16 May 2009


On Wednesdays and Saturdays, our Paese (village) has an open market. It's part farmer's market and part flea market. They sell everything from fruits, vegetables, cheese to flowers, plants, herbs to clothing, shoes, handbags to all manner of household items- tablecloths, cutlery, pans, curtains, cups, bowls, coffee pots, pillows and plastic flowers. I bought a basil plant for the balcony, fresh cherries for tonight's dessert and a set of expresso cups and saucers for when we have a kitchen and company.
I met 2 of our neighbors in Paese who invited us to sit and have a caffé. We cobbled a conversation together with some Italian, some English with some translating and teaching thrown in. It worked somehow and I was warmed by their friendliness.
Taking time with neighbors and friends is very important here. Friends and neighbors stop and visit, sit and visit, eat and visit, drink and visit, work and visit. Everything takes more time as a result, even good-byes take a long time.
Schools are open 6 days a week so they can close at 1 pm each day and students can join their families for the all important mid-day meal. Business's close from 1 - 4 pm so workers can join their families as well. The structure of society supports the cultural value of sharing food and time together.
Marco, a workman, came today to install our showers. Our neighbor who knows him invited him in for caffé first. I was annoyed and wondered why she was delaying his work. Then I remembered, welcome him, spend time, share food and drink. We weren't able to do that yet so she did. He did a fabulous job then including some extra work we needed done.
Relationships matter most. Relationships take time. Sharing food strengthens relationships. It's todays lesson. It's a good lesson.

1 comment:

  1. did i mention how glad i am that you are doing this blog and how great it is for me/us to share in this journey and how good it will be for you to have to read back on when you are having those bad days/challenging times to know that are lessons here! i love you!


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