My weekend started early with a knock on the door. Good thing I was up and about after having an unusually good night's sleep. I looked out the window, and there was my landlady, Rita who I expected at some point in the day. Next to her stood a little elderly nun. Okay, so Rita brought one of her relatives. It would not surprise me. The ratio of clergy to non-clergy is pretty interesting here. So, Rita is here to change the light bulbs in the bathroom ceiling fixture, drop off a drying rack, and then take Sister to the dentist....perhaps? As I opened the door to greet my morning guests, Sister started her plea......in Italian. "Please senora, may I use your bathroom". Rita shot me a look. I shot one back. Sister put her had across her belly and told us that she was a long way from the nearest public restroom and she really had to go but she would understand if I did not want to allow her entry. I looked again at Rita and we spoke in English."Your call Rita, it's really your house"....."It's up to you Lynn, okay by me, but up to you". By this time, Sister was about to burst. Okay, sister, come on up.
As I helped her up the stairs - she probably was pretty uncomfortable by this time, she smiled and spoke in English. "Are you from America? I have a friend in Brook-o-linny".......
Rita and I shared a good shoulder shrug and went about our business as did Sister who promptly left without killing anybody. You've heard of the "singing nun".....well I hosted the "peeing nun"and did my good deed for the day.
Having recovered from my "this can only happen to ME" moment, Rita and I went for a cappuccino in the part of the town called the Commune, the lively center where, en route, we ran into my new friend Josephine who greeted me with a big set of kisses and asked if we wanted to join her for a cappucho. Okay, hang on Rita, there's more fun to come. Three woman with their capps. Yakkity, yakkity, yak......I'll see you later Josie. A presto! Bye bye Rita. A presto.
My next stop was the ATM and then back to my apartment to get ready to pack up some clothes for an overnight at friends Giselle and Mark's house in Fabbri after a noon meet up with a friend of a new friend who thought we should meet. On my way back, there's Josephine, with her own nun. I told you, high ratio.
Josephine and her nun!
My new friend, Pietro, was right on the money when he suggested that I meet his friend, Elna Breinholt. She's a self-taught artist, a beautiful woman from Denmark who came to Assisi seven years ago and has been painting the most delicate and beautiful icons which she sells in Pietro's shop. We had a bit of lunch, some great conversation, and a visit to her apartment and her studio from where you can see for miles.
In addition to her icons, Elna works with seashells, most of which are of the same species as those I pick up on the beaches near my home. She's found something to actually do with them and she inspired me.
Elna totally inspired me. A spiritual, creative woman who left me with a few words of wisdom. She was not surprised that I had bought myself a few presents since coming to Assisi last week. In Assisi, you learn to love your self so it's easy to treat yourself well.
Elna was kind enough to drive me to my next destination, the train station in Santa Maria degli Angeli.
Santa Maria is in the valley. It is the service town for Assisi. There are flat streets, sidewalks, shops where you buy practical items and groceries a train station and......a MacDonald's. I was on my way to the train station to catch a train to Trevi. Before leaving, I allowed some time to visit with my friends Helen and Jack, the hard-working founders of the children's museum which is located at the station, aptly named "Discovery Station Assisi".
Okay, there's much more to the weekend but I'm tired now and will continue tomorrow when I have more time and energy.
I promise, the next part of the weekend update is nun-less. Just some curry, a professional opera singer,one amazing lunch with some equally amazing friends.