I am in a small Tuscan town called Cortona, helping Jeff and Melissa Williams celebrate their 50th birthdays with some close friends and family. Sadly, Renee had to pull out of the trip after she was bitten by a snake - a copperhead - a week ago today. She was pruning rhododendron in our front yard when a tiny (2-ft) snake bit her right little finger. Not knowing exactly what kind of snake it was at that moment, I drove Renee to the hospital in a mad rush. Based on what the doctors were telling us initially, we thought we could both make the trip to Italy, but by late Wednesday, it was clear that Renee was not going to be in any state to travel. Renee encouraged me to go and celebrate with Jeff and Melissa, who have been our dear friends since before either us us had children - as adults, we 'grew up' together. Renee is in good hands, with Rachel and Kenyon on duty, plus Bob and Vaun, plus Laurie and Mamie....so I am on social/recreational duty here in Italy.
|Florence from Ponte Vecchio - Arno River|
This is a very active vacation, typical of the kind J&M enjoy - we have hiked, cycled, and done museum and walking tours so far and today is another hiking day. This is actually a great training experience, in addition to being an absolutely heavenly setting. J&M have put on a great program here at the "Villa Laura" in Cortona. I appreciate your prayers for Renee. I would publish a picture of her finger but it's really awful. Love to all....Dan and Renee
|The quaint Tuscan town of Gioiella, photo taken during our day of cycling through the Tuscan countryside|
|At the monastery that St. Francis of Assissi founded and where he lived many years, outside Cortona|