If not now, when?

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

04 May 2006

The twelve days of guestness ...

"It's the end of the world as we know it ... and I feel fine."

Okay, all apologies to REM for ripping off their lyrics. (which I hope you can't get out of your head either now!) But that's absolutely how the twelve days of guestness started.

It wasn't quite "signs of the apocalypse"- worthy but an interesting first few days... we were visited by a seemingly-unending "seven plagues" that eventually became downright hysterically funny. When you're with good friends, anything becomes more liveable.

In a forty eight hour period, we were plagued by...
Overabundance: of traffic. Enroute to pick up Beatrice from the train station, I got stuck in a THREE AND A HALF HOUR traffic jam. Literally not moving for that long. Unlike anything I had seen, ever, anywhere in the world. And what luck ... her train was sold out, so she arrived four hours late anyhow, and in a different town.

Machinery Failure: the rental car of The Mom & First Timer was a FIAT, which isn't interesting in and of itself ... until they tried to pull out of the parking lot at the Autogrill ... and couldn't get the car to go into reverse (FIATs are tricky that way.) Seriously, I can't imagine much that would be funnier than two jetlagged english-speaking women PUSHING a stickshift car out of a parking space with all the Italian men watching. You go, girls!

Noxious Fumes: We took an outing to nearby Arezzo (to keep the gals awake) and stopped on the way to fill the gas can for the lawnmower. Except... the cap was broken, and we ended up with Simon's back end (not really a 'trunk' since he's a hatchback!) full of benzina, which nearly made everyone in the car pass out from the fumes. Two days, the rug of the trunk cut out, lots of vinegar and baking soda later it seems liveable again.

Electrical Storm: While waiting for the gals to return from an afternoon outing to Siena, I gazed out the window from my desk at the beautiful spring day. And not five minutes later, the sky was black and I was watching lightning touch down on the hills in front of me. I ran around frantically unplugging everything (remembering that this house is apparently its own lightning rod!). I wondered briefly where it would be safe to take shelter, able to remember nothing other than "don't stand under a tree" and something about rubber tires on a car... and then just sat and marveled at how fast it came and went. An hour later, it was sunny again ... as if I had imagined it all.

Fire: During our dinner party Friday night, Gabriele ran into the house saying "viene qui, velocemente..." (come here, quick!) It turns out the ceiling in the capanna (guest house) had caught fire. A few nervous moments of racing around, getting water and a ladder (all done in Italian, I'm proud to say!), we had caught it just in the nick of time. Crisis averted.

Saturday morning, while the group of us was out gardening, we saw a fountain of water shooting up from the side yard. Turns out that my sweet garden gnome had run over the irrigation system with the lawnmower. Sigh. Repairable, but high drama for a few moments.

Sunday morning before the first cup of coffee, we realized the kitchen had been taken over by a marching swarm of ants (the first I've ever seen in a year here). A quick Googling told us to create a barrier at the point of entry using powder laundry detergent (what DID we do before Google?!?) and we spent the next hour in a campaign of systematic ant-o-cide.

At each turn, we laughed in disbelief. How is it possible that all these strange things keep happening?!? As we retold and counted the tales of strangeness over a bottle of wine that evening, we realized with relief that we were at seven and that the ants must have been the last of it. And sure enough, the next ten days of guestness passed with no drama whatsoever.

But The Professor and Mary Ann arrive tonight (pillowcases already pressed!) and it seriously wouldn't faze me if the moon turns red.


Blogger Danza Sorellina said...

Ahhh the power of Seven:)

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sono allegria per la racconta - davvero le esperiense interesante, nuove e divertente - pero sono a casa mia e devi fare tutto va bene tu!!! Alla prossima...Betty

9:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home