrinsic part of Nashville’s history, its rise on the national scene as the home of country music likely started with WSM… Read more »

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An Open Letter to the Midwest

Dear Midwest, I know I left quickly, without many second thoughts, but like any prodigal daughter I now come back apologetic, and with more wisdom than when I set off. Some of that wisdom I’d like to share. Because I, too, had my periods of very little respect. To answer what the region is known for… Read more »

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Summertime in Ohio

It’s summertime! Here the weather has significantly warmed, the pool is set up and our summer plans are being finalized. I just wrapped up my first full year of teaching and though I have some articles to write and private lessons to teach my schedule is 100% up to me, decided by me and, thus,… Read more »

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Lists, Lists and More Lists – 2014 New Year’s Travel Resolutions

I love lists. I make “To Do” lists daily, dream lists, grocery lists, reading lists. Middle school journals are teeming with lists, a fact I decided means I love them, not that I didn’t want to write real entries. That being said, I was never big on New Years Resolutions. As a kid I scorned anything… Read more »

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Huh? What did you say?

After discussing the language used in mixed-culture relationships in a previous post, I realized that there are more nuances than are immediately noticeable. There’s one syllable in particular that can’t be ignored. It’s the question-word noise. The “word” that means “what?” in any of its forms of incredulity. In America, it’s “Huh?!”.  In fact, the… Read more »