on the stoop in my pajamas17th entry – italy 2014

pajamasEach morning, I’ve been going out to the little piazza around the corner from the house in my pajamas and reading email, writing posts and putting up images. Rick-and-Sarah tease me about going out in my pajamas. My comment, “I’m in a medieval, hilltop town in the middle of Calabria. And no one here in Belmonte knows my mother. (If I behaved like this in Aprigliano, my 88 year old mother would be getting phone calls.) There have been threats of sending the image on the left to Welch, so I’m preempting the threat and posting it. (Welch, remember we’re friends and go way back.)

I’ve been trying to explain that when you live in medieval warrens, with tiny houses, (our house in Aprigliano had two rooms and there was my mom and dad and me as a child), most of your activities happen outside. My mom would sit with her friends and get supper ready, going back in the house to cook the food. All the food prep was done on the stoop between your house and your neighbor’s or in a communal space. If you were sewing, then you sat in the shade together with your neighbors and you talked and sewed. There was no TV to keep anyone indoors. Also, throughout the day, houses are shut tight against the Southern Italian sun; the house was pitch black inside. Life was lived in the shade, in social groups. (I can just hear all my city-high people going on about Zinga interacting in a social group.)

While the women socialized, my friends and I would run around all day. We’d meet early in the morning and roam the town. We went into the woods around the town; we went to the other parishes/neighborhoods; we went down to the stream at the bottom of our mountain; we went up to the church-yard to kick a soccer ball. The town was our house. Gabriele told Rick that when we were all in Aprigliano, the 4 of us – Gulio, Gabriele, Mario e Corrado, – owned the neighborhood. We must have been obnoxious.)