Life Highlights and Movie Clips

The older I get the more I realize that I’ve actually had some pretty great movie quality moments. Sad that I’m striving for film clip type memories, but isn’t that how our memories work? I’ve written about the highlights reels that we show people via our social media persona, so it only makes sense to compare our memories to movie clips. I’ve mentioned the best date I ever had. I’ve briefly talked about my adoration for Italian men and their serenades….

Looking back over my life, it’s been an interesting ride. Not nearly as interesting as some people I know, but I’ve met some fascinating people along the way.

I’ve debated who discovered America with some street vendors in Pisa, Italy. (They contended that it was Christopher Columbus {Cristoforo Columbo}, I argued that it was Amerigo Vespucci.) Then they invited my friend and me to a party. “I have cousin who will like your friend,” one of the men told me.

I was followed by a group of American servicemen through Verona who kept trying to strike up a conversation. I pretended not to understand English and would only respond in Italian. Then when we passed my hotel, I stepped into the lobby and bid them a great vacation in American English.

The smell of the pineapple plantations on Oahu is something that I’ll never forget.

An incredibly handsome Egyptian man who ran a hotel I stayed in in Rome and I struck up a brief friendship after conversations during my comings and goings. In the elevator up to my room at one point, he looked and me and, “may I kiss you.” Wow. How could one resist? And, yes, he stayed in the lift when I exited. But…. Wow. Great moments.

I drove a Navy harbor patrol boat around Pearl Harbor in the dark of night. (shhhhh don’t tell anyone)

As I was viewing some amazing architecture in Assisi, a man approached me. (I am certain he was a mafia capo of some sort with his “men” standing slightly behind him.) He looked me up and down with a sly smile and asked if I am Italy. When I responded no, he looked at me again and said, “Che peccato. Ciao bella.” What a shame. Goodbye beautiful. Then walked way. I still wonder what would have occurred had I said, “Yes, I am Italian.”

I’ve sat on the roof of the Duomo in Milan and had long conversations.

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I walked the lakeside promenades along Lago Maggiore with handsome Italian men.

I rode a train with an Italian family, helping their young child speak English. When they left, they gave me an Italian horn keychain. They had never spoken with an American before.

A friend and I were hit on by (according to our hotel staff) the biggest drug dealers in the Bahamas. They were charming, I’ll give them that.

I saw a mafia hit in Rome near the Spanish Steps. Watching the Carabinieri sit on one corner while the victim was lying in the street surrounded my suited men. As my friend and I left the piazza, I was stared down by another Mafioso running to the scene. I couldn’t look away.

Brought into an “argument” between a stereotypical “ugly American” and a French railway employee, I translated to allow the American to purchase the tickets he needed. Then chuckled while the French employees called the man all sorts of derogatory names.

I’ve had a “party” on a rooftop in Sicily. And sang an impromptu acapella song with some friends in the ruins of a Greek theater in Sicily (ahhhh those acoustics!).

Stopped to listen to a group of Americans singing along with local musicians in front of churches in Assisi. The Indigo Girls’ song “Closer to Fine” has had special meaning for me ever since.

I walked from Chateau du Chillon in Switzerland along Lake Geneva all the way to Montreux, enjoying the friendliness of the people who live there. The sites are so amazing and cannot be given justice.

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I’ve observed. Watched. Listened. Participated. Learning so much from the people around me. Nothing could possibly replace any of these memories. One thing that I do “regret” in a way is that some of these memories I made on my own. As I traveled solo. So there’s no one with whom to say, “Remember when?” But solo travel is something I would do again in a heartbeat. I recommend it highly.

My day-to-day is so typical. Get up early, help the kids prepare for school. Work. Come home, cook dinner, clean. Take care of the kids. Sleep and start all over. These are wonderful things, but don’t make the highlights reel simply because they are so mundane.

But, road tripping to Tulsa from Cleveland with my kids during a 6 day period definitely was an amazing movie in and of itself. Even some quick snapshots of entertainment that come out of the blue like the text from my 11-year old son complaining about summer reading that simply said (dripping with annoyance), “I have to read Hatchet… thanks a lot school.” Or the memories of my oldest when she was a preschooler walking into the room with crayons sticking out of her nose and ears. My middle daughter and her kitty imitation when she was a toddler.

I love my highlights reel and these movie clips. I have been very fortunate for these moments and so many more.

My soul is aching for another adventure. As soon as I save up, I’m going to go – somewhere – and, hopefully add more precious memories. For now, road trips will have to do. Along with the surprise moments that occur during the day-to-day. I am thankful for all of these.

To all of you fellow bloggers who share your adventures. I thank you. I enjoy your life stories. I live vicariously through you. Please keep writing!

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