Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Corrie, me, and Cassie in front of the Christmas tree at my house in Indianapolis.

These past few weeks have gone by so fast, and it's been amazing all that has happened. I left Italy for America after a month of hard work and web projects and gift buying, and back home in Indy, 10 days passed by so quickly. From spending time with family to seeing friends to Christmas Eve and Christmas day, there was barely time to stop and take it all in. I got to meet my new cousin, Halsey for the first time on Christmas Day, I got to see more friends than I'd expected to: Allison drove up from Saint Louis, Maura was in town from Louisville, Cass, Corrie, Eric, and I laughed outloud enough times to confuse all of the customers at his restaurant (Eric, have you checked the beer at the bar yet?). I got to sing Christmas carols and eat pecan bars and dine twice at El Sol. It was great--looking back at it, it was the perfect little vacation. I can't wait for people to visit me here--my parents, my friends--but I know the value of being at home, of feeling right in a place, of coming back and seeing such familiar places and things, of celebrating Christmas where I have always celebrated it. Macerata has become familiar and comfortable now, too, and the word home, in my life, has taken on a double meaning.

While Christmas in Indy is perfect, it's not the same without Antonello. Seeing him as I got off the train in Fabriano to crowds of people, with him somewhere further down, trying to get to me through others who had just gotten off the train or were waiting for the line to Rome, I felt sure that I was back in my other home--with him in Italy. I was back just in time for New Year's Eve, which we spent eating dinner and setting off fireworks at our friends Giampaolo and Luciana's house. They had invited other of their friends as well, and while eating exquisite pasta plates, yummy cheeses, and the traditional New Year's Eve dish of lentils (the non-vegetarians ate zampone too, a traditional meat dish of pig's leg) that is supposed to bless the people who eat it with a lot of money in the coming year, we chatted about purely Italian things: gossip about this singer or that actor, all of them very Italian, unheard of back in America. It was weird to be hearing about such different things over a dinner table, when just a week back we were surely talking about truly American things. But the evening was fun: we set off fireworks for an hour at midnight, drank Spumanti, ate grapes and fresh fruits and panetone and chocolate torrone, and we ended the night playing Italian pick-up sticks (I'm surprisingly good!) and some strange form of Blackjack (I taught them how to shuffle cards!). Seeing good friends again so soon upon being back was just what I needed to feel home again. It was a late night, and Antonello and I spent New Year's day sleeping in, making pancakes for lunch, exchanging gifts, and watching old movies on television.

And there's more to blog about too (which I will do very soon!) as yesterday I met Lori, Cyndi and Danilo in Faenza, where we spent part of the day in nearby Brisighella and part of it ceramic-hunting back in Faenza. We laughed all day, and it was great. What a welcome home--old friends in Indy saying goodbye as new friends in Italy welcome me home. It's nice to feel like two places are somehow connected: that leaving one doesn't have to break your heart, because the other place is waiting to take you in, to welcome you, to make you smile. Thank God for that.

Happy Epiphany



At 8:40 PM, Anonymous J.Doe said...

I once shuffled a deck of cards in front of my in-laws (here in Italy) and they looked at me as if I were a professional gambler just escaped from the local Gambler's Anonymous chapter.Strange.

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

i know what you mean. Everyone thought I'd had a job in Vegas once or something!

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

Happy Epiphany to you too and I will keep you updated on the tortilla press. At least I can get sour cream, cilantro and green onions, the only problem is I am missing the tortillas!! More later when the Mexi-Saga continues.

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Eric said...

I still haven't checked the beer...I think you may be giving Toni a complex...twice to the restaurant, but never eat anything but dessert. Hope to see you this spring!!

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

Gia: Ooh, I hope you can find a tortilla press. I looked on that site that was mentioned in your comments, but I saw nothing. Hmmm--we can always order from Amazon or something. Where do you get cilantro??

Eric: okay okay, next time I'll order a real dish or something. Or maybe just a salad and then a dessert. I think that would really confuse her :). Do you have some vegetarian items on the menu? You'd better come to Italy in spring!



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