Friday, April 28, 2006

Sunday in the Park

Our friend Eric invited us to the Italian Heritage Society of Indiana's annual Pasquetta picnic last Sunday, and Corrie and I eagerly accepted. Pasquetta really translates into Easter Monday, that Monday after Easter when families really get together, some celebrating with picnics, others with family gatherings. However, only in Italy do we get that Monday as a holiday, so Indiana is forced to celebrate it the weekend after. It worked out well for me, as Easter weekend was a busy one, and so, on Indiana's Pasquetta, my friend Allison and I met up with Corrie to take the trip over to the church of Holy Rosary. The picnic was in the park nearby.

Eric had promised us that the park was going to be overloaded with people, the tables stocked tightly with food, and the bocce courts ready for use. Only the last of these three promises came true, but we were told that for some reason this year the turnout was low. Still, there was plenty of food (much of it eaten already--we had arrived fashionably late Italian-style to this Italian-American picnic: what are you SUPPOSED to do in these situations?), and plenty of new people to meet. Allison, Corrie, and I quickly grabbed some plates, ate some lunch (Corrie and I had each brought a dish too, so we were able to have first dibs on those), and settled into meeting people. It was a perfect day for a picnic, and we had fun mixing our Italian and English languages together--every third word Italian--surely creating a scene for the neighborhood passersby.

And then it was time for bocce. I had never played bocce. I was ashamed to admit this, actually, being the only current resident of Italy in our little group--so I decided it was time to learn. Eric, who actually helped BUILD the bocce ball court, and Corrie had both played before. Allison and I had not. So Eric quickly did the math, putting the two novices on the same team. Allison and I shrugged it off, though. We were fast learners, right?

Well, not when the person teaching you forgets to explain the rules. Just when I thought I knew what I was doing and I let the first ball loose, Eric added a few rules he had left out (such as: the ball is not supposed to touch the wall on the other side). A little too late for that! The ball was already out of my hands before he had even opened his mouth with the news, and of course, at the other side of the court, a loud 'thump' was heard as the ball ran into the back edge. We quickly decided that this was going to be a 'practice' round.

Allison and I caught up quickly, though. Five or six rounds later, we were far in the lead, and we decided to stop punishing our friends and call the game off. Yay--the novices win! Trophies were handed out, and cake was eaten.

Okay, that's not true (Corrie will kill me if I don't post what really happened): actually, we ended in a tie, something like five points a piece. Still, pretty good for two newbies, right? All in all, it was a fun Pasquetta picnic: I learned how to play bocce ball, I met new people, and of course, I ate wonderfully Italian food cooked in the middle of my home town.

It was something comforting, I thought, to find a little corner of Italy back home in the states, in the place I least expected.

-Jackie

8 Comments:

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

I went to the IHS to take Italian classes when I lived in Italy. I wonder if my teacher, Lorella from Rome, was there. Now you have made me homesick.

Sounds like a lot fun Jackie!

Cyn

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

It was una bellissima pasquetta...and Eric and I were so nice to let you guys catch up to us in the bocce. :-) Did we forget to mention the rule about the team with the best jeans always winning? Allora, aspetta!

-Corrie

 
At 3:24 AM, Anonymous Eric said...

Lorella didn't come to pasquetta. Last time i talked to her was in November, and she was doing better. I know she had a few health problems last year. Don't forget, Corrie, we won the first game...the one before the kids took over.

 
At 4:49 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

WHAT?!? that was a practice round! And we WOULD'VE won if we had known the rules!

okay, enough ranting.

did you like the guy with the cake? I have no idea who he is, but the picture was funny!

-Yek

 
At 12:57 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

Wait, YOU don't know the guy with the cake? I thought maybe one of the caving friends? Solo un scherzo! :-)

Just another example of why we're "not like them, but we can pretend:" we got bullied of the bocce courts by little Italian-American kids.

-Corrie

 
At 2:02 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

what is WRONG with these people?!? (says the sheep wearing the bow tie...)

 
At 3:08 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

I get it!! Funny! (says the other sheep)

 
At 5:01 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

corrie--i think it just looked like we were talking to ourselves in the previous two comments :). ha ha--we just wrote the 5 of these 7 comments ourselves! thanks Eric and Cyn for reading our blog! You may be the only two...

-Jackie

 

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