Finding Home

Pasta with meatballs and basil with tomato sauceArriving back at our apartment in Sorrento, we piled bags of groceries on the kitchen counter. Lee found a local jazz station. Chris helped him connect his travel speakers and our little apartment filled with music, followed by the sweet sound of a cork popping out of a bottle.

Shari and I started dinner. I  have always enjoyed cooking with her. At home, we talk about everything – from politics to raising kids. I always appreciate her rich insight. This is why she’s one of the few people I like to cook with. I was so happy when she offered to be my kitchen manager on the cooking show. Ever the perfectionist, Shari organized my ingredients into neat little bowls and plates. She was always so cute – and petite in size, I feel this natural inclination to take care of her. The truth is – she takes care of me. We’d go over recipes just before the cameras rolled. I’d get the pre-show jitters, but she had a calming effect on me. It was good to know she was standing just off camera ready to hand me a whisk or an ingredient I’d forgotten – most times her hands would get in the shot. Many directors would stop and re-shoot, but Donna just kept rolling. I liked to say that Shari had “the most famous hands in public television.”

We gathered around the table and enjoyed spaghetti with meat sauce, pan fried vegetables, and sliced mozzarella with fresh basil. Acting as honorary Italians we chatted non-stop, then realized it was time for dessert and coffee.

As we finished our dessert of biscotti and espresso, Lee opened a bottle of Lemoncello he bought at the department store.  He poured each of us a glass.  As we raised our glasses, Lee gave a toast. His eyes got misty (as they often do when he toasts) and his voice got crackly, but he delivered the perfect words: “Home, isn’t a place with four walls – it’s wherever your family finds themselves together.”

Next: Sun Bathing by a Volcano


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