|Today, on an exploring and invigorating walk, we found ourselves closer to the larger of the two clock towers, for a better view of the cemetery on the grounds of the church.|
Sunday started out cool and sunny. As the day progressed a warmth blanketed the area finally making it possible for us to lounge on the veranda without wearing excess clothing. It’s been a week of cool, cloudy weather.
At noon, while outside preparing to make another video of the second clock tower, the one outside our bedroom window, Lisa, Luca and a friend appeared precisely at the moment as the tower was to begin its rhythmic 12 clangs, which we’d hope to catch for the video. Their appearance interrupted the 12 clangs occurring only once during daylight hours (or not).
|Our enchanting neighborhood, far removed from neighborhoods in the US and many other countries. Our temporary home is next door to the clock tower in the upper right. It was fun to see it from this vantage point.|
Our goal was to post it yesterday, as we ultimately did unfortunately with less clangs, along with the louder and church bell tower that we’d first posted.
After a series of several gracious “buon giourno” (good day) and a few fleeting “come stai?” (how are you?), they explained in Italian that they were here for the day to work on the gardens and the expansive yard. We smiled, vigorously nodding in understanding.
This is no easy job. With most of the yard consisting of a series of steep terraces, mowing and trimming is quite the daunting task. Our rental contract clearly stated, we wouldn’t be responsible for any tasks other than cleaning up after ourselves on the interior of the house, sorting the garbage for recycling and doing our own sheets and laundry.
|This view of the yard is from our kitchen window. When we arrived, this plant holder was filled with blooming flowers attracting tons of bees. Both of us allergic to bees, plus with no screens on the windows as a safety precaution Tom moved the window box to the patio where the herb garden is located. This allows us to enjoy having the kitchen window open, weather providing, although a few horse flies and bees made an appearance.|
The stone floors stay clean with a sweeping every few days; the kitchen and bathrooms, we clean as we go; and soon, we’ll dust everything in sight which surprisingly collects minimal dust. We wash the limited supply of bath and kitchen towels every three days; sheets, once a week and our clothing as needed. That’s it.
There’s no fixing, no repairing, no hardware store to visit returning with an array of little plastic bags filled with items we may never use that remain in the basement on a shelf to be discovered years later. Without any guilt-inducing tasks to be accomplished, nagging in one’s mind, life has taken on a new meaning.
We don’t walk by the dotted paint spill on the stone floor and think, “Oh, when will we ever get that cleaned up?” Or, “When will we replace the broken lock on the guest room door?” How about never?
On Sunday, as we lounged on the veranda overlooking the gorgeous yard, the occasional sound of the weed whacker whirring, the shuffling of the broom as it swept at the hands of the ambitious homeowners, for a moment, only a moment, a wave of guilt washed over me. “Shouldn’t we be helping?”
|Another view of the manicured grounds that extend far down the hill toward the road near the church.|
No, we shouldn’t. It’s the way of our lives now. OPM, often referred to in business, as “other people’s money” now refers to “other people’s maintenance” in our lives. We like that. We like that a lot.
By 5:00 pm on Sunday, the three of them left, the grounds trim and deftly manicured to maintain the lush and green foliage enhanced by the recent rains.
The birds were singing their harmonious songs, the bells clanged periodically in their inconsistent manner while we had only to contemplate the preparation of yet another pleasant homemade dinner, most of which was already chopped and diced earlier this morning. Washing dishes follow, to be left to dry overnight.
More than the scenery. More than the historic buildings. More than the upfront experience of seeing that which we only read about in history books. More than the anticipation of the next adventure, s the simplicity.
The simplicity of these days, this summer, this place, this life.