Crumbling walls and battered staircases whispered to us, and we answered the call.
New title! Umbria Outside My Window. Stories and photographs from my window and beyond.
The old title, The Field Stones of Umbria, didn’t truly describe what this book is about, and a number of people thought it was about excavations in Italy! Once they read the book, they discovered that the intimate stories and photographs reveal surprising, funny, and profound experiences of daily living in Italy.
Italy was a dream, which came true. One day, we chanced upon a ruined stone farmhouse. The crumbling walls and battered staircases whispered to us, and we answered the call. We bought it, restored it, and decided to move here. Easier said than done, believe me. There were so many nutty, beautiful, sad, happy, thoughtful stories to tell that I decided to write a book about it. But the book is so much more than our story of reconstructing the farmhouse. It’s about the culture, the land, individual experiences with people I’ve met, the seasons, our cats, and ultimately the lure of Italy. Above all, it’s about moments in life that can change you forever.
Even in paradise…
And then there’s menopause. Even in paradise, “stuff” happens. And boy did it happen big time. It was so much more powerful than I thought it would be, and it threatened to blow up my entire world during the worst times. Before I killed my husband, or vice-versa, I had to do something humorous. So, I wrote another book. How NOT to Kill the Woman You Love: Your Guide to Surviving Her Menopause. I hope it brings some smiles, maybe some laughs out loud, and a little sanity break for the women and their families who are going through this madness.
-Nina Hansen Machotka