God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday in Greve--Worship--Market--Play

Sundays are very important to us as this is the day when we worship God in the special setting of church; it is the day Casey goes to Sunday School, learns Bible stories and about who Jesus and God are. It is a day set aside from the others--a time when we fellowship with friends who share our beliefs. So--a question for us as we planned our year in Italy was how we would continue this part of our lives.

At this point we do this by having our own, private worship time on Sunday mornings. We make it a family affair with each person having a special responsibility and opportunity to contribute in meaningful ways.

Using our IPOD, where we have downloaded all of our CD's, we listen to worship music before beginning with a prayer by Ken which is followed by a short devotional led by Casey. He currently uses a book which focuses on patience from the Just for Kids series. It has 31 lessons so will take a good portion of our 52 weeks. This is a good topic for all of us as patience is sometimes a virtue we all seem to have in short supply.

After this, Ken reads the day's scripture and then Casey and we go separate ways for a while. We go to our church's website and download the Pastor's sermon from the previous week--but since it lasts about 40 minutes, it is much too long for Casey (and sometimes for us too when there is no visual stimulation). So--Casey either watches a DVD such as the Miracles of Jesus or a Sunday School type lesson we have downloaded from the web. When the sermon is over, then I close with a prayer. This is a good time and experience as we focus together on the Word of God; however, we continue to pray that we will find other people with whom to worship.


After this time, we went up through the hills to the little village of Panzano where Sunday is market day. The market is in the small piazza and is centered around the piazza's fountain where older men of the village congregate daily to discuss whatever commands their attention day in and day out. I often wonder what the talk is from day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year. I suspect world affairs, local gossip, past histories, and much reminiscing fill the days.

The market was small but charming and very much a community affair. A fund raiser for the local school band was in progress--with a lot of hoopla surrounding it. For one euro, one could buy a paper rolled up in a very small scroll. If when it was unwound there was a number on it, you were rewarded with a matching numbered bottle of wine. So, wanting to support the local kids, we bought 7 tickets and ended up with 3 bottles of very mediocre wine. I suspect much of it will end up being discarded.

Casey made his first market purchase--a Christmas apron for me. At first he was a little timid, but now that he has done it once, I suspect there will be no stopping him in the future. Soon he will feel totally at home with the vendors and in the little stores of Greve.Already, Bruno, the gregarious owner of the very nice gastro- nomia (delicatessen) on the piazza has kissed his forehead and held both cheeks in his hands while pinching them -just like a scene one might see in many movies. Now all I need do is put my head in the door and Bruno shouts a bellowing ciao.

Back to Market Day in Panzano--No trip to Panzano is complete without a stop at the very famous Antica Macelleria Cecchini--where Dario reigns as king. Dario is the unique, one-of-a-kind Italian butcher who has been written about in New York Magazine and other international publications. He is what is commonly referred to as a true character and his meats are legendary. Dario. Of course, we did not leave empty handed. We bought wonderful sausage, meatloaf, porchetta, a great sauce for the meatloaf--or for cheese--or for whatever suits us. And, since Panzano is just up the hill from Greve, Dario's will become a favorite haunt.

Across the street from the Macelleria is a very colorful cow--in front of Dario's new restaurant, Solo Ciccia--which like the macelleria is unique. It is communal dining with one table that seats about 10 people. There is A menu with 5 meat courses and more. All of it is from Dario's kitchen. Of course, we will go sometime--sans Casey.

It is now quite late and I am not going to finish this tonight--but, we leave early in the morning and will not return until late Thursday. We will be visiting a friend in the Marche area of Italy. Casey is excited as there are cows, horses, kittens and puppies--a little boy's best dream.

Anyway, I have not completed what I promised in the title but will post this now and then share the play portion of the day next time. In the course of our saga, it is important as it was a day where Casey and Camilla really began to bond.

Ciao and Buonanotte


gentle spirit said...

It sounds ike you're having a great time.If you get the chance to go to Florence on a Sunday, we worshipped for many years at the Chiesa di Cristo on Via San Donato, 15 (the old Demidoff chapel). It is a non-denominational group of about 50-60 but there are often times English speakers and a Sunday school class (one for Casey, too.)It sounds like you had a wonderful time of worship as a family, but I know how much I enjoyed the fellowship of fellow believers when away from home. Hope your visit with friends was enjoyable!

Judith in Umbria said...

DON'T throw out that wine! Fall is coming and polenta with brasato. That wine will do fine for the myriad versions of brasato.
How come I haven't had a call?

Bryan said...

Sounds like a good 1st century church.

Anonymous said...

I remember Rome Addict on Slow Travel mention a baptist church in Rome, maybe she would have information on something similar in Tuscany? If I remember correctly the Waldese church is the biggest protestant denomination in Italy so maybe you could look into them?