I can’t believe it’s the end of May and it’s just now beginning to feel like spring. Temperatures are finally warm, and the fog seems to have departed for now. The sun is hot and promises lovely hot Tuscan days ahead. The swallows have returned and delight in pooping on my newly washed duvet as it hangs on the line. White fluff from the poplar trees is carried on every breeze. Poppies are blooming and covering the hillsides with their delicate red blooms. The market is bursting with strawberries, asparagus and the first cherries of the season. Sadly, my fruit vendor has gone to Sicily for the summer so I am back to paying retail prices for my produce until September! I am trying my hand at growing basil again this year and my windowsill is home to two small plants that Antonella gave me. They’d been struggling with the cold temps, but finally seem to be content now that there has been some regular doses of long-awaited sunshine.
If it sounds as if my outlook has become slightly more cheerful it’s because it has. The last month has brought some welcome news. WORK. I’m going to be teaching an English class at a nearby church, Sant’Agnese, to some elementary school kids at the end of June. This is all thanks to Marinella’s niece Lucia who has come up with this plan and is helping me organize it. It still remains to be seen how many parents sign up their young ones, but Lucia says she’s spoken to many so I’m cautiously optimistic about that.
I also spoke to Anna and Federico from Poliziano this week and they have offered me work for the next two weeks at the winery. I didn’t fall on the floor in gratitude only because I didn’t want to embarrass them, but I’m pretty darn grateful. It’s been very tight surviving with babysitting and teaching and in June my regular students are departing for the sea. This couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m looking forward to learning more about the wine business and for the opportunity to interact with the public. Marinella has graciously volunteered to take Cinder out for me so she won’t have to cross her legs for the whole day.
I’m also going to be giving a tour of my town to a couple from Texas who contacted me after reading the blog. I look forward to sharing some of the wonders and curiosities of my new paese!
I’ve been spending as much time as possible outside. Cinder and I sit in the parking area and I write while she naps in the shade of the cars. We’ve also been taking some long walks in the morning. While the pace is slower this year as her age is really beginning to show, especially on the walk home, we both still enjoy a chance to lift our heads into the air and smell the freshly cut grasses, burning olive wood, and the first whiffs of jasmine from hedges along the way. My kitchen window faces Marinella’s jasmine-lined fence and I look forward to a summer of that delicious fragrance wafting through the window.
Other than that, I’m just writing and re-energizing my spirit after a long winter. I’m on the last chapter of my book and will soon have a completed first draft. Editing will be my task over the next couple of months. I turn 40 in August and that is the unofficial deadline I’ve set for myself to finish.
Hope everyone is enjoying their spring. I’ll write more after my first week at Poliziano.