Saturday, August 30, 2008

The end of summer

I apologize for not writing more frequently these days. The month of August was busy with an unexpectedly delightful vacation, a couple of job offers to sort through, and getting Ray potty trained. In addition, I was able to finally finish some home projects: I sewed new curtains for Ray’s bedroom window (which is a very odd shape that includes an angle and is very high, so I had to concoct a series of pull strings and hooks to pull them up towards the ceiling to open them); painted his ceilings blue with gold stars on one section and the sun on the other (it's divided by a beam); stripped and refinished the two double front doors; ditto on the front metal railings; trimmed out those huge, glass, interior doors that pass through the kitchen to Andrea’s study; hung a couple more curtains on our veranda and so on and so on.

But in between, I was invited to use Philippa and James’ house in the Marche for nine days (with Poppy) while they took their vacation (in rainy London) and so did the 3 hour drive down with Ray. Andrea came later on his motorbike for a few nights. It was a blissful nine days of warm, sunny days, cool night breezes, mountainous views and swimming (and watching the Olympics). I have never seen saw many shooting stars in my life, and to watch Ray crouching down to inspect insects, dig holes and make mud pies, and run through the laundry drying on the clothes line was just so sweet and simple – I just loved it (more on these thoughts in a later post…).

So, this week I started my new job as an assistant teacher to first graders at the International School of Bologna ( I am having a great time with it but I’ll wait for the kids to return this Wednesday before I say more. But it is down the street from where I live and the others I work with (there are 6 newcomers this year) are a hoot. This job will allow me to drop some of my private students so that will free up more of my evenings. Ray doesn’t start school until the 8th, so it has been a juggle on trying to have his care covered, and he is a bit unhappy about me leaving every morning.

Andrea’s students have arrived now and last night we had the annual newcomer’s pizza party at home – they are a really nice group; very focused on speaking Italian and embracing the whole study abroad experience. I gave them an open invitation for tea and cheesecake at any time, so I hope to get to know some of them better. Next Saturday, Ray and I will join them on the day trip to Ravenna, then on the Urbino a week later. This brings me to say that last weekend, Andrea and I had lunch with Ray at a Chinese restaurant, and he sat and ate and behaved beautifully the entire hour. We are so happy (well, more just me I suppose) that we have moved on to this next step with Ray that opens so many more doors in being able to take him out socially. He is such a tesoro (treasure).

By the way, here is the link to Andrea's program's website: (see under events, student parties for the photos of the pizza party)


paula said...

It's so fun to see items from your family in the pictures... I'm grinning over a young man's shoulder, daddy's union map in your kitchen, the ice bowl on top of the frig... made me smile! I'm sorry to say I bypassed the faces of the students, and just looked at your house. I didn't realize that you had a small balcony, and that your kitchen was so roomy with an island! Ray is cute in his red white blue and getting big. As always, thanks for sharing!

suziq said...

Congratulations on your new job !!!
And what a change from your appointment processing days (well, that goes for your entire life, I suppose). I never realized that you were a Martha Stewart in the making – although I do remember you gutting bathrooms, laying a patio and installing counter tops. Bravo, I love the sense of accomplishment that follows a household project done well.
Your holiday sounded delightful. I can almost feel the breeze.
Raimondo looks so grown up :-(, but as you point out, there are pluses to having a “big boy.”
Wishing you all a wonderful fall semester—welcome back to academia !!!