As the week comes to a close here at the Villa Fabbroni, I am pretty happy with the little family reunion we had here in Italy. It was very much like one of our Thanksgiving get-togethers, but with fewer people, and better weather, architecture, history and food. Since yesterday our number has dwindled a bit, as my parents and niece left for their respective destinations. Tomorrow morning the rest of us will depart for ours. I decided to take a break from the hectic pace of sightseeing and stay at the villa and relax today, and it has been great just hanging out (and avoiding the twisty roads and crazy Italian drivers for a change). I have been thinking a lot about family dynamics the past week. This week I have seen some petty family bickering and actions at times, among almost all members of the family (myself included). But these are fleeting, and most of the time it seems obvious to me how much we all love each other in spite of the small annoyances, how lucky we are, and how happy I am to have the family I have. I wouldn’t wish things were any other way. On this trip in particular I have thought a lot about time moving on for all of us. We are all getting older, and no matter how much we might wish otherwise, our time together is limited. That is why it is so important to be here now for what we have, to notice and appreciate each other. One day, sooner than we like to think, all this will be gone. And I would like to think I was able to take the time to let my family (and friends) know how much I love and appreciate them.