Photo by Rick Gush
This Christmas Eve, I was finally able to write my blog from my new office. This move has been a long, arduous and expensive enterprise, but I think it’s all been worth the trouble. I moved the cats yesterday, and while they were quite skeptical at first, today they’re enjoying exploring all the new rooms and smells.
I don’t have a garden in the new location, but I do have my eye on an unused piece of ground across the small creek that runs right under my windows. The sound of the running water in the creek is really loud. At first it freaked me out a bit because it sounds sort of like some plumbing project gone horribly wrong. Now I like it, and I remember the Arabic gardeners who built all those fabulous gardens in Persia all considered the sound of running water to be an essential garden ingredient. I hope the folks in Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater” house liked all that constant water noise—it must have been a deafening roar considering their creek is much larger than mine.
It was a typical Italian post office Christmas this year, as we had two outbound and six incoming packages (all mailed almost a month ago!) that had not yet arrived at their destinations as of Christmas Day. Oh well, at least I can take comfort in knowing that the postal employees enjoyed a nice Christmas and didn’t need to bother sweating or increasing their efficiency just because it’s the holidays. My wife and I have already made an agreement with our niece that we will postpone all of our gift exchanging until early January. That’s the traditional time in Italy anyway, as the holiday known as the Befana, on Jan. 6, is when Italian children traditionally received their best winter holiday gifts.
The closest we came to a white Christmas was the snow we got last week. The rain washed it all away by Christmas, but I did get a few photographs. The photo above is of the view from my old office. Pretty romantic, isn’t it? We only get snow once every three or four years, and it always lasts only for a short period. All the tropical plants like bananas and hibiscus get burned, but then bounce right back in the spring. Once about 50 years ago it snowed and got so cold that some olive trees died.
In a not-so-merry report, a vehicle crashed into the creek fence just down the road from my new office (pictured right). He’s lucky the little pipe fence was there, because below that is a 30-foot drop to the creek bed. As it is, he got out of his vehicle after it crashed, then got into another passing car and went down to the closest bar to have his morning coffee before coming back to talk to the police on the scene. Quite Italian behavior. Forget Ferrari and Gucci. Not letting anything get in the way of one’s morning coffee is what the Italian lifestyle is all about.