If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

22 May 2005

My first date and new friends

Afternoon Delight
Okay, all you tuning in back in the States are probably fascinated … what? Two days and she already has a date?!?! Yes, as a matter of fact, this afternoon (post-Festa), I had my first date with Harry, which is the name of my lawnmower. (I don’t make this stuff up, kids, apparently the Italians have a thing for naming their appliances. It’s got HARRY in big letters right on the front!) Renaissance Artist showed me the ropes and while he was tending the garden (spraying the peach tree for leaf curl, planting a laurel bush and a pomegranate, etc., ) Harry and I spent about an hour and a half of quality time together mowing the front yard. For those of you playing along at home, you may remember that it’s been, um, at LEAST 15 years since I lived anywhere that had a yard that needed mowing … and Mom will probably gently remind me that it’s been probably nearly 18 yrs. since I actually *did* any mowing, this was no small feat!) I don’t have pictures of the front yard yet, but prepare to be impressed when you see them … it’s a jumble of terraces and hills and paths on about 6 different levels, with stones in the ground providing constant cautionary diversion for Harry and I.

Today, I left the back yard to the Renaissance Artist, but suffice it to say that is yet another 3 or 4 levels of terraced lawns and paths between the gardens. Whew! I won’t miss the gym at ALL when I’m doing this on my own!

My first English speaking friends
Tonight, we go over to the house of Robert & Simone (he is English, she is French), who have restored a gorgeous house about 10 minutes away. We had a glass of Champagne and a delightful tour through her gardens (I’m sooooooooooo thankful for the limited garden knowledge I’ve acquired through work, it will be very helpful here - gardening seems to be a passion of everyone we meet; Simone was describing lovingly her David Austin rose and how his breeding is superb, etc etc., and I was thrilled to know who and what she meant!) They were incredibly warm and generous – they live here only in the summers and during some holidays, but they seemed genuine when they invited me over ‘any time.’ Simone is a bundle of positive energy – though they’re both nearly 70, you’d never know it. She greeted us in a pale green mesh blouse, pearls, a swishy black skirt, heels and FISHNET stockings – with her silver hair pulled on top of her head in a loose bun. She’s passionate and excited about everything, switching easily from English to French to Italian. I definitely want to be her when I grow up. Mostly I’m greatful to know someone here who speaks English when I hit a panic point! They’re next on the ‘invite for drinks or the American Bar-b-Que list… entertaining here is a BIG deal and a critical part of being accepted into ‘society.’ I’m thankful for the introductions – maintenance is up to me.

Tonight, Diplomat and Renaissance Artist are in a panic – needing to pack for their three week trips that both start tomorrow. There’s much still to teach me about the house. They hand me a ring of what must be 14 keys – each door has two (front and back), plus the garage, the three different storage sheds, the tech room, the well, the Capanna… a quick tour through the dishwasher, the washer/dryer, the stove, the fireplace, the breakers… I reassure them that I’m quite resourceful, and will figure it out. (Si puo fare: this can be done!)


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