Last Wednesday was such a perfect, blue-sky day! Lena, Gil, and I took our usual weekly walk to buy fruits and vegetables, and along the way I took some pictures of our town in the spring. Don’t you just want to bury your nose in those beautiful wisteria blossoms?
Above, a mural of our town showing a festival below the cliff. On the right, Lena pokes through her snacks for the good stuff while I do my shopping.
^^^ Already I can’t walk anywhere without a big bottle of water to keep me hydrated.
On the left, I picked some wisteria blossoms and hung them up at home as “spring mistletoe.” On the right, I bought these fish in town and then realized they weren’t gutted!
Funny story about those fish, actually. I saw the fishmonger’s truck and spontaneously decided we’d have fish for dinner. The fishmonger saw me waiting with my children and broke into a huge smile of recognition, saying to the five men waiting around me that the signora would go first. After some discussion, I made my selection and was about to pay for them when I realized I was out of cash! Embarrassing. He told me not to worry, he’d set them aside for me. Around the corner to the bank I went, hurrying as quickly as I could when I have a two-year-old who loves to press the ATM buttons for me.
When I came back around the corner… the fish truck was gone! Dismayed, I asked a man in the piazza when the fishmonger would be back.
“He went down that way,” the man said. “He’ll be back in 10 minutes.”
“Ten?” I asked. “Or twenty?”
I sighed, deciding I couldn’t make two babies wait in the piazza for 10 minutes. I turned my stroller towards home. Suddenly I heard someone calling, “Signora! Signora!” I turned around and saw an elderly man who had been another customer at the truck… and he was holding my bag of fish!
“He gave the fish to me,” the gentleman explained. “Here you go.”
I handed him the money to give back to the fishmonger, thanking him over and over. What a kind, trusting gesture! I was so touched.
It’s moments like this that I feel most at home in this little Sicilian town of ours: when people take care of me just because they want to. They know I’m American, they know I’m probably here with the military, they know I’ll come and go just like whole generations of military families before me. And yet my impermanence does not stop their warmth and generosity to me. When they admire my children, wave at me in cheerful recognition even though we’ve never spoken, nod politely as I move through the piazza, call “arrivederci!” every time I drive by, pile oranges from their groves into shopping bags and tell me to come back for more, slip fresh eggs from their chickens to my daughter, memorize my order at the store… I actually feel at home in Italy.