To Read the blog in Italian click here “Home is where I hang my hat”. This is a phrase coined by Bruce Chatwin, an English writer and traveller. These few words are enough to describe someone who is comfortable no matter where he roams. He is able to lay his hat and rest his head and feel always at home. I like traveling and I am happy in many corners of the world (mostly Italy!) but when I am not traveling you can find me at home in California next to the San Francisco bay. This month the ladies del Circolo delle Mamme Viaggiatrici are talking about the home towns.
I have lived in many places: Mt. Vernon Iowa, Galesburg Illinois, Florence Italy, Champaign Illinois, Chicago Illinois, Oak Park Illinois, Baltimore Maryland, Danville California, Overland Park Kansas, Wheaton Illinois e Fremont California (across the bay from San Francisco). And no, I was never with the witness protection program. From childhood to college and then to bouncing around the country with my husband following our careers, I have lived in many different cities. Each one has its merits but none is more beautiful than living here, next to the San Francisco bay.
From my front porch I can see the southern most point of the bay as well as the top of Mission Peak that rises up out of my back yard. In Fremont there is a concentration of people of every race and country imaginable. They say that in this area there are more languages spoken than in New York. Infact, we are the third city after New York ranked for diversity. I used to worry when my husband and I traveled abroad and left our kids at home that we were depriving them of the experience of living in a foreign country. When I asked my son his opinion he said: “Mom, I have only to take a walk around the neighborhood to travel abroad!” Indeed it is true. Every evening when we take the dog for a walk we can meet Indian women in saris, a Seik with a turban or a young Chinese women with their newborn babies. The smell of curries and oriental dishes waft through the air from our next door neighbors. In October the houses are decorated with twinkling lights, not for Christmas but for the Indian festival of lights Diwali. Here there is also a large Afghani community and the park in which my son plays soccer is the same park which the author Khaled Hosseini talks of in “The Kite Runner”.
We live in a melting pot here in Fremont. We are also fortunate to live in a place in which we can wear sandals and shorts eleven out of twelve months of the year and we are never at a loss for things to entertain us. We are very close to the mountains for skiing, Napa and Sonoma Valley for enjoying wine and the ocean for swimming with the sea lions and camping at the beach. We also have the pearl of northern California – the city of San Francisco that offers everything imaginable…restaurants, culture, museums, shopping, shows music and fantastic views just a stone’s throw away. From the Marin Headlands you can enjoy two incredible views; towards the west there is a panorama of the immense and mysterious Pacific ocean and in the other direction there is a vista of the Golden Gate Bridge with the city as a backdrop.
Yes, of all the places in which I have lived, I believe that I like it best here by the bay of San Francisco. Here there is my family, my husband and our three kids. Here there is our dog Sinbad. Here is my work. Here are family friends with whom we share the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Boxing Day, Easter, Halloween and all our birthdays. Here you will find a house full of computers, my paintings, my books and all the stuff I bring back from my trips to Italy. Here I prepare big beautiful bowls of pasta and bake my own bread. Here is where you will find laughter and love. This is my home, where I hang my hat when I return from my travels.
Prima di partire, vi invito a venire insieme a me alla scoperta di Napoli, Pisa, Bagno Vignoni, Milano e Postino, le città delle amiche del Circolo delle Mamme Viaggiatrici.