Reflections on the Future of the European Union
Make new friends, But keep the old. One is silver, And the other, gold.
For the handful of you who have been reading the Quill since its first Wednesday publication date of June 17, 2015, four days after I retired from the Federal Reserve, you know how exceedingly rare last Wednesday was. Since The Great Abdication was published that summer, more than six years ago, I have not published on three other Wednesdays, one of which fell on Christmas Day, one on New Year’s Day and one on the Fourth of July. I had every intention to maintain my track record until Tobias passed. I attended my first shiva at his home in Woodmere, Long Island and laughed, but did not cry wearing one of my signature red dresses, on October 6th. I boarded a plane to Rome October 7th. And very much against my will and nature, I left the Quill in the United States. The human brain must rest from time. My family and friends implored me to also accept that the same creed applies to our hearts and souls. And so, I gave my weary keyboard a rest.
Thirteen of my closest friends from Dallas, New York, West Palm, Charlotte, Wells (near Kennebunkport, Maine) and Montreal descended on Rufina, Italy. I had not seen many of them in more than 10 years. From the base of Rufina, we followed in the tracks of Nazis, who were thereafter followed by U.S. soldiers, up an indescribably treacherous path to the top of a tall hill overlooking the wine valley below. Drivers honk during the day or flash their lights at night to signal to other drivers that they are on the gravelly path as they approach impossibly tight hairpin curves. Twenty minutes later, we enter the gates of heaven on earth – Fattoria di Petroio.
The chapel in the main home dates to 1046. The estate spans 900 acres. Mother Nature had smiled on my choice to rest with a last-minute change of weather. A scorching hot summer flipped to cool days and cold nights that allowed the fires to burn both outside and inside. The moon at night as we set about the impossible task of counting the stars waxed from crescent to quarter. A cold snap in April had left the olive orchards and lemon and lime trees light on fruit, but they were nonetheless beckoning to be picked and harvested. Porcini mushrooms within walking distance of the villa arrived in a basket at the kitchen daily and graced countless meals with a delicacy that was only bested by the truffles that had just come into season. The Chianti and table white wine, olive oil and honey, all products of the estate, complemented the other delicacies sourced on the property of wild boar and guinea fowl, which melted on the palette. We dined as Medici royalty.