10 November, 2011

{this memory} 25

Ah, my Antonia! Well, not really mine, but this is Antonia Ciarfella at her home in Milan.

We call her Tonia.

In October of 1994, I was in Italy delivering an invited address on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Abbey of San Clemente a Casauria as an Italian National Monument. I was the Honorary President of the Center for Casaurian Studies, and we were in Torre de' Passeri. Our hosts had arranged for Tonia to be my interpreter.

We all fell in love with her - my wife and daughters included, and we invited her to come live with us for the fall semester of 1995 and attend the college. My daughters gained an older sister, and I gained an Italian daughter. Today, of course, she is married with her own young son, Valerio.

My wife and I still reminisce about the wonderful times we had together, and we continue to be amazed at how much flour could be scattered about the kitchen as Tonia made gnocchi. Yum. I also remember that my beautiful Italian daughter would prepare an espresso for me each night after dinner. That stopped when she left. :(

We are still in touch every so often and miss her as we do all of our friends in Italy. Aspetto giá il nuovo ritorno.

I am a fortunate man. I can look back on so many happy memories.