La Tavolata

I haven’t worked for about 10 or 11 weeks. The first couple of weeks I felt a tremendous sense of peace and joy. I was part of a very stressful work environment and leaving that environment was simply a relief.

Since I’ve been free I have baked and cooked and spent lots of time with my wife Anne. She has this really funny laugh that I have heard on two occasions this past week. It is the kind of laugh that kids display when they’re horsing around. It’s also the kind of laugh that is uncontrollable and when I see her like that I am really happy.

I think she is getting a little tired of having the old man around. I’m definitely not that old and I am definitely not old enough to be” hanging around like a retired man, but for now, this present moment we are together like two old birds.

I have found joy in simple life. The daily tasks of making dinner for my family, going to the post office with Anne, baking macaron cookies for the 10th time, starting a fire in the wood oven, making pizza dough over and over again, baking loaves of bread, cleaning out the garage, picking up dog poop, turning the compost pile, and recently making fresh vegetable juice that nobody else but me will drink.

When I am in Italy I am amazed at the simplicity of life. Days are spent “living” whatever that may be. Most of the time it includes frequent stops at the local bar for “un caffe” or a  stop in the piazza to talk with a friend for more than just a few seconds.

Cooking lunch or dinner for a family is a big deal. Eating that dinner together with the family is an even bigger deal. In Roma it’s called Tavolata (Big tables filled with people enjoying, eating, living life to the full) This past 10 weeks I have had lots of time for Tavolata and I am so so grateful that my family Anne, Patrick and James are at the table with me. The only exception being when there is a basketball game on the TV and James has to plant himself in front of the game with the plate balanced on his knees. That’s OK.

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