This week's points of interest...
If one were Casey, there wouldn't, couldn't have been a more idyllic week--nothing to do but swim, play, eat gelato, laugh and just be a kid out of school from morning until late, falling into dream land when the head hit the pillow--only to start up again in ten hours. What more can summer offer?
Now me---well, I played some along with other unique and mindless experiences. Since I am told that it is healthy to laugh at oneself and even more fun to have people laugh with you, I share a couple highlights.
1. I have lived many years and so it is difficult to find new experiences. But sometimes one descends uninvited and shockingly unexpectedly. This was true Sunday night when in a sound, surely dream filled, sleep...I levitated from the bed to the floor. On the way down--which must have taken at least a second or two as it was a long way--I hit my head twice on the marble corner of the night stand. Upon landing my body somehow contorted itself into a figure 8 pretzel. I'm not sure that I consciously awoke until meeting the floor. It all took place so quickly that it was almost over before it started. It took a while before I could minimally wrap my mind around what happened.
The rest of the night I slept restlessly wondering if I needed to go to the hospital for a head x-ray. Each time I woke up, my thought was "Oh, good, I'm here." Sunrise was a good sign. I still have the bumps and twitches, but am quite fine. Of course, I only sleep in the middle of the bed now--poor Ken.
The final event in this saga was the e-mail from my son, from whom I bizarrely expected sympathy. His message back was something to the effect that perhaps we should invest in the bungee cord market. Gotta love him.
2. Fortunately Tuesday brought another new experience that in quite timely fashion followed Sunday's fiasco. I had never been to an Italian spa and decided that this year would be a good time to try it. So, my friend Rita who lives in Chiocchio, right over the hill from Greve, and I decided to treat ourselves to a girl's day at the spa.
Rita had done this before so she made the arrangements and suggestions as to which treatments, beside the thermal pool, we should have. My job was to drive us about an hour or so away to the Grotta Giusti Spa in Monsummano Terme.
We had decided on a massage, of course, a mud bath treatment (I have always been curious about just what this was) and an inhalation treatment.
My body loves massages and so that was good; however, the most I can say about the mud bath is that I now know that once is enough. In my visions, you actually laid down in mud and settled in. I was pleased to find that really it is a bed of squishy, hot mud that is covered with a malleable piece of plastic so that the effect of being in mud is there but you stay clean! After I sank into this squish, the attendent covered my arms, legs and torso with heavy, mud-filled plastic oblong balloon type things. By this time, I was hot and wondering what I had gotten myself into. The mud is 47º (117º) and I was to be left there for 15 minutes.
After about 4 minutes, I began to melt and developed a frightening sense of claustrophobia in the little cubicle where I was imprisoned. After about 8 minutes, I began to think about Dante and hell and that the mud bath must be a forerunner to an eternity spent in the depths. Needless to say, it was a joyous moment when the attendant returned and freed me.
The next phase, though, wasn't a whole lot better--other than it was not hot. Given what looked like a white stiff heavy cotton version of a monk's robe and cowl, which was donned over the head, we waddled along until we found our way to the hydromassage area. Here we took the monk's outfit off, fortunately, we had bathing suits under them. A male attendant then took each of us (one by one) into a shower and while he stood behind a waist high wall, hosed us down with the equivalent of a fire hose--front and back, during which time we stood under a shower. This was very weird.
Finally, being hosed off, cleaned and bedraggled, we went to the inhalation room. There we spent 14 minutes with mouths wide open breathing in steam. If we didn't have our mouths wide enough, the stern matron would stride over and tell us to open wider. Following this was another 14 minutes with tubes up the nose, breathing through them was to help with nose, throat and ear obstructions or something like that. Sadly, we have no pictures of any of this---sorry!
At this point, both Rita and I were ready to return to the relaxation of the pool and spas and simply soak and relax before starting the journey home. We laughed and had a good time and I would do it all again with a friend. It is the companionship that makes it a day worth having--and, maybe, too, the massage. Thanks, Rita for going with me!
And.. there was more to the week. Lunch with Art and Barb and Judith in Deruta and more. But, this is too long now so will tell the rest another time.
Sunday Ken and I go to Piemonte for 5 days without child. It will be nice to be empty nesters for a few days--but, bet, we end up missing him!
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.