If not now, when?

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

23 May 2005


D&RA left this morning early for flights out of Rome. And it’s my first day ‘solo’ (same in English!) here at Covivole. I feed the cats, make myself coffee, and
have breakfast (yogurt, a pear, and salami) on the terrace.

One of the things that I expect I will have the hardest time getting used to is the ‘openness’ of it all. Screens on windows and doors don’t exist here. Everyone is much more okay with nature than we seem to be in the States. The doors and windows are always open to let the breeze (and the flies, bees, and everything else…) in. It seems that there are no real biting insects here, which may be the difference. I opened the house this morning with some trepidation as the flies zipped through (you just have to remember that when they’re inside, they’re probably trapped – they would rather be OUT and just need to find the next window!) It definitely takes some getting used to! Simone had told me excitedly last night that they had left their bedroom windows open (they live lower in the valley so it’s not as cold there at night), and the Pippistrelli (bats) had flown in, around the room, and out again. She told the story in this passionate voice … ‘zee Pippistrelli, zey are so beautiful, zo silent az they fly!’ (imagine the French accent here) Oooh, boy. It’ll be a while before a bat flies into my bedroom and I don’t lose my shit. Three days out of the city does not a farm girl make.

Had a strange visit from the Carabinieri (local police)this afternoon. It’s a small town. I assume they drove by, saw the house was open and knew D & RA were gone … they drove in, I waved at them (the beauty of the curving gravel road is that I've got about 2 minutes of warning as people drive up ... I waved at them, apologized for my bad Italian, told them I was new here and D/RA were gone for tre settimani (three weeks). They wondered if I was here alone(their eyes telegraphing that they thought I was a little crazy), and told me to dial 112 on the phone if I needed anything. An hour or two later, I passed them on the street on the way to the store and they waved and called out 'Ciao' to me. I'm sure eventually it will drive me bonkers, but for now, the small town feeling is reassuring.

Seems that I already have a busy week ahead, which is crazy considering I’m brand new here! Today I am thankful to be alone, catch up on the blog, and finally relax a little. Will call and check in with the Mom when she’s up and at ‘em back in the States, then make my way into town to buy some provisions for the week ahead. Also feel terribly ‘Italian’ – as “plant three olive trees” is on my list of things to do this afternoon (RA didn’t get to them yesterday afternoon so I promised him I’d take care of them. Methinks I need a good pair of garden gloves!)

Monday: satellite guys come to do the final connections in the am. Hopefully will be able to connect and work Monday night somewhat normally.
Tuesday: into Florence to visit Guido and Andrea and get my Italian cellphone.
Wednesday: market day in Monte San Savino, have to put in an order for my ‘calling cards’ (meaning literally, personal business cards with my name, address, phone on them for the locals…). Need to inquire as to whether or not there’s an Italian tutor in town.
Thursday: Ida, my Italian-only speaking neighbor who is married to the Doctor, is coming over for coffee to meet me with her children, Leonardo and Lorenzo (4 and 3). This will be an important good impression to make! The Diplomat introduced us by phone, but she’s coming over to visit on her own. This will *definitely* test my language skills (how many times can I ask her where she was born and where the library is?!? Why do they teach you such useless things in classes?!?)


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