Lilacs from 2009 - ours are not even buds yet! Nature is taking its time this year.
What a week. I hope you all had a nice one. This week saw a rollercoaster ride of every emotion in the book. On Monday, flooding rains closed construction down completely, washed out our road. We tried to focus on things inside the rooms, but the driving icy rain made stepping outside not just uncomfortable but painful, as we tried to finish painting and decorating. On Tuesday the rain tapered off and the crew got busy, finishing the stairs and laying the tiles in the new room. Photos to come. I thought about starting gardening work, but with everything so soaked, I would have to wait. Instead we ran around to find floor tiles for the roof terrace and some lamps.
On Wednesday I stopped by our window maker. He had not come up to measure the finished frames. He delivered the good news that he wouldn't be able to make the windows until June, maybe July. They were to be delivered the last week in April. He did not call me; I had to go find out what was going on. Wednesday was spent in a frenzy trying to find a new window and door maker who could produce the goods in half the normal time (we lost four weeks with this window maker. Good grief). We found a reputable firm that had a hole in its production schedule. The gentleman showed up the next morning, measured, and promised to have our windows in in time. He seems trustworthy. But so did the first one.
On Thursday morning, we woke up to a dead telephone and DSL line. There had been worker clearing woods down the road. Apparently someone cut the phone line as well as the trees. Because our cell phone doesn't work under a tree, I had to do a lot of yelling outside because.... when the guys opened the trim tiles to start installing them at the base of the walls in the new room, we realized that the tile company had sent the wrong color. They promised to get us the new color by next Friday. We should have been finished by then. With everything.
We started emptying and re arranging the kitchen furniture, cleaning every corner and preparing it for the season. The changes look good and we're pleased. Thursday was the first night since October that we have not used a wood burning stove.
By Friday morning we still did not have a phone line, but we had the real first day of sun, and worked, cleaned, hauled, painted, spackled, sanded furniture, oiled, waxed. The phone came back on line during the afternoon.
I made the difficult decision not to do a mosaic on the bathroom floor. Because we are so far behind as a result of the weather, I just simply do not have the time to focus on it. I let them roll the room tiles right into the bathroom. It made me a bit sad but I have to think of my own health at this point. I will do the windowsill in there and I also did the large mirror. Doing the mosaic would have meant dedicating this entire weekend to it - and with the level of snow and rains we had, we are where we should have been over three weeks ago. I've learned enough from doing these kinds of projects to know that more important than anything is to stay healthy and strong. Form follows function, in every sense.
On Friday afternoon we visited Franco. We are making peace with the fact that the end is near. We pray that he does not have to suffer. He is our best friend here and has helped us in so many ways. He never, ever asked anything in return. His days with us were a gift. Living here without him is unimaginable. Had it not been for Franco, we are not sure if we could have coped with life here in the beginning. I don't know how it will be going forward without him, but I don't want him to hurt like this. The doctor has said it's a question of weeks now. Spring is Franco's season, the season when the fields are tended, the potatoes planted. Spring without Franco....just the thought of it is like a kick in the heart.
With Domenico's death just behind us and Franco's just around the bend, we work as hard as we can but with the tiredness that extreme grief causes. Every movement is more fatiguing right now. But we move forward because that is what we do. Tiriamo avanti, we pull ahead, as best we can.
For now, we hope for the well being of Franco's family, a finished room, a healthy and happy season for our guests and ourselves. I wish you all a wonderful week.