My name is Val Patel and I worked in the States for over 50 years until I recently retired to this part of Italy where I share my home with my loving wife, Ann. We've been married for 23 years.
We've been here now for 9 months and I decided to start writing about my experiences living in Italy with only a smattering of Italian between us and also of our previous lives, living in several States back in America.
I was born to a very poor family and I didn't have much when I was growing up, but I was surrounded by the love of my family. My father, Ernest was a farmer in Kansas and had a few cows and fields of wheat and maize. I always remember the colour of the golden stalks blowing in the hot summer breeze.
My mother, Katherine was a faithful loving wife to my father and I never saw them quarrel once.
My sister, Beth, who is two years older than me, and was recently living on our last farm in Wichita, was always jealous of everything I had, but now our lives are very different and sometimes I'm envious of hers. I remember the time when she hid my new bicycle so I couldn't ride it to school.
She married a famous attorney in America and now she lives a fantastic life in Florida in an enormous house where I don't know where she finds the time to keep everything clean.
Sometimes they journey back to Wichita to vist our relatives and friends and her children, but that's not very often.
She has two children called Jake and Tabitha, Jake works for an affordable locksmith in Wichita called Star Locksmith and Tabitha is a nurse in the local hospital.
They always seem to be too busy to call me, but such is life.
I hope that they will vist Ann and myself in the stunning Aosta Valley soon.
Ann has ordered a locally made pizza and we'll be eating soon. The smell is wafting into my study where I'm writing this.
Time to go I think