Hear that whirring sound? That is my mental hard drive spinning about trying to land on one memory at a time. Hard to extract a single one from the swirling, swirling masses of them running through my mind. Work? Can’t you see I’m daydreaming over here? We’re back and ready to start downloading Italian stories and pictures. On the one hand, it is touchingly sad because, well, we’re not still on the continent, partying like it was 1986 every day. On the other hand, going through our notes and pictures brings all of Italy roaring back.
But, where to start, where to start? The beginning? That has so been done. Buckle up buckaroos, we’re going to do the ricochet ride through central Italy. Where we stop nobody knows. But, along the way there will be some (note plural) wild weddings, air shows, festivals with kites as big as locomotives, ostrich shopping, flag throwing in medieval costumes, and we’ll be spending the day at a spa. And even going to an outlet village, Italian style.
GETTING OUR FEET WET IN ITALY
PANICALE, Umbria, Italy–Have we even been gone? Has it really been several months since we’ve been to our Italian home away from home? I know, I’d like to think this video we live in here goes on “pause” while we are gone. One look at our garden shows that is not true. I’d like to sit around trick myself into thinking I haven’t missed a beat but what I really think I’ll do is just not waste a moment of it. We got here yesterday and within an hour of touchdown I’d been given my Italian summer clip at the boys’ barber, Biano. This morning Midge is off like a shot to cue up at the girls’ barbershop, Mara’s. She’s the hairdresser in the piazza. Boy, I’m glad I don’t have to rush around like that. Got mine. Now, I can just sit back and no, not sit back but GARDEN. But first, like Nero, i need to fiddle a bit.
So, I fiddled, I strolled, I poked my nose in places and sang out hi’s to anyone who would make eye contact with me. A coffee here, a coffee there, hi fiddle dee dee, a tourist’s life for me. Yes, that is me humming as I buzz around town. An hour later I poked my head into Mara’s to check on Midge and found her sitting on the low plastic couch surrounded by 50 back issues of Italian Vogue and hairdresser trade mags. She was still in line. Maybe second in line. But, decidedly starved.
You know how she is when she’s hungry. So I thought “Make yourself useful, Stew” and backed out over Alice The Dog (who names their dog “anchovy”? oh, well, not my dog) And then I ambled across the piazza to Aldo’s and asked if I could take two cappucchinos and oh, two of those cornettis to Mara’s. I was thinking I’d just run those over. And, moments later, there I am along side ever dapper, and surprisingly fast Aldo with a tray on his shoulder, as we make a formal “Permesso” entry to “oohs” and “aahs” and what a grand fellow I was and how very lucky Midge was to get such service. Yes, yes. All true.
Before I could get the cornetto crumbs off me and or get a swell head, Midge was broadly hinting that I should finish that coffee and do something about the laundry. I knew that one. What I don’t know is how we just get off the plane and need to do laundry. Be that as it may, laundry in Italy is a new and different beast than the one lurking in your basement back in Connecticut.
GETTING OUR CLOTHES WET UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN. OK, UMBRIAN.
We like to plan our whole day around coffee and gardening. But sometimes it ends up being planned around coffee/gardening/laundry. Several reasons why, but the first is that our washing machine is in our cantina which is right next to our garden. And “As long as you are down there” is pretty high on the list as well. Another factor is the two hours the machine takes to do even the smallest load. And, is it just me or does our machine always seems to be giving me the old fish eye as a I siddle up to it? I hear they are like dogs. And bears. They sense fear and of course that gives them the total upper hand. Get this going wrong with one of the many obscurely labeled knobs and buttons and drawers (a drawer for soap?) and you’ll be looking at a bunch of wet soapy clothes on into the next day. Only if you do it right the first time will you get it done today. We don’t get a lot of drying sun in our yard in the morning so we dedicate that whole time period to the start and stop, “Is it done yet?” washing cycle. It torments you by going dead silent for long periods. But fight as you might, its gaping mouth stays grrr locked tight. But, then, about noon, when the sun comes to join us, the wash is maybe done and maybe by evening you will be bringing in those sun-dried, on-a-line, slightly stiff, slightly scratchy, but ever so heavenly smelling, clothes.
If a pigeon hasn’t used your holiday duds for target practice. If it does, rinse, repeat, and just think, you’ve got a project all lined up for the next day.
OK, see you in Italy,