This is the third September in succession that I have sat in this very spot on our patio looking out over the rolling fields and the mountains, distinctly aware of the moment – the soft warmth of the descending sun, the cool evening approaching, the silence of the Marche countryside, and a delectable Marche rosso or bianco at hand.
Two years ago it was a trip to initiate the renovation process. That was the stated primary goal. Unwittingly, however, and perhaps more importantly, it served also to let the significance of our real estate purchase sink in, rather than being a distant acquisition, a “thing” like our somewhat impetuous
Last year’s trip was deep breath time. We’d moved. Julius had been thrown into the educational deep end with his English and German in an almost all-Italian school. I had no job, nor did Maria. But it was moments like this very one that made us realize why we’d moved, and how strong those few intangibles on the credit side were in contrast to the lengthy list of tangibles on the other.
Today I’m (obviously) drawn into reflection. The sun is warm, the breeze is kind, and the Verdicchio is crisp. And my mood is buoyant. It was a day of accomplishment. I can safely say that I had nothing to do with any of it, but I have no qualms about taking the “feel-good” reward for it. Two concrete things happened.
First, the gas company came and buried their tank (for cooking and heating) – a step towards functional living.
Second, Cesari (the guy from Isoterm, a local building supply company) – a drop-dead gorgeous, green-eyed, quintessential Italian model type – bought his high-pressure spray gun and painted all our ceilings, up- and downstairs. It had taken me 2 days to do 2 rooms with my more modest equipment, and all I could see was a long, long haul ahead of me to get it all done. In one fell swoop, he rescued my next two weeks and gave them back to me. And took us another step closer to moving in.
But perhaps most significant of all, I’m sitting on our transformed patio, walled and bricked in and as inviting an outdoor space as I’ve come across. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the house for me, given that I’d rather be sitting outside under virtually any (reasonable) circumstances.
And my wonderful office – another important aspect, given that I’ve never had one that didn’t double as something else – opens right out on to it. Three other glass doors on this western side open out to it, one from each of the other 3 rooms on this side of the house – Maria’s “drawing room”, the dining room, and the lounge.
With the quirky little stones – seemingly carved by an unseen avant garde hand – on the enclosing retaining wall, it has a unique character that says: “Welcome to this warm and friendly space. Feel the sun, the breeze, the moment. And stop the clocks – there is no other time but now.”
Me and my Verdicchio couldn't agree more - I feel like I could sit here forever.