One of my best friends has arrived from Italy! Anna and her son Federico arrived late Monday afternoon. Anna’s husband Giorgio dropped them off and rushed back to NYC for a series of evening meetings. Anna and I hugged a big hug, grasped each other around the waist, looked into each other’s eyes and hugged again. Tears. Tears of joy!
We sat down and talked. We’ve started to catch up on the two past years. Email is okay, but the best is face to face, where I can see her expressions and listen to her beautifully accented American English. I can catch the nuances and hints of the story behind the story. It’s wonderful.
Anna sat at the stool by the kitchen island as I prepared food I knew she’d like. Simple, fresh ingredients for my Italian girlfriend: baked organic potatoes with butter, grilled asparagus with a touch of olive oil and a scrape of Parmigiano Reggiano, thin-cut chicken cutlets dragged in finely ground bread crumbs and fried lightly, fresh lemon slices, bread and butter. All served with the tiny glass of wine she likes. Easy to prepare, easy to eat, and tasty.
After talking for a while, with Federico filling me in on his high school life, I took my daughter Tory and Federico to Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream. We picked up Tory’s friend Heidi on the way, dodging fallen trees and closed roads as we went. Tory’s friends Eva, Gabe and Leo met up with the three teens at Cold Stone. Then the teens headed for our basement rec room to play pool. Federico fit in just fine.
And Anna? She rested. All the talking in English was great for me, but after a while Anna got brain burn. I admire her for learning my language. I love her for teaching me some Italian phrases. But best of all I’m glad I’m in the same room with her once again! After all, no language barrier exists when you speak from your heart.