having a mentor is invaluableprologue-15 – italy 2014

stepsThis post ends the Prologue. (I had to do it on an odd number – prologue-15.)

This past week, I’ve been writing to my cousin Rose and talking about all the detail work she does when planning our trips. For the past 10 years, she has managed all the trip planning. I’m good at suggesting places to stay and visit, but she turns those suggestions into actual trips. She researches accommodations, she finds out when the local food markets happen, she even knows the specialty foods of each area we will be in. Last year when we had a horrendous experience with our airline reservations, she went as far as re-routing my ticket so that we could all travel together. This time we are not traveling together and I’ve taken on a lot of the planning she has done. So in our emails, we’ve been about trip details. It amazes me how time consuming the planning process is and I’m glad I had the opportunity to go through it with her as a mentor. This year we are staying in 4 different locations and each house/B&B requires its own set of details and planning steps.

I decided to use the above pic of the steps in my back-yard to both represent the steps of the planning process, but also to write about the work I’ve been doing to clean the bricks. Every 5 years the bricks need cleaned, because they get covered with weeds that grow flat on their surfaces or in the crevices between each. (The bricks behind the gloves show the green plants and the moss.) And removing the lateral plants or the moss in the crevices is really hard; the plants have this amazing root system that grows under the brick making pulling the roots impossible. I can remove the flat, green leaves, but in a week the plant has regenerated. The only solution is to pick up each brick and tear out the root systems.