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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sunflowers, Roses and Butterflies

I have neglected to mention the warm and welcoming gifts from special friends—gifts that gave a little extra beauty to the songs our hearts were playing. I really would like to say thank you to them in a way that the world hears and so…….

I am so happy that you are again here with us! I hope that next time you're coming will be forever!! Bentoranati! Un Abbraccio, Sara

Bentoranati a casa!! Welcome "Home" !!! Valentina

Nicoletta and Alessadro.

Alessandro gave Casey a silver nomination charm bracelet with his name bracketed by the Italian flag. I hope that he will treasure this gift and never lose it. Often children simply don’t understand how very special some things are until too late. Of course, I tell him but then...I tell him many things that seem to not find their way into his ears or memory bank. After all, he's a child with other things to think about.

Of course we came laden with gifts also. And, as others know, it is hard to be creative in gift giving when trying to offer something special from home.

  • First, it must not be a tacky souvenir that becomes a burden to the recipient.
  • Second, it really should not have a “made in China” tag or stamp on it.
  • Third, it can’t be too bulky to pack.
  • Fourth, it should be specific to the person—not some generic, one size fits all gift.
  • Fifth, it should somehow relate to where you are from or someplace you have been.
  • Sixth, it is nice if it can be something not available in the place you are going.
  • Seventh, and maybe most importantly, it should provide a good memory of a friend who treasures their relationship.
  • Eighth, I would welcome any comments with more ideas of shoulds and should nots.
So we brought spices, meat rubs and special mustards from Napa Valley--wine country--so appropriate here, pretty dish towels from Napa for everyday use and thoughts of us, Ghirardelli chocolates for our chocolate lovers, macademia nuts from Hawaii, notecards made from photos I have taken in our travels and dolls and books for Camilla. It seemed like Christmas around here for awhile.

And butterflies? What about them? Well, yesterday while Casey went to Siena with Camilla, Ken and I drove to delightful Florence--this time with a mission. We ordered our new ceramic table from Giotti Ceramiche. It is being specially made to match the one we splurged on last year--that one is rectangular, this new one is round. It was fun to see Paolo and Daniela again--they seem to be friends although we really are just customers--albeit, profitable ones. Butterflies? The tables are enlivened by and graced by butterflies and lady bugs and bees and dragonflies--a whimsical garden touch.

Our days are passing; we use them to revisit memories and to make new ones, carrying them home to San Diego for times of reverie and quiet contemplation.


janie said...

It all sounds so wonderful to me! How great to be back there with all your friends and it's like you never left.

Nancy said...

I can tell you are having a wonderful time! Good for you!

Maybe you aren't able to move there permanently right now (you never know what the future holds), but maybe this two month visit this year (every year would be good) will help to soothe your longing for Italy and all of the friendships you hold dear.


Anne said...

Oh neat coincidence - I'm quite sure I remember walking past Giotti Ceramiche, on our way to Chiesa di Ognissanti last summer, and admiring their pieces through the shop window.

Jane said...

Janie, Nancy and Anne, thanks for signing in! Comments are so nice. Yes,Anne, that is exactly where Giotti's is. They have shops on both sides of the street there. I would love one of the barbecues but already have a built in one so that wouldn't work but they are beautiful!

sabauda said...

Welcome home to you ALL!!!
Laurie in Torino

Gail Hecko said...

Jane, I am so happy you are back in our paradise! I just returned and am feeling so blue. Your blog will help me recover.


Jane said...

Laurie, good to hear from you! How's the opera scene in Torino? Wish we were coming up that way this time but think not.
Gail, I know how you feel and it always takes a while to recover. Next year we will be here the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August. I suspect we will miss you again......