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I was standing in my Italian garden just outside the back door making plans with “My Girl Tuesday,” who helps with the housework twice a month. She was saying she would be happy to take Mandy Dog if we decided to go. I was telling her that I was sure we would be invited, but we hadn’t received the invitation yet. With that, “The Farmer” appeared, waving an envelope which he had just taken out of the mailbox. “It’s here! It just came!” he yelled. “The Farmer” and “My Girl Tuesday” looked on eagerly as I opened it. The return address included the town of Fanano, Italy. It was from my cousin’s grandson, who had sent me an email a few weeks earlier announcing that he and Simona were to be married in September. We had met Nicola when we were in Italy, and then last year he, his father and his brother Lorenzo came to Illinois to visit. One of their stops was at “The Villa Nando,” our home in Winnebago. We were all so excited, but I was especially enthusiastic because I have always wanted to go to a real Italian wedding and it would be in the town where my mother was born. I couldn’t read the invitation in Italian. The following was printed in English: Simona and Nicola are going to get married on 13th of September 2014 at Saint Joseph Church in Fanano, 4 p.m. Dinner party at Martino’s. Rooms available at Park Hotel in Fanano. Shuttle available Fanano-Martino-Fanano. “We’re going,” said “The Farmer,” who was just as excited as I was. “My Girl Tuesday” then chimed in with, “I’ll take the dog.” That night when the excitement died down, we started to get serious about planning our trip. “The Farmer” said he wanted to take an adult grandchild, so we immediately thought of our granddaughter Jessica, who is used to traveling by plane and making her own arrangements. Plus, she knows her way around an airport and can speak Spanish, so she could understand a bit of Italian if need be. I called Jess and told her what was going on and that she needed to get a passport right away because we didn’t have a whole lot of time to plan. I informed her that we would fly from O’Hare to Amsterdam and then over to Bologna where we could get a lift to Fanano. As I read the invitation, I noticed that it actually was the announcement that they had put in many different newspapers including Corriere della Sera, The Times, La Kronaca di Pitagora, Le Journal Francais and Il Libro Aperto. How clever the headlines were, and I figured they had many different friends of various nationalities. With thoughts of headlines, plane flights, the airport in Amsterdam and having to meet our world traveler for lunch the next day, we turned off the lights and another day ended. We awoke the next day to learn that a Boeing 777 with 298 people aboard that had taken off from Amsterdam headed for Malaysia was shot out of the sky. That ended our thoughts of a flight to Italy. We had lunch that day with our “world traveler friend,” who encouraged us to go and not change our plans. “It probably won’t happen again,” she said. We will celebrate our 52nd anniversary today and the two of us will sit on the patio of “The Villa Nando” right here in Winnebago and enjoy all the hard work we have put into this place. We will send a gift to Nicola and Simona and wish them well. Ciao!
Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Article comment by:
Please Please do not let an incident over a troubled area stop you from going to the wedding!! It is a great opportunity and you know you will enjoy it. I am 67, my wife is 66 and we have a trip planned to Australia and New Zealand. We fly there on a 777. We look forward to it. We expect nothing to happen but if it does we will depart this world knowing we are doing something we really want to do.
Go for it!!
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