All posts by Janet Simcic

Another Italian class has ended!

I am already starting to panic.  No more classes until February.  And with each passing day without the review and exercise of speaking Italian only, I forget bits and pieces of grammar and idioms.

Kudos to our fabulous teacher, Valentina, who puts up with our American accents and brilliantly coaches us on the correct way to speak this beautiful language.  I always promise myself I will study diligently during the two month break.  But I never do except for those people in Italy with whom I correspond.  On my Face Book page there are dozens of posts from Italy.  And I admit, I struggle to read some of them…especially if they are written in the “passato remoto,” the most difficult verb conjugation to learn.  But I rally on.

If you read this post and speak Italian, please write something special in “la bella lingua” for me to decipher.  I promise to respond in turn with the best Italian possible.

Baci e abbracci, Janet

End of Life Decisions

Every once in awhile, a severe illness rears its ugly head.  And you are suddenly faced with a “what if” situation.

I experienced such a case last week when my husband was rushed to the emergency room with pneumonia, sepsis, and a mild heart attack.  As usual, they asked for a directive…which we always have at the ready.

Now that things have settled down and my husband is slowly getting back to normal, I wanted to share some thoughts.

You cannot avoid the subject.  Sooner or later you die.  Be prepared.  My parents, always at the ready, made things easy for me by taking out insurance for their burial, funeral, and added expenses such as a gravestone and money for flying the family across the country for the services.  They had written out in detail their wishes for a memorial service, and specified no heroics in life-saving procedures if there was no hope.

When my Dad died, I made one phone call.  When my mom died, I made another.  And everything was done.

My husband and I have done that for our children.  It’s not an easy family discussion…don’t do it over dinner…as one could lose one’s appetite.  But have the conversation with the family.  It was a close call last week.  But should the worst have happened, one phone call would have taken care of everything.

In life, always be prepared for certainties; be flexible with uncertainties; and live each day to the max!

More on Marla Jo Fisher

Marla Jo keeps writing these great articles about travel.  I urge you to read them.

I took a trip last week and decided to add some tips on airplane travel – always a joy these days – right?

Because they pack us in like sardines or worse, my oncologist advises using a saline solution just before takeoff and using a q-tip to add some Neosporin to keep germs from traveling through your nasal passages.  Wipe down everything on the seat, especially the arm rails, pull-down trays, and anything else people have touched.

There was a passenger two rows back coughing up a lung.  Thankfully I did not get sick.

Be patient.  I always check my bags.  I travel with a pashmina to keep warm, my kindle, and use my IPhone for music.

Anything to make travel more tolerable.

Happy flying!