"Prosciutto, please, " I request of the lady behind the deli counter at Publix.
We have been home a little over a month from our Italian journey, and its alchemy has not left me. Having visited over a decade ago, I went into this trip knowing full-well the hold of the country and its people. Well, it happened again, and I find myself wanting to sell everything I own and plant my roots on the Italian hillside, this time on a cliff in Sicily.
But that's a story for later.
This moment belongs to the lady behind the counter. Every single time I stop at the deli counter I return to my life some 10 years ago when I didn't have a place to lay my head or a job to earn my keep. As people do when they are desperate, they reach for the longest branch that is closest to them. For me, I would transform into a "professional shopper" and evaluate my experience at the establishment of their choosing. They chose Publix; I chose spicy turkey.
After all, they would reimburse you for your purchase and give you $10 for your honest and insightful account of your experience. I figured free food plus $10 bucks. Food and fuel for the week. I could do this.
Well, I did it one time. It was enough to dropkick my butt into reaching a little farther and dreaming a little bigger. It also taught me that I had to and could do whatever in order to get to the next chapter. I like to think Publix played a role in my renaissance. Sort of.
Today, I stand here and order fancy bacon with a diamond on my hand and a Coach on my shoulder. But, I remember. Every single time. Of being alone and scared and ordering spicy turkey from the kindest woman on the planet who didn't know I was taking notes.
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.