Ghost World

If I look pasty in this picture it’s because I’ve been sanding fossiliferous limestone curlycues all day. At one point I stopped to carry a few loads of wood from the van up the three flights of stairs to our house and I met an old fellow coming the other direction up the very narrow street that passes in front of our door. He looked away as we neared one another but did respond when I smiled broadly and said good-morning. Only later did I realize how odd I must have looked, dressed like a rapper in glasses with flowered wellies and covered from head to toe in fine cream coloured powder.
Even at 42 I’ve yet to decide if it’s fortunate or unfortunate that I almost never realize what I look like. I think about it when I’m dressing and then I forget…until someone else notices.
Meanwhile, while her dad and I were busy being stoneworkers, my daughter had a ‘you know you’re going to nursery school in Italy when’ moment. Her whole class tromped down to the church to hear the beginning of the Christmas story. I’m a bit edgy about this part of the school but thought I’d let her go and see if she liked it or no. 
She said: “Mamma! I saw a ‘gesu bambino’ at the church. His mamma was with him.” She didn’t have much else to report other than she was glad that the bells weren’t ringing because they’re too loud and that they’d been fortunate because no one’s toes had been ‘sciaciata-ed’ (squashed) because they’d walked through the main piazza where there were CARS. I had a flash-memory of being in a blue dress on the stage at my 3rd grade christmas pagent playing the Virgin Mary and singing carols in Spanish…”Adorar al nino, corremos pastores…”

Thankful Anyway

Today is Thanksgiving but not in Italy; at least it’s not a holiday here. I think we’re planning to have onion soup. I miss the food and being with my family and hanging out in the kitchen talking about food; but, I don’t miss being irritated at the pile of people huddled around the TV watching football. Now, don’t get me wrong, I LIKE football, I just don’t like it when it’s an excuse for some people to zone out on the couch while everyone else cooks and cleans up. 
That said, it’s funny that it’s just a regular work day here. I went this morning and bought wood for the woodburning stove we use to heat the house. Something that I never had to know as a Texan: when buying wood choose the pieces that are light for thier size they’re drier and cheaper. After that I went to the grocery store; the’ve just started the Christmas merchandising here. No big bin of turkeys in the meat section, no piles of sweetpotatos and bags of fresh cranberries in the produce section…just business as usual.
I came home, had lunch and then went to work with Matthew on finishing these:
I wonder how many years it will be until no one knows how to do this work in a first-world country? Today I’m thankful for my wonderful family, that I got lucky and found lots of dry wood at the woodyard, that I live in a beautiful house in a beautiful country, and deeply thankful that there are still people around who are willing to buy something that they can’t pick out of a catalogue.
Have a beautiful day full of good food ya’ll!