In Italy AgainThis past month and a half back in the states has been really great. The time passed quicker than I had hoped, and there's a part of me that still feels like I am there, sitting in my parents' living room, writing this blog entry. The three weeks prior to the wedding meant not just deciding on the florist or picking out the wedding dress, but also seeing friends again, spending time with family, and packing in years' full of memories into a mere twenty-one days. Being home means living like that--intense moments of seeing everyone I could, laughing more than I'm used to, and valuing simple walks through my neighborhood more than I ever did growing up.
Antonello arrived one week before the wedding, and upon his arrival (and that of Sandro, his brother, and Irene, a friend of ours--all of them came on the same flight) things started to feel like they were falling into place, even if that meant falling in a sort of precarious fashion. I didn't realize all there was to do until that week arrived, and the balance of sight seeing and last minute preparation was a little out of control. But the beauty of weddings is that someone always steps in, and all of the helping hands that we received were very much appreciated. Whether it was filling up bags of jelly bellies to hand out as wedding favors, making cds (another wedding favor), baking cheesecakes (thank you Aunt Dolly and mom!) or simply enduring my extreme panic sessions with a grain of salt, friends and family stepped in as they always do--with grace and patience. Boy, am I lucky to be surrounded by the people that I love.
While this blog entry seems more like an outdated thank-you session, it's really hard for me to list all of the events that took place and describe each one. I can tell you some of my best memories though. One of the best 'before the wedding' nights I had was the weekend before my wedding, attending my friend Elizabeth's wedding, which turned out to be a high school reunion of sorts. Elizabeth is one of the sweetest people I know, and her wedding reflected that. It was held at the theatre in Fountain Square (an old theatre that his been renovated to house receptions and other large get-togethers), and on the billboard out front was written "Love and Laughter," which is the way Elizabeth signs all of her emails. The wedding was a good chance to imagine what my wedding would be like, but I tried to spend more time just talking to old friends and dancing than worrying too much about how busy the upcoming week would be. It was one of the last worry-free nights I would have for a week or so!
Other favorite memories are harder to pinpoint. I loved going canoeing with everyone four days before the wedding. Despite unbalanced canoes, canoes turned around (Lori and Irene, what were you thinking? :)), and a last minute attempt at breaking into Corrie's car (she locked her keys in the trunk), it was actually quite fun.
I think what I loved the best about the wedding and that time together was just how much it felt like a group effort. Friends who didn't know each other before were, by the end of the week together, exchanging email addresses and phone numbers, planning to visit each other. Eric and Antonello's cousin Daniele really hit it off and are planning to visit Lucca, Italy together in the near future :). Our friends Jenny and Erin took Sandro on a tour of the laundromat (which I recently saw, in his home video), and my brother and his wife Carolyn were more than welcoming by letting us--a group of four Italians and me--stay at their new house twice.
I know this blog entry isn't the most concise and definitely isn't the most well written, but it's too early in the morning for that. Being back in Italy has definitely been difficult--I feel like I'm going through a period of evalutation, wondering what to do next with my life. The wedding is over, photos have been developed, gifts open, honeymoon long past. But I will remember these things: the way Antonello looked stepping out of the car in his suit and tie, the way Irene painted her nails silver on the morning of the wedding, the way Daniele dances like he's running yet standing still, the way Lia--one of our flower girls--made faces at the camera all morning at the wedding, the way Sandro has four hours of video that he wants us to watch, the way our ring bearer Emerson wore cowboy boots, the way Ingrid caught the bouquet, the way the bridesmaids and groomsmen looked just beautiful (even in blue suits!), the way our priest spoke in Italian and Antonello spoke in English, the way we threw pasta--not rice or birdseed--at the last minute, the way my uncle was confused for my father, the way Eric's pantry is organized, the way my parents handled everything with grace, and the way the cheesecakes and eggrolls tasted.
I will remember other things too. Honestly, how could I forget?
Corrie--throw some pasta at your boss for me, maybe the stelle kind?