Il Raffreddore

I was so caught up in my own little world of tissues, tea with honey, and feeling miserable this past week that I’d forgotten I hadn’t posted anything since the harvest began last Monday.  Then I received two emails from friends wanting to know what had happened to me.  So thanks for being concerned and don’t worry, I have officially survived my first harvest and my first cold, il raffreddore, here in Italy.

I worked the harvest for four days.  I should probably have posted an update to the cheery piece I wrote after day one.  Because when I woke up on day two, I wanted to die.  Everything hurt.  The harvesting went from a delightful experience to a  “please let me survive this.”  The young whippersnappers who were working beside me also seemed to be in some discomfort, but this didn’t make me feel much better.  Being tall is not an asset to the grape picking process!!!  By day four I was surviving by sucking down Advil and picturing the money at the end of the day.  Rain was forecast for the following day so work was suspended over the weekend…this coincided nicely with my nasty cold.

So I didn’t go to the harvest this week and then found out from Angela at the bar that Saverio was not pleased with this and I may have jeopardized my cooking school opportunity.  ARGH!   Apparently if you sign up to work the vendemmia, you work the WHOLE thing.  Oops.  (In my defense, I had let his daughter know when she paid me on Thursday that I thought it would be my last day.)  I left an apologetic note for Saverio and am now about to make some groveling banana bread, but honestly I couldn’t even move for two days with the cold.  There was no way I could have hauled buckets around and cut grapes all day.  I guess I will chalk this up to a learning experience.  I sure I will make many more mistakes over the coming months, but it is a bit of a bummer.

Anyway, my cold is gone and the harvest is over.  The summer like temperatures of last week have given way to rain and foggy mornings.   Now it’s time to make the wine.  (Or for those of us who don’t know how to make it… to drink it!) My neighbor has been hard at work in his cantina with the grapes that he harvested.  I watched him putting them through the stem separator thingy and now they are fermenting.  There are two other apartments nearby with their own cantinas, so with the windows open all you smell is fermenting grapes.

I have four students for English lessons on the schedule this week and the babysitting jobs are still coming in so I’m staying afloat.  Bonnie has friends visiting, so last night I actually babysat for seven kids!!!

Oh and I have a date.  My fruit guy has asked me out three times and I’ve been on the fence since Marinella tells me he has a wife tucked away in Sicily.  But hey, it’s just dinner, right?   I can’t deny I enjoy getting all of my produce at ridiculously cheap prices.  Caterina and Antonella told me to keep flirting with him and asked if they could give me lists of what they wanted!  Peaches for everyone!!!

By day four the grapes were losing their appeal!!!!

By day four the grapes were losing their appeal!!!!

A foggy autumn morning hides my view

A foggy autumn morning hides my view

My superstar English student Mariastella

My superstar English student Mariastella

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