September 7, 2014… Almost Feels like Home!!

Our last day in Cortona, we visited Santa Margherita, a church and convent on top of the mountain overlooking Cortona. The original church was sacked during a war and then a “new” church built in 1288. The church’s simple beauty and the statues, which we found inside, surprised us. The body of Santa Margherita can be seen in a glass casket which is on the alter at all times. She died in 1297! It was very impressive, but a little ghoulish. Rita wouldn’t take a photo of it, said it was sacrilegious.


While we were in Cortona, we stayed at Villa Marsili. One morning we were having a late breakfast, around 10:30 AM, and Rita looked at the clock on the wall and asked me if it showed the right time. I looked at it and said it only shows the right time, twice a day. She looked at me puzzled and asked, “What did you mean?” So, I responded that the clock was not real; it was only painted on the wall, (in 3D, though). Rita really does not wake up until after breakfast!

Here's the clock! LOL!
Here’s the clock! LOL!

I have been riding my bike every morning. I have not been able to pass even one Italian bicyclist until today because they are so fast! I saw him up ahead. I pulled out to pass him. I blew right by him as I heard someone shout out to him in Italian: “Time to come in Mario. Pre-school starts in 30 minutes!”   Yes, he must have been three years old! By the way, I have noticed that Italian bicyclist approaching you from behind do NOT give you a heads up they are going to pass you. In the US, at least on the Monon Trail, everyone always gives you a heads-up by saying something like: “On your left”.   I have almost been run into several times by other bicyclists. It could be that my hearing is just sooooo bad that I can’t hear them pedaling right by me!

We have been getting a lot of use out of the tennis courts. Rita finally won a set from me after, what… 5 weeks? It was only one, and of course, she hasn’t won again since. LOL!!!


This weekend we are resting up. We have the 4-day Chianti Wine Festival to train for. Then, on Saturday, we have some guests visiting from Fort Wayne and are looking forward to seeing and talking to someone other than ourselves!!!

My daughter Angela, and granddaughter Jada, have completed their move from Indy, with their 8-day road trip with two dogs, and are now settling into Portland, OR. A wedding is already being planned for June 2015. Congratulations to Angela and Jada, and, of course, “Fuzz” McPherson, her fiancée.

Birthdays this month include my niece Meredith, and Rita’s daughters Melissa and Stephanie and Melissa’s husband Bob Weaver. Stephanie and her husband Ben are also undertaking a move from Austin to Connecticut where Ben will be continuing with ESPN after receiving a promotion. They are house hunting this weekend. We wish all happy birthdays and a good move and good luck finding a house in Connecticut.

That is all the news we have for now. More later as we are going to Prato, Italy for the unveiling of “Mary’s Girdle”, the name for Mary’s Sacred Belt, the city’s most revered relic,which is only displayed 5 times a year. Should be quite interesting!

Love you all and miss you. –Norm & Rita.

4 thoughts on “September 7, 2014… Almost Feels like Home!!

    • You’re very welcome!!! We are glad to have you as a follower! We are really looking forward to Kevin and Louise visiting on Saturday! We are looking for our Paris apartment right now, for our last 14 days of our trip. If you know of one, that is fantastic, let us know! Rita


  1. I was rolling with laughter when I read about the trip up the mountain and Rita’s white knuckles and queezy stomach…..sounds like me. I don’t know that I could of ventured up the hill to the restaurant. Tom and I have been getting in some great tennis as well, would love to get hooked up with you peeps on the court. Lauren cheered her first game at Purdue, there were approx. 65,000 in attendance (they had a battle of the bands with the area high schools). Exciting times, Paige and I enjoyed the tailgating and watching sissy cheer. she has to share a stunt partner because her guy quit (bummer). Keep her in your prayers, she is struggling with the missing home, hope she gets over it soon – it is hard to see her unhappy, she needs to buck it up though 🙂
    Lots of love, safe travels and ENJOY that wine festival 🙂
    Mary Didier


    • Mary,
      Saw all the pics on FB about Lauren and her first Football game, she was great! Give her some time, and also some space. Maybe you can try to stay away from her (except for games, of course) and make her stay at Purdue without coming home for awhile, to help her “fit in” at Purdue and it will force her to get involved in the campus life. I also think a little separation from Mom and Dad’s strings are always good for them. It’s harder on us, as parents to do that, but it usually works. We are looking forward to our guests and the wine fest! We’ll be home before you know it. Rita


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