Sunday, February 27, 2011

L'ultimo Giorno

Ah... the blog.  I haven’t been nearly as good at writing as I had hoped to be, but I guess that’s life.
Yesterday we left Giglio, and as I expected I have many mixed emotions.  I am, of course, excited to get back - but I will certainly miss this amazingly rich time we have had here in Italy as a family.  The truth is that during our three months here I never had a moment of home sickness where I wanted to just pack it all up and fly home.  What a blessing it has been to have been in very beautiful and comfortable home in an amazing rural, quiet and relaxing place.  
Though home schooling is definitely not in our future, the time the three of us have spent together has been rich.  When in B’ham our days fly by, and with Zoe at the gym we get little actual face time.  These three months have been nothing but face time!  I’ll miss taking evening walks together (with the dogs)  taking step classes with Zoe at the gym and playing lots of Nertz (sp?) and Banana grams around the kitchen table. I am hoping that as Zoe grows older and looks back on this time she will remember it fondly (and not as some kind of cruel torture).  This of course remains to be seen.
It is hard for me to imagine that after three months of living and traveling in a country the size of Arizona that I need more time, but that is kind of how I feel.  While Doug and I were taking our final walk through town (see facebook album) we stopped to chat with some people outside of the Tobacco  store where we buy our bus tickets.  One of the men there told us (and I absolutely believe him) that we could have spent three months seeing things only in Frosinone - which is the small province where our little “town” of Giglio is.  Never mind all of the traveling we did!  This man’s theory was backed up when we had a good-bye polenta dinner with our friends Gigliola and Antonio.  Gigliola invited her son and his family to dinner as well, and during the dinner her son asked us about visiting a number of smaller nearby towns that he said were fantastic to see... we had not been to any of them!!  Oh!  We need more time!  :-) 
But home we come... and even though it makes me a wee bit weepy to leave this magical time and place I know when I get off or the plane in Seattle I will be happy to be home. 

Ciao casa di Giglio... Speriamo di venire ancora l'un giorno

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

God's Tattoo

As most of you know we were traveling this past weekend in Umbria.  We chose an amazing winery to stay at and it was truly beautiful.  It was the first time however that we have stayed at a place without internet access and so we were not able to communicate with family during an amazing celebration of Doug's dad Kirk as he turned 70!  The party they had was on Friday the 4th... what would have been Zachary's 17th birthday.

On that Friday before we went out our family was doing one of the devotions from our Kindle book (Dinner table devotions).  The entry was for February 1st because first of all we aren't doing very well at keeping "up to date", but most of all because I like the title... "God's Tattoo".  Here is how it started - I thought it was very appropriate for Zach's birthday.

"Have you ever seen someone with a person's name tattooed onto an arm or ankle?  Some people tattoo the name of the person they love on their bodies as an expression of their devotions to the person, and as a constant reminder of this person who is precious to them."

We really don't need a constant reminder of our precious son - we already think of him constantly whether or not it is Christmas Eve or his birthday. Seeing our tattoo every day makes me smile though.  My child who is part of the very fiber of my being has been physically etched onto my body.  For me it is so appropriate.

The discussion questions for the devotion go on to ask..." Do you think you would ever get a tattoo?  Does your family have opinions or rules regarding tattoos??"  Let's just say that we all had a little chuckle over that...

Happy Birthday my darling Zachary

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Built to last

Every evening Doug and Zoe and I walk our three dogs.  We only have two choices in terms of our route.  We either go down the hill to a fairly busy road and then back up the steep part of our driveway, or we go up the hill away from our house and then turn around and come back the way we came.  We usually go up the hill and back because I don't like the busy road and I'd also like to get the uphill part over with (the sooner the better)!

When we take the uphill route we pass a house (in both directions) that is "in progress".  There are 1/2 finished houses like this all over town.  It is possible that the economy has something to do with why these homes are not getting worked on. It's also possible that people are just working on them when they have the time and/or money.  What is fascinating to me, however is being able to see the bones of a house in Italy!

Now I grew up in  California, but I think the same is true in Washington... we build our houses out of wood.  They creak a little, they tend to "settle", but they don't fall down in an earthquake.  In Italy homes are made out of concrete!  The floors, the pillars, the walls even the roof... it looks absolutely crazy to me!  I'm sure that some of the wisdom of the concrete is that they are cooler in summer and all - but it still freaks me out.  The other morning Zoe asked us if we heard all of the thunder the night before.  Neither Doug nor I heard a thing!

Of course as we tour around this beautiful country we are often looking at buildings that are literally hundreds of years old.  They definitely build things to last!  As for me... I'm still glad that my house is made of wood... It may not be there a hundred years from now, but it will probably last through the next earthquake!