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“How much fun your life must be!” is a sentiment that many people have expressed to us over the years. Most consider it a luxury to be able to spend so much time in both San Francisco and Florence—such great places. Usually, at the end of their brief comments, they indicate something about how “lucky” or “fortunate” we are, which often puzzles us a bit.

From our perspective, that doesn't make much sense. We certainly agree that this life has its beautiful aspects just like every life, and we are indeed fortunate and grateful for that. However, there's so much more to any chosen lifestyle than meets the eye.

Italy for us can actually be very difficult in the day-to-day. But then again, when we first moved to California we were totally overcome with challenge as well. The risks in both cases were undeniable and took persistent, almost a ridiculous amount of follow-through to make each “relocation” work.

Our conversations turned to how we all create whatever situation we are in, one day at a time. One life-style is no more or less magical than another. But there is definitely a bias toward “the grass is always greener” perspective. We all have the same opportunity to create “enchantment” in our own special way, and in fact that is exactly what we all do. If any of us wants another situation, we must do specific things to create it.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


“You’re so lucky,” people tell me
“To be living like you do.
Trading places might be fun
Let me walk in your shoes
If only for a day
Just one day”

What is lucky, can you tell me
It took years to find my way
Charting this course took some time
You can walk in my shoes
But not for just a day
There’s no way

Maybe my life looks easy
Outside looking in
But every step was taken
Starting from exactly where you stand
Right where you stand

You’re as lucky as I am
With the help of chance and fate
Everyday is one more step
You can walk in my shoes
But not for just a day
That’s the way
More than just one day
No other way

Only day by day


from Fitting Pieces, track released July 1, 2007
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering


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Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
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