Reflecting on 2017

I’m feeling a little sentimental today and a whole lot grateful as I sit here reflecting. I really have a terrific life that I am in awe of and a little bit frightened sometimes. Have you ever felt so happy that you have a wave or sense of impending doom because you know it just is impossible to get any better than this?

I push those thoughts away in order to live in the moment and enjoy every second, but sometimes you just have to sit down and take a moment to reflect on just how fortunate you are. It would be wrong to take it for granted.

This time last year, I was preparing for a trip to Tangier. We had thought about moving but I had never been there. I visited to see how I liked it and if it was a place I could live. I fell in love with it and was ready to make the move. Ben needed a little more time. We set the date for the end of September.

In February, we continued our love affair with Tuscany and visited Nippozano winery as guests of some friends, attended Carnevale in Viareggio and I returned to the U.S. for my annual visit to my parents. I also got to visit friends there.



Carnevale 2017 Viareggio

Carnevale 2017 Viareggio

March is always a good time to travel and we took a trip to Puglia. We stayed in Ostuni and visited many of the neighboring villages.

In April, my book, The Life I Imagined, was published and a friend held a book signing at her wine store. My brother and sister-in-law visited us for Easter. The sunsets start to become amazing at this time of year and we sat on the bridge to enjoy them.

Karen Mills, author, The Life I Imagined

Karen Mills, author, The Life I Imagined

I went to meet a friend in Bruges in May, and Ben and I took a quick trip to Venice. My best friend who was to visit at the end of May was diagnosed with a brain tumor, so didn’t get to make the trip.

I traveled with some friends up the hill to see the Villa Gamberaia in Settignano with its sweeping views and tranquil gardens. My son, Nick visited us in late June in conjunction with a business trip and we took him to Fiesole for a visit to the Etruscan ruins. The incredible sunsets continued.

July and August are not our favorite months in Florence so we spent a lot of time at the pool, in Castiglioncello thanks to the generosity of a friend, and took trips to Salerno, Camaiore, and Terreglio. At the end of the month, Linda took a turn for the worse and I flew to the U.S. to see her. She died on September 1. It was heartbreaking.

September was the month that we started packing up things, giving things away, selling things and getting down to business for our move. We had already booked our voyage from Genoa to Tangier and had documents to gather for the cats and ourselves. I was dealing with a lot of loss at this point, the loss of my best friend and the upcoming loss of my current home and friends here.

I tried to stay focused on the move and the future, and that worked out well. We made a quick trip to Bassano Del Grappa to see my son, said goodbye to all our friends and our beloved Firenze, and set sail from Genoa with Vincent and Felix James.

After we arrived October 3, it was a whirlwind of activity learning about the city, finding an apartment, moving in and getting settled. We’ve explored, visited, traveled to see Ben’s family and celebrated our first Christmas.

Wow! This year’s journey has had its ups and downs, as they all do, but all in all what a miraculous life. Viewing it like this humbles me/ Thanks for humoring me through this voyage of 2017, your readership at and . Thank you for buying my book and thank you for your love, support, and friendship. Happy New Year.

4 Comments on “Reflecting on 2017

  1. Your honest and perceptive outlook on the unintended turns a life takes, as well as your appreciation for the natural beauty to be found virtually everywhere are refreshing reminders of what made An American In Italy such a life-affirming reading experience.

    And I just love the cats!

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