All good things come to an end....it was an adventure, a chapter in my life that I expect to remain unsurpassed.
My first grandchild, Zoe....the perfect baby....you'll see her pictures soon....she took my heart - the power of eight little pounds. She has two great parents who will show her a life full of adventure. She was such a good little trooper while we visited the sights of Sicily....
I've shown you pictures, shared a few stories, listed a few differences I noticed while spending time here...these are not judgements on my part, quite the difference. I've watched and noted a different location and group of people other than what I've experienced living in Southern California. What will I be taking from this experience? A new tolerance for activities of those people who live and drive around me at home, admiration in the driving skills and lack of aggression shown by the Sicilian drivers. An appreciation for American plumbing where you can flush toilet paper down the pipe, a new love of food....olive oil....tomatoes....bread.....the Italian language. I'll miss the emotion shown by the Sicilian people when listening to them talk...the language is musical and the physical gestures of lifted shoulders and hands waving while talking, or yelling at each other - sometimes it was difficult to figure out if they were angry while talking with others. I will look at the availability of being able to walk up to a person's home differently - no gated properties in my neighborhood - no locked gates and keys to keep track of. There is a contradiction in Sicily.....they seem to LOVE babies....both men and women made a bee line over to see baby Zoe, much more so than any reaction I've ever seen in the States. They seem to be very relaxed in raising their children and welcomed them to interact with adult activities and conversations. So where's the contradiction???? I saw small children daily zooming along on scooters without helmets, bouncing inside cars free of seat belts, strollers pushed out in front of the mothers into the roadways of oncoming cars before the traffic even BEGAN to slow. It was odd....I would have expected more of a "safety from harms way" because of the extreme reaction they show to small babies. I've got to prepare to go home now....I have to say goodbye to my loved ones. I knew the day would come to say goodbye....this needs to happen so that we can begin to look forward to the day we will be together again. I'm glad we have Skype, e-mails, phones. Baby Zoe's photo framed wall will begin in the hallway, more boxes with surprises will be mailed, and did I tell you about the rose bush???? In May there was a flower show in New York that released five new rose bushes and in celebration of the birth of our grand baby we're going to select one and plant it in the yard for her.
Thanks for coming along on this trip with me...the pictures will show you more beautiful pictures of Sicily....it will also show you areas that are typical of where the "real life" takes place.
The stores don't all have doors...many have beads that hang to keep any flying bugs from coming in and after closing the businesses large metal doors are either rolled down or swung shut and locked.
Gas stations have attendants rather than "self serve pumping" like we do at home. I didn't sense any recycling activities on going in this area - plastic water bottles, plastic bags, expensive sales packaging used when even taking home the smallest leftover pizzas. In California I'm noticing fabric bags for marketing, stores half expecting you to provide your own....did I mention here that you bag your own groceries? While the clerk sits down?