The boys come home today! They’ve been away for two weeks on Elba Island with their dad, having a marvelous time. They’ve sent me pictures of the things they’ve built, the artwork they’ve created, their fantastic feats in water, on land, in trees. In the pictures they seem bigger than I remember them, taller, with browner skin, and more beautiful, as if that were even possible.


I have been forewarned that although they will not be bringing back the hermit crabs and various other creatures they found at sea, they are returning with bushels of lemons they picked themselves directly from the trees and countless scrapes and bruises, most of which were also procured directly in the trees.

I had a long list of things to do while they were away, but the time is what it is and mainly I caught up with work, saw some, but not all, long-neglected friends, ran and swam and read and talked to Lou. And then it was already over.


Last night, my last night as a single gal, I watched the World Cup game with friends and then we went out to the main square for drinks and dinner and it was the most beautiful evening, with a landscape artist’s sky and the pleasant, easy chatter of interesting people from different walks of life who have had dinner together many times before.

This town is small enough, and I have been going out as a single gal long enough, that it is impossible to spend a summer weekend night in the center and not run into people you know and love and stop to talk and it takes an hour to cross the square. This is one of my favorite things about life in Italy, but yesterday I’d been up since five in the morning for reps at the track and had worked nonstop the rest of the day – I was too tired even for an ice cream cone, and so I rode my bike home, slipped into bed and whispered a reminder to Lou that it was our last night alone.

The boys come home today!

(Mom, you can expect another phone call: the boys have already said they want your and Grandma’s special formula for homemade lemonade)


About Jennifer

I'm a freelance translator and American expat. I live in Northern Italy with my two young sons.
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2 Responses to homecoming

  1. I Say Oui says:

    That is so cool how you’ve gotten to know people in your neighborhood. I love running into people I know too. It doesn’t happen nearly enough, which is why I’d like to join a community activity.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi! It does make you feel like part of the community. I meet a lot of people through my kids’ activities, obviously, but like you said, joining a group is probably the best way to meet people. I have met many of my friends through my photography group and my sports clubs. And once you start meeting new people, you start meeting their friends and so on.

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