Happy Memorial Day!
To commemorate Memorial Day, Dave and I traveled to Lipari, one of the Aeolian Islands (Isole Eolie). We visited last Labor Day, too. This morning we are up with the sun and headed back to Acireale.
Dave looking for our hydrofoil ferry (“aliscafo” in Italian), in Lipari.
In my first eighteen years of life, I accompanied my family to my paternal grandfather’s grave on Memorial Day. Both of my grandfathers served in the military for short stints of time. However, we had a tradition of spending this holiday with my paternal grandmother. At the cemetery, we tidied up, Mom arranged the flowers, and we strolled by graves of other relatives en route to the Memorial Day ceremony at the center of the cemetery. It was a fine tradition and I believe my parents have continued it, even after my grandmother’s death.
Although Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have died during military service, we can also show appreciation for anyone who has served, for the risks apply to all who put themselves in harm’s way. On that note, Thank You to all the former and current service members I have been lucky enough to know over the years. Thank you to my grandfathers, to my Dave who spent seven months in Afghanistan, to Dave’s new colleagues in EURAFSWA, to my new friend Troy who survived three IEDs during his multiple deployments, to Warren who continues to seek new ways to understand the ugly sides of the foreign cultures he has experienced while deployed, to Sara who endures the strife of the ER as a family doc, to all of my colleagues who served 20+ years and are now retired, to my cousins and uncles who have served, to my aunt Ingrid who endured an overseas duty station, and to all the wonderful JAGs from NJS and the PacNW who gave Dave an amazing welcome into a great community of attorneys. Thank you!
Here are a few pieces of this and that. Photos of items that just didn’t fit into other posts, so far, and heck, why not put them into a post together. A collection of visual sundries for your Monday. I’m putting in Cinque photographic categories and the Cento is in the accompanying text. Ciao tutti!
(Uno) 1. Lava Rocks and Pumice from Lipari (Isole Eolie). There is a pumice factory on Lipari; the factory is sitting unused and empty. A tour guide told us that there is a legal dispute about what the owner will do with the land upon which the factory sits.
(Due) 2. The Italian junk food – so similar to U.S. junk food, but significantly fewer varieties are available.
(Tre) 3. Mmmmmmm, dry Sicilian cookies – the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot tea or coffee.
(Quattro) 4. Gotta give this one up to Uncle Michael – thanks for the recommendation and gift. The best hand cream!
(Cinque) 5. Frankenstein & Batman investigate Sicilian fruit purchases, teeny tiny crab apple and unseasonal plum.
Here I sit to write this blogpost to you…
1. Four hour kayak excursion from the beach in front of our hotel around the uninhabited coastline and toward the island Vulcano. Awesome adventure, pictures are only in my memory. Come and visit me and I will bring you here.
2. Napping. One power nap after kayaking and a longer nap after lunch.
3. Lunch: Spaghetti Liparota – pomodoro sauce, basilico, olive, parsley, caperi (capers). With a glass of white wine, this was a delightful lunch.
4. Explored beach of Canneto.
5. Yummy zuppa di cozze (soup of mussels) pizza (pomodoro, gorgonzola e pancetta) and cannolo. (Cannoli is plural, ask for un cannolo if you want only one.) I finished with a glass of Malvasia, a local dessert wine specialty; it was rich and caramelly without being cloying or overly sweet. We toasted our friend Angela who requested we have a cannolo in her honor asap. Salute Angela! (photos below)
The best aspect of any beach town known to me is the incapability to underdress. No matter what you wear, you are sure to see somebody wearing less. Since I enjoy being naked, I relish wearing as little as possible in public without worrying that I am offending cultural norms. Like many, I have acute body image awareness, yet any anxiety seems to melt away in a beach town; it must seep out in the ubiquitous sweat. Here, I feel free physically and spiritually; ready to imagine the unimaginable and drift to sleep on the airs of hope and aspiration.
Dessert: cannolo, Malvasia, e un cafe.
Close up of the cannolo, stuffed with sweetened ricotta and sprinkled pistacchio.
1. Submitted my paperwork for my Permesso di Soggiorni, Sojourner’s Permit.
2. Found out our household goods are still en route, expected to arrive 2 Oct. Hey, knowledge is power, now we can plan.
3. Knocked down all the tasks on my to-do list for the day.
4. Delicious lunch: sautéed onion, garlic, and zucchini, then sautéed my leftover casarecci pasta at the end. I love re-heating pasta this way.
5. Introduced Maki and Panther to our neighbor-friend Monique, who will take care of them while we visit the Isole Aeolia.
dee-di-di-deeeee. Dee-di-di-deeeee! DEE-DI-DI-DEEEEE! The alarm went off too early. My confused brain was still scrambling as my arm instinctively reached for the clock. My arm was confused, too, and I could not connect my hand to the snooze button; my vain attempts reminded me of a child playing whack-a-mole haphazardly. Finally my brain intervened and pushed my hand to the light switch and allowed my eyes to take control of the situation. Yes! Mission accomplished: awake at 4:30am, ready to meet the group for our early morning departure. Bring on the fun! Arrivando al mattino e Lípari, here we come!