Kristi and I were in The Grind the other day. The Grind is one of our local coffee shops. It was warm, cozy, bustling, friendly. We had a good talk with Roberta, the Sicilian barista, who, incredibly, lives here in Morganton. We left feeling so content, so much a part of this place, and loving we can hear a bit of Italian in rural NC. We have Orvieto to thank for, what amounts to, a huge gift.
We’ve been leading trips to Orvieto for 9 years, about to enter our 10th. Each season we become more attached to the city, more enamored of its people, form deeper friendships. It is a very rich experience. In May of 2008 we returned from Orvieto morose over the suburban life to which we were returning. After the fullness of 3-4 weeks in Orvieto, the prospect of an automobile dominated life was unthinkable! We are lucky because our work in Italy allows us to live anywhere. So, we got in the car and began a search.
We love the mountains. We set off on a 5 day trip, list of towns we felt had possibilities in hand, up one side of the Appalachians in NC and VA and back down the other side into TN.
We stopped in Morganton the first night. We sat outside having a beer and watched a busy parade of pedestrians. It wasn’t a passeggiata exactly, but it wasn’t far off. We kept returning over the following 6 months, and finally decided it was the place for us. We got here in February of 2010 – we’re closing in on two years.
And we love it. That morning at The Grind is one of many, many human-centered experiences we have every week in this town. We walk to downtown and the Grind. We walk to the gym. We’ve made friends easily. Without knowing it, we were small town people and here we are!
And we have Orvieto to thank. Had we not had the incredibly fulfilling relationships we had there we would still be in Columbia, living unexceptionally in suburbia, likely with a certain level of discontent we would not be able to put our fingers on. Yes, we are very lucky
it is a regular theme because, well because it is true it gives us so much. I write about it today inspired by the Italy Blogging Roundtable. There are lots and lots of wonderful blogs about and from Italy. The Roundtable is a group of five who monthly write about the same topic. This month they are opening it to others. So I thought I’d participate.