A toddler in an emotionally explosive and unstable family has her leg amputated. In spite of significant hurdles, she powers through to become a successful career woman and equally successful single parent.
Wendy Sura Thomson is a 5-star author of Summon the Tiger, The Third Order, The Man from Burnt Island, and Postcards from the Future (as a contributing author.) She has several more works underway. She lives in Michigan with her beloved Setters and covets sipping coffee outdoors first thing in the morning, rain or shine., listening to the waterfall and the birds and watching [often with amusement] the pups explore.
I have been fortunate to have several "experiences of lifetime." Traveling across Italy while performing concerts is high on the list. Everything about it was fabulous: the food, the accommodations, the concert-goers... the museums, the history.
The memory that trip is something that I will always cherish.
Summon the Tiger
I adore Italy. The Tuscan hills and walled cities, the marvel that is Florence, the Amalfi coast, the enchanting Venice. Our first stop was Siena. There was a Countess living in Grosse Pointe, a friend Fred’s, who allowed us to stay in her 700-year-old enclave, high on a steep hill outside of Siena. There were wild boars in the heavy woods heading up to the villa. Simply glorious! I was at a bit of a disadvantage, as my luggage had been lost: I ended up buying a sweater for the chilly evenings until my suitcase arrived on the second day. We were in Siena when they were setting up the enclosures for the annual Paleo di Siena – the famous horse race. We performed in the Siena Cathedral, a magnificent medieval church. I love singing in those old churches: the reverberation lasts many seconds past the last note. It’s absolutely awe-inspiring. We were performing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and we brought our own chamber orchestra as well. Lots of time for sight-seeing, lots of great food: what a delight! After Siena we headed to Florence. Our four-star hotel had double shutters on the windows: a set inside and a set outside. I was rooming with Marguerite: the first morning we were awakened by absolutely glorious singing. We were across the street from the Opera House – not the new one, the old one: the Teatro Comunale. What an amazing way to awake! We got tickets for that night: for Verdi’s Aida. Now I know why opera is so popular in Italy: it is Opera meets Las Vegas. The Triumphal March had topless women and all manner of animals that paraded around twice! Most of the characters were in gauzy Egyptian-styled garments, but the two leads were a bit too portly to pull that off. They were therefore artfully, but totally, covered up in heavy Elizabethan-looking costumes. At the end, when the tomb stone was slowly being pushed into place, the only thing I could think of was that those two would last a long, long time before they starved to death.
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