Posts Tagged ‘carol’


Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Carol and breakfast in Certaldo, Tuscany

Carol and breakfast in Certaldo, Tuscany

We found a hill town in Tuscany smaller than Montalcino and have relaxed and enjoyed the ambiance and flavors of this region that is anchored between Sienna and Florence. This is Chianti region!

It has been a sad year for the olive and grape growers all over Tuscany. Damaging rain came when the olive flowers were due to bloom  thus crippling the olive oil crop for this year. I know Italians who are gonna have to buy their oil from out of the country. And just when the grapes were to soak in the sugar- encouraging sunshine in August, the rains came again and most of their harvest was ruined.

But Certaldo is a little gem of simplicity high on a hill with their claim to fame as home to the writer Boccacio (the “Decameron”) and to the Blessed Julia of Certaldo (hometown example of sacrificial faith).

Enjoyed worshipping with them this morning and Tomasso, their organist, invited my to play. I met him yesterday as he practiced and we shared ‘shop talk’. I declined the honor but loved his spirit. Isn’t it great God speaks italian too?

While enjoying the view from our second floor sitting area, we watched the hotel staff get ready for a big wedding. The beautiful couple had a wedding luncheon, were married next door at the town hall, and came back for cake and champagne. As the gals from the hotel were placing the cakes, a gust of wind tossed the ceramic cake top onto two of the layers and then splat on the brick patio. Seeing the panic that ensued, Carol and I rushed down there, helped them repair the cake (whipped cream in a can!) and glued the pieces back together just moments before the happy couple walked back in. It lasted for the photographs and cake cutting, but a couple of the youthful guests picked it up and it came apart again (the worst break was the groom lost his head!). The staff sent up wedding cake for us to enjoy after we retreated to our lookout, and the next day they gave us a nice bottle of chianti as we checked out. Italy becomes special when you connect with the people!

Nettuno, Italy

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

We have sadly said good bye to Wally and Pam and “ciao” to Carol as Steve and I head to the Puglia region of Italy (think achillies heel area of the ‘boot’).

Carol’s request was to seek an American cemetery south of Rome where her Uncle Albert was supposedly buried. He was one of the many brave soldiers who came to Italy via Sicily and fought up the peninsula to recapture this land from the Germans in 1943 & 44. He was one of many, many casualties.

It was about this time that Mussolini was disenfranchised from Hitler and Italians in general didn’t want to fight anyone (and they actually changed sides).


There are (too) many fields of crosses where soldiers lay. Anywhere a U.S. soldier falls, our country knows and keeps track and honors them. There is not a blade of grass not manicured or a marker that isn’t gleaming here in Nettuno, or Florence, or Normandy or….

The dear people who watch over this particular facility knew just where to find Uncle Albert and we were escorted to the site and given Italian and American flags to place into the lawn at his grave.

It was a special and moving moment for us all, but for Carol it brought tears. She had told her family members she would find her mother’s lost older brother, but she cried because she couldn’t tell her mom. Mom passed away last week.


The Open

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

We may know of it as The British Open, but over here it is THE Open. It is the first and ultimate in golf and a course carved out of the rolling bluffs along the north western coast of England.  The tournament rotates on which course it is held on, and this year it is at Royal Lythum/St. Anne’s (two villages that border the same course).

This has been the wettest summer for England since records were kept, but the sun is shining on the tourney. We went to the practice round, which is more casual for the players as they hit several balls and stop to give autographs. Steve, my Aunt Marilyn (over from Florida for a visit), and cousin Carol’s husband Chris are enjoying saturday’s round. We have visited holy ground in the world of golf!

Mi Amica, Carol

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

What’s better than being in Italy?  Being in Italy with a fun friend who speaks fluent Italian!!! Now all the folk in Montalcino know more of my heart cauz she can translate for me!  I can tell them how special they are to me and what a pleasure it is to be in their country again.

Carol visits Italy twice a year (6-8 weeks each time). We met at an Italian class in SD’s Little Italy, but she lives in RB and plays a mean game of golf . She leaves hubby at home cauz he’s been there, done that.  But Italy gives her life such dimension (and it’s her heritage), that it’s like coming home to her.  She has spent time with us in Tuscany and now we are on a 5 hour train to enjoy Pavia and Milano with her.  God is so good to bring us together!

Barnoldswick, UK

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

andy is jealous because of this pictureThe most pleasant of English country towns you will ever find! The Kallas’ and the Morales’ dropped in on friends, Gail and Karl, and cousins Carol and Chris…friends and family!

Picture rolling lush green hills, dotted with fluffy sheep and frolicking lambs, stack stone fences and corner pubs, steak and kidney pie, and puddings, pints and pubs. “oh to be in England, now that spring is here (name that author).”

Daffodils line every lane and drizzle freshens each morning.  Tho’ we still bundle up as it’s in the 40’s and 50’s, inside it is cozy and the aromas of Karls cooking warms the soul.

Hoping to help Gail during her (English) Mothers’ Day rush,we found we were of most help staying out of her way in the teeny flower shop. Steve was a “runner” for some deliveries  but we depended on Karl to show us more of his neck of the woods.


Sunday, March 22nd, 2009


Carol and Chris Howarth live in Barnoldswick, they  have one son Warren, who is married to Michelle and they are parents to Owen! ( are you with me so far?) Carol and my Dad are cousins: my Dad’s mother (Marion Mc Nabb Fear)  is half sister to Carol’s dad, Sam(Nice). That makes us related! They are also the ones who introduced us to Gail (her favorite florist) when we were here 6 years ago. . . and the rest is history.

We have fallen in LOVE with Owen; rosy cheeks, blue eyes, spikey hair…and he even comes with the cutes accent. And his favorite sport is golf.  Owen turns 4 in May.