Life Lessons from the dogs

Today was an exercise in doing not a whole lot. I decided to take my inspiration from Henry and spend some time over looking the valley while practicing my banjo. After an in intensive session of scattering all of the wildlife in the surrounding area, I turned my attention to my Italian phrasebooks. I was aiming for being able to communicate a few key things for when I go back out into the world. I think my favorite Italian word so far is francoboblia. Do you know what it means? Postage stamp.

While we were driving through Germany, I was keeping myself awake by trying to pronounce some of the place names on the highway boards. I thought the Dutch had some challenging place names but the Germans win for syllable length and amazing vowel and consant combinations. Very quickly I discovered my new favorite German word. Ausfahrt and I imagine you pronounce it “House Fart”. It means Exit. It lends itself to all kinds of great expressions. For example, if you see something shocking like a Ferrari passing you down the mountainside at breakneck speed you can say “Holy Ausfahrt!” Or if someone is irritating to you “Don’t be such an Ausfahrt”. You see how I entertain myself through the seemingly endless kilometers. When it gets really bad as in I start to get sleepy, I start singing bits and pieces of songs. It seems I rarely remember the whole song, especially when it comes to all of the patriotic American ones we learned in elementary school. I switch from song to song like a deeply disturbed karaoke machine.

What else have I done today? Oh yes, moved the reclining chair regularly to correspond with the sun overhead, taken a nap in said chair under a very big umbrella – after all I work hard to stay this shade of pale, read some more books, fed the dogs, saved us all by catching the massive umbrella when it fell over on top of us during a big breeze, enjoyed two glasses of prosecco at the correct time of the day (early afternoon 2pm), taken another nap and thought about what I might do tomorrow. Pretty good for my second day.

The owners of the place took the other guests out for the day so that left me with the run of the place. It also left me with a lot of quiet since there was no one to talk to. Yesterday they took us all to the local village and gave us a walking tour. The hard part about staying in a small place is figuring out the right balance of interaction to have. We eat breakfast together and dinner which is a treat for me because all I have to do is show up. Italian dinners are long, we start at 8 pm and usually finish around midnight. I am always the first one to leave. The other guests are Dutch and they are long time friends of the owners.

It is Monday morning now and we’ve had a rainstorm. This is perfect weather for me since too much sunshine makes me burn.  I think we will we will go towards the coast today, I have an urge to see some olive orchards and wineries. We’ll follow the river and go from there.

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