Summer is officially here. I know this not only because it’s really hot, but because I saw my first fields of sunflowers (I Girasoli) yesterday!
My friend Angela took me on a little road trip to try and find a full length mirror. I have a small mirror in my bedroom in which I am able to see my top half and, if I stand on the bed, I can see my legs, but it’s hard to leave the house when you don’t know how you look as a whole. Of course, finding a full length mirror, “lo specchio lungo” in Montepulciano is not easy. Angela thought she had the problem solved when she took me to a nearby glass maker that makes the mirrors for her bar. As soon as I saw the place, I knew it was going to be out of my price range. The starting price for the simplest mirror was over a hundred euro. I briefly panicked wondering if I was going to have to buy one so that I wouldn’t offend Angela, but then realized if we were going to be friends, she’d have to “get” my situation. Angela opened her wallet to show me that she didn’t have much money either and I immediately felt better. Nothing like bonding over poverty! Angela explained that the “zona” in which we live has lots of people with money who are used to plunking down hundreds of euro for custom made items when they need something. Obviously this is not an option for me right now, although the mirrors were lovely.
I explained to Angela the type of thing I was looking for: the simple frame, can find it any hardware store or Target type of store, and it’s CHEAP. Angela consulted Massimo by phone and we took off to a town out of our zona called Magione. It was on the road to Lago Trasimeno in Umbria and about a half hour away. With the car windows down to beat the heat and the scent of manure wafting through when we passed through one town, it really felt like a summer day in the country. I spied a cow standing near the road and told Angela it was “pericoloso” or dangerous. She started laughing uncontrollably and as we passed it, I realized it was fake!!! She said she enjoyed seeing “her” towns through my eyes.
We made it to the Mercatone Uno and I at once felt at home. It was like a Pottery Barn and Ikea rolled into one with everything imaginable for “la casa.” Mirrors were abundant and I found one in my price range (20 euro) of just the sort I had described, and we spent another hour soaking up the air conditioned comfort and just browsing–Okay, actually, the store was designed in a way that we couldn’t find our way out so we were forced to stay longer than intended!
On the way home flush with accomplishment (sometimes it’s the little things that make me happy) and trying hard to remember the direction so I could one day find my way back to Magione alone if I needed to, I asked Angela to slow so I could take some pictures of the sunflowers. She slowed her light-speed driving down a few notches and I got some nice shots. Angela explained that the seeds of the sunflowers are harvested for oil for frying and are not just sitting there looking pretty. We ended our road trip back at the bar and I headed home with my new mirror. It doesn’t reflect perfection, but at least I can see my whole image!