Throwback Thursday: Steamship

I just found an image from an old postcard of the S.S. Chicago, the steamship that brought my great grandmother and three of her children to Ellis Island in 1909. Francesca Piccioli was from the Marche region of Italy, but she had been working as a wet nurse in France, which explains why she boardedContinue reading “Throwback Thursday: Steamship”

Snomicron Update

In honor of the Omicron coronavirus variant that’s blasting through the country right now, some have nicknamed yesterday’s snowstorm Snomicron. Monday’s snow was beautiful, but a foot of it was a lot more than anyone expected! In addition to losing at least one tree in our yard, we lost internet service for most of theContinue reading “Snomicron Update”

2021 Reading Challenge Completed

Happy New Year! The year is just about over, and so is my 2021 Reading Challenge on the Goodreads website. My goal for the year was 125 books read. I completed the 125th book earlier this week. It was Jacqueline Woodson’s Hush. And yesterday I finished a bonus book, number 126. It was Rosie Meleady’sContinue reading “2021 Reading Challenge Completed”

Twilight for Tangier

I recently joined an online group, Abandoned in Virginia. Members post photographs of abandoned buildings around the state; the emphasis is on stunning images of decaying buildings that were nevertheless glorious in their day. Yesterday I posted my first image, an abandoned home on Tangier Island. And I was floored by the responses I received.Continue reading “Twilight for Tangier”

Postcards From the World: Un Trullo

Today I want to show off a postcard I received yesterday from an Italian Postcrosser named Francesco. He lives in Bari, in the southern Italian region of Puglia (also called Apulia), on the Adriatic coast. The picture on the card shows a historic type of house called a trullo that is unique to the area.Continue reading “Postcards From the World: Un Trullo”

The Cemetery Where Laura Played

Yesterday I posted a blog entry from ten years ago this week. Back in 2011, I took a solo road trip to Council Bluffs, Iowa, detouring along the way to visit the town of Burr Oak, Iowa, where Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family lived for more than a year. Visiting there was moving forContinue reading “The Cemetery Where Laura Played”

Pilgrimage to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Burr Oak Home

Ten years ago, I took a solo road trip to a conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Along the way, I treated myself to several side trips, including one to a town I had always wanted to see: Burr Oak, Iowa. This was briefly the home of one of my favorite authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder. ThoughContinue reading “Pilgrimage to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Burr Oak Home”

Parallel Travelogue

Some quantum physicists theorize that every decision we make splits off a parallel universe in which we chose a different course. If that is true, then somewhere in a parallel universe, I will arrive today in Great Britain. Last May, when covid-19 vaccinations were spreading far and wide, and the virus’s Delta variant was barelyContinue reading “Parallel Travelogue”

Patron Saint of Petrinis

Today is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. While technically I am Catholic, I’m not at all religious, so I don’t claim that the day has deep theological meaning for me. But it does have genealogical meaning: the Petrini side of my family is from Assisi. So I’m calling St. Francis’s feast dayContinue reading “Patron Saint of Petrinis”

Twenty Years

I posted these memories a year ago, near the nineteenth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001. It was called “Nineteen Years” then. I’m updating it for today, the twentieth anniversary of that terrible day. I was five months pregnant and in bed that morning nineteen years ago, thinking about getting up to packContinue reading “Twenty Years”