Thursday, May 17, 2012


The sun rises around 5AM, but does not clear the mountain into bright sun until sometime later.  The larger birds begin to sing first, then the small chirping birds come out and begin their song shortly thereafter.  When the sun is bright, the doves begin their call.

The grocer opens his doors at 7AM and the women start arriving to purchase what they need for the day.  This ritual is repeated daily.  They stay a short time, get what they need, visit, and go about their day.  The family that runs the store take turns with the early shift, and the late afternoon shift.  They are always warm and friendly to me, and they are the only ones who so far, engage me in conversation.

The small two-seater trucks with open beds go up and down my street all day every day, delivering wood and who knows what else all over town.  The men obviously use these small vehicles to transport trash, plants, small building materials and the very necessary cut wood to heat the homes without heat, like mine.

CATS are king here.  They are everywhere.  Three seem to spend the night in the tall grass in my yard, then in the morning they make their way across the street to the empty house that is for sale.  A white one, an orange one and a black-and-white one are regulars.  Someone puts food out for them at the empty house.  I have yet to see the person but I have seen the food.

Cars, buses and mini trucks rumble up and down the street where I live.  It is the main road in and/or out of the village.  It makes for interesting observing but also makes for a sometimes noisy existence, especially if I don't feel like waking up at 6AM.

Whereas I throw my shutters open at the first sign of light, most people keep the shutters closed.  This fascinates me, since it's clearly not hot, the mornings are very chilly and the sun provides much needed warmth.  My landlord NEVER opens her shutters beyond one-quarter open.  But then again, she definitely has central heating and I, of course have no heat.  Have I mentioned that it's cold and I have no heat.

Everyone walks.  Young and old, everyone walks.  It;s part of the ritual of the day.  Walk to town for errands and to talk with neighbors in the morning, walk to town before dinner , take babies in strollers, and then again after dinner.  It is to "fare un giro" or "make a trip".  I like the phrase "fare una passeggiata" meaning to take a walk.  It sounds like music when spoken out loud.

In the afternoon after school, Moms, and sometimes the Dads walk with the chidren to town to buy ice cream.  Another sweet ritual, no pun intended.

This morning I am going to the post office - a walk straight uphill that taxes my lungs at 7800ft elevation, to send a couple post cards.  Thats because the ufficio  postale e aperto soltante in la mattina.  It is only open in the morning.

The jazz concert is tonight and I plan to attend.  It starts at 9:00 and I'm usually in bed by 10:00 so I hope I make it. 

I hope you take time to observe some of the small things in your world today.  Ciao


  1. Love your last thought........I will

  2. Ragazza,

    I'm enjoying reading your "blog spots" and all the responses both on your blog page as well as on FBook; that is when I access either.

    Continue to garnish every moment and enjoy your adventure to the Max.


    1. UB, thanks for checking in. I was wondering about you. Send me an email and tell me all that's new. One of these days I will figure out how to post the pictures. I remember now that I was originally posting them from my MAC and something about switching to PC has come into play here. BUT I get my European cord next week so I will be good to go. Ciao ragazzo!

  3. ... ahhhhh ... an Italian "Jazz concert" ...

    from your descriptions of the town you are staying in I would venture the concert complete with accordions [ Fisarmonica ] ...


  4. Marilyn hope you are OK

    One of the strongest earthquakes to shake northern Italy rattled the region around Bologna early Sunday, a magnitude-6.0 temblor that killed at least four people, toppled buildings and sent residents running into the streets, emergency services and news reports said.

    The Castello delle Rocche in Finale Emilia, Italy, sustained damage following an earthquake Saturday.

    The quake struck at 4:04 a.m. Sunday between Modena and Mantova, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) north-northwest of Bologna at a relatively shallow depth of 5 kilometers (3.2 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

  5. Holy Cow. I have no TV or anything here (hell, I don't even have heat. Have I mentioned that before) but I do have a radio. I must have missed that, and will try to get a paper today. I am pretty far from that area but funny thing, I woke up with a start thinking I felt something. But I dismissed it as paranoia. An American who owns a home here told me the area is "quite sizemic". Maybe if the internet holds I will try to google it. But everything OK here, thanks for checking in whoever you are (I suspect Steve)

  6. Hi Marilyn,
    'Been reading your blog since you got there - love it. Had to check in this morning to see if you'd posted anything, as I also heard about the earthquake. Glad to see you're alright!

    I hear you don't have heat! ;) Should we send you some quick starting wood chips, or how 'bout some wax coated pine cones ?

    It sounds like you're getting into the swing of things....relax, breathe, and enjoy the simple things.

    Anne Wolf

  7. Thanks Anne - yes everything is good here, just cold and wet. I didn't leave the house today at all. The Italians drive like idiots right on your bumper, and I didn't want to see what that was like in the rain. Been busy doing nothing - studying, drawing, journaling. Just finished dinner - simple chicken with bell pepper and zucchini. I'm not very good at cooking for one yet. Thanks for checking in. See you when I get back. Marilyn