Happy holidays, everyone! A special Easter for the Parzen family

best colomba easter cake italian

Above: a Colomba di Pasqua, the “Easter Dove,” a traditional Italian Easter cake by Iginio Massari, one of Italy’s favorite pastry chefs. My friend Laura Castelletti, the vice-mayor of Brescia, Italy, graciously shared it with Giovanni and me last week while I was visiting their city.

It’s going to be a very special Easter for the Parzen family this year.

This Easter Sunday, Lila Jane will be baptized by her grandfather, “pawpaw,” Rev. B, at the Wesley United Methodist Church, where he presides as Pastor, in Orange, Texas, where Tracie P grew up. Lila Jane will be nine months old on Tuesday.

methodist pastor

Above: Rev. B holding Lila Jane in our garden at the new house in Houston.

I wish you all could have seen the grin on Rev. B’s face when we decided that Lila Jane would be baptized this Easter Sunday.

“We haven’t had an Easter baptism in a long time,” he said with his contagious smile.

This spring, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the season represents, no matter what your beliefs: delivery from bondage, redemption, renewal…

Just as the vine begins again to bud and flower each year, the yearly cycle of life reminds us to take stock in what has come before and what lies ahead.

Nature reflects our rhythms because, after all, no matter how removed we are from her, we are inexorably linked to her syncopation. All of the springtime observances derive, ultimately, from our connection to her.

baby girls

Above: Georgia P (left) and Lila Jane are both happy, healthy little girls. They visited the Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange, Texas while I was on my recent trip to Italy for the wine trade fair.

“It’s not easy to be away when you have little ones at home, is it?”

This truism came in the form of a text message from a Californian importer of Italian wine and friend with whom I was meeting at the Italian wine trade fair last week in Italy. He’s a father, too.

I never could have imagined in a million years (let alone seven years ago, when I left New York) that my life would be what it is today. Tracie P and I have a thriving marketing consulting business that takes me across the U.S. and Italy, tasting and talking about wine and meeting with some of the most interesting people in our business.

But every moment away from Tracie P and our girls feels like a moment squandered. As much as I love what I do for a living, I painfully count each of those moments that divide me from them.

This year, as Rev. B baptizes Lila Jane and the cycle of life renews, I’ll remember those moments lost and I’ll thank my lucky stars for delivering me to this place…

Happy Easter and Hag Sameach, yall… May G-d bless you and keep you.

See you next week.

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