Week 225 July 21, 2018

Dear Family and Friends, I am still writing here weekly because, although Loren and I are settled down in one spot in California – near Loren’s Mom, we are not in our home in San Jose. We are keeping our house rented out because our plan is to continue to travel in the future… So, in my mind, we are still on our Journey Toward Wholeness. I hope you will indulge me in my keeping a running commentary here, Loren and I always appreciate your comments and input!

We have settled into an exercise routine of my taking near daily yoga classes, and Loren takes class on alternate days as he prefers riding his bicycle on the others. We have enjoyed watching several San Francisco Giants games with Loren’s Mom.

This week there was the beginning of the “Battle of the Bay” with the Giants facing the Oakland A’s in San Francisco for three games. This coming week they will finish the series with three more games to play in Oakland.


In between this series sandwich was the All Stars game in Washington, DC. Did you watch it too? Our Giant’s Shortstop Brandon Crawford participated, our Catcher, Buster Posey while chosen bailed out to treat a physical injury, and our First Baseman, Brandon Belt sadly just missed making the final cut. The excitement of the game was the amazing number of Home Runs that were hit – 10 in all, which is a phenomenal record. I have some old letters that my Mom and Dad wrote to each other during their courtship, and I was amused that my father would include how his beloved Yankees were doing. Watching the games and writing about them now brings up more dear memories of him.


While watching the All Star game, we saw for the first time LavAzza coffee commercials. Loren’s Mom was tickled that the company is located in Torino – Turin, Italy, which is the capital city of the province, Piemonte or Piedmont in English where her parents were both born. She said out loud that she would have to try it, and this week I made a point to purchase a package for her. The company actually has a variety of roasts to choose from in our local supermarket. She was pleased with the Classico Medium Roast version that I bought, and interested to find that the company has been around since 1895.

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While on the subject of Italy, one evening Loren’s Mom had left the room where she, Loren, his sister and I often watch the TV together. It was just she and I at the point when she returned to find me reading Loren’s college Italian textbook. She asked a long question in Italian that I did not understand. So I automatically just asked her,

     Come stai? meaning, How are you?

as I had learned from friends in Italy. She seemed impressed. The next time she found me reading the book later in the week, she asked me the same long question, which this time I asked her what she had said and what it meant. 

     Come vano tutti e afari? or, How’s everything?

and she taught me the proper reply is,

    Molto bene, meaning, Very well.

One third evening this week, she sat in her TV chair turned to me, said

     Come vano tutti e afari?

When I replied, Molto bene, she was delighted. As I write this, I realize I could also say Molto bene, grazie, meaning Very well, thank you. Or I could also say Molto bene, signora, or Molto bene, Mama. I believe I will have many more opportunities to learn more Italian  while we are here.

I remember now when Loren and I were visiting in Italy how our young adult friends lamented in English their belief that the Italian language will one day go by the wayside. Their reasoning is first, that English is now required professionally for them, but the other, is that sadly they see it takes too long to express the same concept in Italian to the much shorter words – and I must add, much less melodious – in English. I am grateful to have the privilege to practice Italian with Loren and his Mom.

We have a couple of days of not being with Loren’s Mom now. One evening we went for a hike in the Lake Chabot Regional Park which we can access by taking a short walk from our AirBnB. Today we are looking forward to a dear friend coming to visit us here and we will take her to enjoy a hike in this park too. 

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I must mention how while we are less than an hour – when there is no traffic, haha – from San Jose, it continues to be the ten degrees colder that I noticed when Loren and I were dating. And, it is more often foggy than the weather of our beloved South Bay. We have been enjoying waking up to sunshine these past few weeks, but this week was a different story. We have now had cool mornings from fog, more and lower fog, and more and thicker fog on each subsequent day seen from our bedroom window. The nice thing is that the sun eventually burns it off by the time the yoga class is over.

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This week I will finish by sharing the inspiring quote I found on my older niece’s music therapy business card that she gave me when I was in New York:

     Music is the Medicine of the Mind 

I so agree! I found online that these words are attributed to John Alexander Logan, a nineteenth century soldier, orator and politician, and he is the one who called for Decoration Day – a national day of remembrance for Civil War dead – what we celebrate now as Memorial Day.

Uncannily, Loren and I had tickets for a local music performance last night thanks to a friend of a friend suggesting it. The concert’s title was Six Continents of Music – understandable as there is no music to pull from Antarctica. We were delighted with the evening, reminiscing over songs or similar songs as we have sung with our own UU congregation choir, to familiar songs from our youth, to songs new to us, and, songs that reminded us very much of our travels. Thanks to which, I was able to immediately realize that Cancao Da Costureirinha was a Portuguese piece. My top three favorites if I have to choose were Evening Prayer, Nella Fantasia, and their Pentatonix version of Royals. Loren’s were Born Free, Mambo Italiano, and Tafta Hindi. It was a fun evening being entertained by talented singers and musicians.


Baseball, exercise, family, friends, Italian, music – life is still good.

2 thoughts on “Week 225 July 21, 2018

  1. I ‘m sitting here with Kerstin who I didn’t realize had a wonderful experience when you stayed at her house in Hamburg. She is visiting us right now.
    Will you be able to come to church while you are in California? Janice


    1. Dear Janice,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, we had a lovely time both with Robbin and staying overnight with Kerstin in Hamburg. Thank you again to you and Dick for putting us in touch! Yes too, we will be there this Sunday and staying for Mary’s memorial service. We will come other times when we can – the Fellowship just feels so far away from us physically right now, and we are spending most Sundays with Loren’s Mom…

      Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday,
      Claire & Loren


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