Closed for the Winter...

You and I had thought il Poggiolo would be my Summer residence, June to September. You would hit on the weekends, saving people’s eyesight permitting. Other months of the year, our Tuscan farmhouse would be reserved for holiday visits: post-Christmas to New Year’s, Easter, that Commie Holiday in May. Meant closing down the house towards the end of September. Big work. A weird sort of ballet: You would shunt stuff from the garden carrying it down to the un-used space of the esseccatoio… or, chestnut drying shed while I would de-nude the three refrigerators sanctifying them with vinegar. You then would strip beds of their linens and furiously dust his many objets and I would clip the grass one last time and cut the hedges to streamline their look. The last bits were the elegance of draping sheets over everything and closing off the utilities of water, gas, wi-fi and electricity. This was our program which we managed for a couple of years.

Enter one Weimaraner and followed by the adoption of another and then a puppy to replace the first magnificent dog. All prefered to inhale the invigorating aires of the Lunigiana more than the polluted ones in Genoa. More liberal local leash laws, now a definite thing of the past, encouraged me to spend ever more time at il Poggiolo with the canines. The years brought an expanding role as a bilingual Guardian Angel to friends tackling what You & I had tackled with il Poggiolo from 2009 to 2014. My seasonal sojourn became year-round.

Grumblings were heard, not listened too.

Though early for a New Year’s Resolution, I quietly vowed this Fall to remedy my absence from You’s and my co-habitation in the Genoa loft and from our Genoese friends & family. December to March. Meant returning to the task of closing down the house. A go-it-alone sacrifice this time. I did have help with the expert administrations of a blond-bombshell of a cleaning signora for two days. I had to stand clear. It was easy. I did umpteen loads of laundry, hauled trash to the dumpsters, moved non-resistant-to-the-cold plants inside, shoved and rearranged furniture and even supervised a firewood delivery. Piled the Dogs into the car and headed to Genoa.

I am uneasy. I knew yet was reminded despite the just concluded toil: Il Poggiolo is my Kingdom. My bit of Italian territory. An orientation of stone and wood and garden. My home. I am the missing part, me from it and it from me. I can’t wait for March.

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