|Claudio, Paul, Loriano, Enrico, Enza, Gabriella, Linda, Cori.|
Monday, April 25, 2016
A delicious Spadoni rinfresco
Last month we had a little gathering to show my Seghieri relatives our new house. Today we had a second open house, timed to coincide with a visit from Linda and Cori, for a few of our Italian Spadoni relatives. Lucy made a bunch of sweets and we enjoyed a couple of hours of conversation with Enrico and Enza, Loriano and Gabriella, and Claudio.
Overall, it went great. We shared information on family and activities and gave them a house tour. They are always very gracious and patient with our limited language skills, and of course we Americans always end up vowing inwardly to re-double our efforts to learn Italian so we can better communicate (even if we usually don’t follow through). I understood most of what they said, but the words came to me slowly when I spoke. I was able to translate a little for Linda and Cori, but for the most part, they were on their own.
“Everybody seemed happy and energized and had lots to talk about,” Linda said. “I understood what the subjects were but couldn’t really follow the details. It made me feel like a child again, because that’s how it was when dad and his sisters and brothers got together. They would be all gathered around and talking loudly all at the same time. They would start out in English and sometimes switch to Italian. I didn’t understand any of it, and tonight brought me back to my childhood.”
When I first came to Italy in 1996, I stayed with Enrico and Enza for about a week. I couldn’t speak much Italian and was treated as a special guest, enjoying huge meals and being taken on sight-seeing expeditions. Now I feel like our relationship is on a more relaxed and informal basis, which is what I had hoped it might be someday. Having cousins is truly a blessing.